Philippine MSMEs play an important role in the economic development of our country. According to the Department of Trade and Industry, 99.58% of all businesses in the country are MSMEs.
Indeed, small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, and the Philippine government recognizes this fact. This is why the government has come up with various programs to help small business owners and entrepreneurs grow.
In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the government assistance programs being offered by the government and deep dive into the criteria of each program.
5 Government Assistance Programs That Can Help Your Business Thrive
1. KAPATID MENTOR ME
Once in a while, entrepreneurs need advice on how to operate their businesses ethically and a network to support them in doing so.
This is why the Department of Trade and Industry developed a program that aims to support SMEs by equipping business owners with the skills they need to operate a business.
The KAPATID MENTOR ME program is a 12-week program that consists of 10 modules, including:
- Product development
- Operations Management
- Finance and obligations
A presentation of the mentee’s improved business plans is necessary for graduation after the sessions are over.
- Must be the business’s owner, partner, or co-owner.
- Has employee/s and/or manages a team
- Business is registered (with documentation) and operating for at least a year
- Willing to enter into a Contract of Commitment
- Three (3) references who can attest to your business’s reliability
- Priority will be given to applicants from the ME segment (P3M below).
2. Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso (P3)
One big problem for first-time entrepreneurs is how to apply for a business loan. However, this is handled through SB Corp’s Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-Asenso (P3) program.
This government assistance program for small business in the Philippines aims to streamline the loan application process and offer MSMEs an alternate credit line.
Under P3, MSME owners in the Philippines can borrow money for as little as PHP 5,000 up to PHP 200,000 at a low-interest rate of 2.5% per month, which is adequate to launch a small business.
You’re eligible for the P3 program if you’re self-employed or a microentrepreneur with at least one year of business operations.
- Completed application form
- Barangay Clearance
- Business Permit
- DTI Business Name Registration (for loans exceeding PHP 50,000)
- Photocopy of any government-issued ID
- ID picture
3. Small and Medium Enterprise Roving Academy
DTI conducts free seminars for budding entrepreneurs through the SME Roving Academy in various towns across the nation. This is an effort to expand the number of local enterprises that can compete in the global market.
In the SME Roving Academy, business owners who are enrolled in the program are partnered with a counselor and an expert who can provide advice on the training and business development services they might need.
Mechanics of Participation:
- Participants register with DTI Provincial Office-SME Center.
- The SME Counselor determines the participants’ needs with the help of an expert.
- The SME Counselor offers the entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur basic guidance on the training that he or she may need, assisted by an expert.
- The SME Counselor notifies the entrepreneur or would-be entrepreneur of when and where he or she may receive assistance in cooperation with the Network Partners.
- The SME Counselor monitors the entrepreneur’s adoption of the offered business development services.
- The SME Counselor will decide whether the entrepreneur needs more help at this stage or should be advanced to the next.
4. Go Lokal!
The Department of Trade and Industry launched this government assistance program for small business in the Philippines as a platform for MSMEs to gain access to the market.
The accessibility that Go Lokal! can give is excellent for MSMEs with distinctive products seeking a larger market, particularly those manufactured from regional and local traditions.
Once a business owner is enrolled in the program, they can now have a chance to undergo free intensive product development training, access Go Lokal!’s marketing platforms, and participate in Go Lokal!’s year-long promotional events.
They can also be a regular supplier to Go Lokal! shops and retail partners, such as Ayala Malls, Rustan’s, Duty-Free, Robinsons Malls, and many more.
- Signed application/contract form
- Product information sheet with product shot
- Product sample with attached delivery form
- Photocopy of BIR Forms 2303 and 0605, OR or sales invoice
- Business registration i.e. FDA, DTI/SEC/CDA, BPL
5. Barangay Micro Business Enterprise
The Barangay Micro Business Enterprise (BMBE) Law, which was signed into law in 2002, promotes the creation of microbusinesses, especially in remote and suburban areas, through incentives and benefits.
Some of the incentives and benefits include:
- Assistance programs and training
- Social security and healthcare benefits
- Income tax exemption
- Exemption from the minimum wage law
- Priority for a special credit window
A BMBE is defined as any business enterprise with total assets of less than PHP 3 million that produces, processes, or manufactures goods, including agricultural products, as well as trades and services.
The BMBE Certificate of Authority will be valid for two (2) years starting on the date of issuance.
If the applicant continues to meet the qualifying conditions, the Certificate of Authority may be extended for another two (2) years and then every two (2) years after that.
- BMBE Online Application Form
- DTI Certificate of Business Name Registration
What are the government agencies that help an entrepreneur in a business?
In order to establish a business in the Philippines, you must register your enterprise with regulatory bodies such the BIR, SSS, Philhealth, and PagIbig.
What does the Philippine government do to assist entrepreneurs?
The Innovative Startup Act (also known as Republic Act No. 11337), which was signed in 2019, offers government support for rising startup talent by granting entrepreneurs access to a Startup Venture Fund, travel grants, subsidies, and visas.
Government assistance programs for small business in the Philippines play a crucial role in the growth and development of our economy. These programs offer MSMEs the much-needed financial and technical support they require, empowering them to overcome obstacles and succeed.
With the help of these programs, any small business owner in the Philippines can launch their dream business, make money for themselves, and join the millions who are boosting the economy of the country.
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