As the Philippines steers
ASEAN this year, a seven-point strategy designed by DTI to empower MSMEs in 7
Ms is being adopted: Mindset, Mastery, Mentoring, Markets, Money, Machines, and
Models. Each point was explored in separate panel discussions during the ASEAN
2017 MSME Development Summit with the theme, “The 7Ms Towards Shared Prosperity
in ASEAN”. This was held last July 14, 2017 at the Philippine International
Convention Center (PICC).
At the core of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) agenda are MSMEs, mainly because of its number. In the Philippines, 99.5% of establishments as of 2015 are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). For the ASEAN region, MSMEs account for 95-99% of existing business establishments. With MSMEs being the majority, the Philippine government, in the figure of DTI, is convinced that in order to achieve prosperity for all, the “bottom of the pyramid” as DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez described it in his keynote address, should be reached and empowered. During the Keynote Forum in the Summit, ASEAN BAC Chair and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion expressed that “the pathway of DTI’s 7Ms is the right approach.”
Department of Trade and Industry Secretary & ASEAN Economic Ministers Chair Ramon Lopez delivers keynote message.
ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) Chair Joey Concepcion.
Session M1 had Mindset as its banner with the topic, “Promoting MSME Development Mindset.” Coming from the idea that mindset change is the starting point for building the right entrepreneurial attitude, the panelists discussed the extent of government efforts, the need to challenge the status quo, some key attitudes for success, and the use of social dialogue in changing mindsets.
In Session M2 & M3 which was on Mastery and Mentoring, the panel touched on the ASEAN Business Advisory Council’s mentoring initiative under the Philippine Chairmanship called the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network or AMEN. Mr. Francisco “Dean Pax” Lapid, who also served as one of the panelists presented a synthesis of his PhD Research about “Teaching Entrepreneurship with Purpose” which is aligned with the 2Ms of the session. The value of self-mastery along with learning and working together were also highlighted.
Session M4 on Accessing Domestic and Regional Markets tackled how MSMEs can access markets through ecommerce, brand establishment, partnering with large enterprises to reach the mainstream market, and some other existing initiatives such as Trade Fairs.
Session M5 was about Overcoming Money Hurdles, which panelists recognize as the biggest challenge in starting and sustaining a business. This session covered alternative sources of financing.
To complete the discussion on the 7Ms, Session M6 & M7: covered Machines and Proactive Business Models Toward Productive and Responsive MSMEs. The value of collaborating small and large enterprises was brought up in the discussion. The role of internet, technology, and franchising in the development of MSMEs also came to light. At the end of the day, it’s not entirely about what is being used, but also relevant is how these innovations are being used for the benefit of MSMEs.
After the sessions on the 7Ms, Dr. Cielito Habito, Chief of Party of the USAID TRADE Project, delivered a synthesis of the outputs from the other sessions including an action plan for the holistic development of MSMEs in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region.
“The future of MSMEs is the future of ASEAN,” said H.E. Winichai Chaemchaeng, Thailand’s Vice Minister of Commerce. This is why so much is being invested as we aim for Prosperity for All.
Dr. Cielito Habito, Chief of Party, USAID Trade-Related Assistance for Development (TRADE) Project.