Bright future ahead for SMEs in Davao region

By Anthony S. Allada

As we enter  2012, the year of Water Dragon, we expect for a bright future for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Southern Mindanao. This is so not only that this year is foreseen to bring many possibilities for good fortune but more so various initiatives by the national and local government as well as the private sector are already in place.

The national government has  the  Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) development plan for the next five years — a plan which focuses on addressing critical factors that push growth and development.

Among government’s critical role in SME development are creating an enabling business environment, providing better access to finance, opening up more access to markets and working on productivity and Efficiency.

SMEs which dominate the business sector and thus play a crucial role in the economy is critical for investment and economic growth, job creation, local taxation, productivity enhancement, and technological innovation.

The SME sector is the entry point for entrepreneurs to build new businesses that can grow into large enterprise to create wealth and employment,” Trace and Industry Secretary Gregory Domingo was quoted as saying.

With this realization, the regional office of DTI here has its own way to craft initiatives to sustain the growth of the region’s SMEs.

The DTI institutionalized the SME Star Awards to qualified SMEs to give due recognition among outstanding SMEs in Southern Mindanao.

The SME Star Program is an SME competency initiative that supports and gives recognition to outstanding SMEs who persevere to improve their growth both in the domestic and international markets.

Under the SME Star Program, the SMEs are given opportunities for sustainable growth. They undergo capability building activities to hone their skills in marketing, production, financial management, as well as their managerial and technical capabilities.

The SME Star Awards has two groups, the SME Rising Star (city/provincial level) and SME Star Elite (regional level).

In 2011, the SME Rising Star awardees were: Davao City — Reliance Transcription, Inc. (micro enterprise category), Royal Breadhaus, Inc. (small enterprise category), and Jhaymarts Industries (medium enterprise category); Davao del Sur –Magsaysay Organic Farmers Cooperative (micro enterprise), Fergie Poultry Farm (small enterprise), and EJA Banana Chips (medium enterprise); Davao del Norte — Chokolate de San Isidro (micro enterprise); Davao Oriental — Oriental Touch Collection (micro enterprise); and Compostela Valley — H and W Ventures (micro enterprise).

Meanwhile, the following were chosen as SME Star Elite awardees: Norie’s Footwear and Supply of Davao del Norte (micro enterprise); Royal Breadhaus, Inc. (small enterprise); and Davao Dragon Fortune Corporation of Davao del Sur (medium enterprise).

Among the programs and projects on SME development that DTI 11 has been implementing are the: creation of the Designers Pool which aims to assist SMEs to improve on their product design; Export Pathways Program (EPP) which provides the appropriate package of assistance for different SMEs; and One Town One Product (Otop) program which aims to promote countryside development by promoting the SMEs involved in the production of goods and services from indigenous raw materials and/or skills.




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