BPI Foundation, the social development arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), sealed a partnership with BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of BPI, the Philippine Trade Training Center – Global MSME Academy (PTTC-GMEA), and the Department of Trade and Industry – Regional Operation Group (DTI-ROG) to empower micro and small enterprises (MSEs) through its Small Enterprise Acceleration Lab – Business Expansion thru Training and Application or SEAL-BETA program.
BPI SEAL-BETA is a comprehensive integrated training program designed exclusively for qualified micro and small enterprises affected by the pandemic that seek to rebuild and expand their businesses. It aims to equip MSEs with a resilient outlook on business, and to assist entrepreneurs in creating their sustainability plans and in rebuilding and expanding their businesses through access to loans from BPI Direct BanKo.
In 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that 99.51% of all businesses across the country belong to the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. Micro enterprises account for 88.77% or 850,127 of the total MSMEs.
The representatives of BPI Foundation, BPI Direct BanKo, and PTTC together with the micro enterprises present during the launch of SEAL-SEGA.
For this pilot run, SEAL-BETA will focus on micro enterprises located in Central Luzon, CALABARZON, Eastern Visayas, SOCCSKSARGEN, and the National Capital Region (NCR).
“Micro and small enterprises play a crucial role in our country’s economic development”, said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo. “With the recent resumption of economic activities, it is our social responsibility to provide support to the ailing MSME sector. The BPI SEAL-BETA program aims to capacitate and help qualified micro and small enterprises expand and grow their businesses amid this ongoing pandemic.”
According to DTI-PTTC Executive Director Nelly Nita N. Dillera, this partnership is among DTI’s initiatives to design programs that will help micro enterprises survive the pandemic and support them to thrive during these challenging times. “Skills shift is not a challenge but it should be seen as an opportunity,” she said.
Ensuring that micro enterprises will be financially capable, BPI Direct BanKo is committed to providing easy, convenient, and affordable loans to fund their operations and help them grow their business.
“Ang access to finance ay kadalasang hindi available para sa mga maliliit na negosyante. Kaya nais naming ipaalam sa mga micro entrepreneurs na nandito ang BanKo, ang micro-finance arm ng BPI, at meron na kayong ka-partner sa pagkuha at pag-access sa dagdag na kapital para sa inyong negosyo, (Access to finance is often not available for micro entrepreneurs. We want to inform you that BanKo, the micro-finance arm of BPI, is here, and that you now have a partner in accessing additional capital for your business,)” said BPI Direct BanKo Financial Inclusion and Microfinance Head Rodolfo Mabiasen, Jr.
There will be 250 MEs who will participate in the 8-week boot camp. They will then showcase their plans through a business pitch to an esteemed panel of judges. All qualified MEs may avail of a loan from BPI Direct BanKo.
The business challenge is open to micro entrepreneurs who are 25 years old and above, and whose enterprise’s asset size is Php3 million and below. Meanwhile, the training will start on September 7, 2022.
To know more about the SEAL-SEGA program, visit https://bpifoundation.org/page/bpi-seal-beta and follow BPI Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.