Telecoms and multimedia service provider PLDT, through its small-and-medium enterprise arm PLDT Smart SME Nation, has reinforced its support to the country’s growing SME sector as it recently signed a joint project with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to power its more than 100 Negosyo Centers nationwide which aids micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs in starting their business and open opportunities for their potential expansion.
Through PLDT Smart SME Nation, the 131 existing DTI Negosyo Centers will soon have Smart Wifi connectivity available for all its guests and will be fitted with a video monitoring security solution as part of its support. Under the collaboration, SMEs can also participate in community trainings, specialized talks and digital trainings organized by PLDT Smart SME Nation and DTI throughout the year.
PLDT and Smart EVP and Head of Enterprise, International and Carrier Business Eric Alberto emphasized how important it is to enable entrepreneurs to become solid and robust as they serve as primary pillars of the country’s economic development.
“We have always been one with our partners in promoting entrepreneurial empowerment among Filipinos and fervently supporting the country’s thriving SMEs. With this Negosyo Center collaboration, PLDT Smart SME Nation can further help local entrepreneurs get started, grow, and contribute to the economic progress for our country,” said Alberto.
DTI-Bureau of SME Development Director Jerry Clavesillas underscored the importance of providing fast services to MSMEs through online transactions and access to information, thus welcomed PLDT Smart SME Nation’s assistance in providing Wifi connectivity in the Negosyo Centers.
Through the Negosyo Centers, getting started with a business is made easier for entrepreneurs by centralizing business registration, business advisory and information services, and networking opportunities inside one facility. The centers also offer, seminars and training, marketing linkages, links to financing support, and monitoring and evaluation for its members.
Republic Act No. 10644, otherwise known as the Go Negosyo Actthat mandates the establishment of these Negosyo Centers,enables micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to grow and create more job opportunities leading to the country’s economic growth and development. The Negosyo Centers highlight the importance of SMEs, which are now the focal point of the country’s inclusive growth.
“We hope that our entrepreneurs, particularly the micro- and small entrepreneurs, will have a place to go to for support, technological solutions, and access to larger markets thanks to our interconnected Negosyo Centers,” explained Senator Bam Aquino during the Negosyo Center partnership event held in Pasig.
Aquino emphasized how connectivity – through e-commerce and online market linkages - plays a critical role in enabling today’s entrepreneurs. “We hope that our entrepreneurs, particularly our micro- and small entrepreneurs will have a place to go to for technological solutions and, at the same time, have access to a larger market for larger opportunities.”
With more than a hundred Negosyo Centers already catering to 35,000 entrepreneurs, serving daily business registrants, the DTI aims to expand its facilities to 150 by next year.