Here’s how small businesses can get a better hand in recuperating from the crisis.

Citi Foundation together with its development organization partner, Bayan Academy, has launched an online hub to relieve micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) of the economic impact of the pandemic. This is a repurposing of the existing Citi Microenterprise Development Center (CMDC) that helped boost 6,700 enterprises in the past decade. 

Through the Creative and Innovation Hub, 500 MSMEs (including past CMDC graduates) will undergo three-day resiliency and rebuilding workshops online that will run 20 times between February and October. There will also be incubation and business workshop webinars for 400 startups with revenues below two million pesos, which have been operating for less than two years.

“The services to be offered are tailor-made to meet the needs of both existing businesses and startup enterprises as they pursue growth opportunities in the evolving new normal environment,” says Bayan Academy executive director Philip Felipe. He greatly believes in empowering women-based grassroots entrepreneurs.

The program will also incubate 30 startups through focused training, mentoring periods and pitching sessions. Startups will be chosen based on their social and economic impact, sustainability and innovation, among other qualifications.

This is in line with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Inclusive Innovation Industrial Strategy which aims to propel jobs, investments and prosperity in the country. “The need for our enterprises to become more creative, innovative and resilient is critical for the country’s economic recovery and sustained growth,” says DTI Undersecretary for competitiveness and innovation Rafaelita Aldaba.

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