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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs     10 October  2011                       

Small businesses promoted in Philippines

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The Philippine government is trying to encourage entrepreneurs, and help small businesses to grow.

These ventures fall into the category of micro, small, and medium enterprises, which are more than 99 percent of all Philippine businesses.

Ms. Joy Marcella used to sell homemade sweets during breaks, while working as a government employee.

But after two years, she's now supplying Filipino desserts to fast food chains and restaurants.

Ms. Joy Marcella, small entrepreneur of Onyang's Sweet Products, said: "I now have time for my family, especially my children. When I was an employee, I didn't have time. Now, I can set aside time for them and also earn more."

From an initial outlay of S$4,600, Onyang's Sweet Products is now a S$46,000 business, employing 30 workers.

And Ms. Marcella is not stopping there.

She's now set her sights on exporting her products.

"One should always have dreams. If I don't have a dream, I will not have the chance to grow. Having a dream makes you want to aim higher and strive harder to become successful," she said.

With micro, small, and medium enterprises accounting for 99.6 per cent of businesses here in the Philippines, they play a crucial role in moving the country's economy forward.

For the next six years, the government wants to spur their development and help generate two million jobs by 2016.

The government's Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Plan aims to increase this sector's economic contribution to 40 percent of the gross domestic product.

Under the six-year plan, the government will also encourage more entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the countryside.


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