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Access to fund, marketing key challenges of MSMEs

Limited access to financing for capital and few marketing platforms remain as the major challenges of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), said Regional Director Belenda Ambi of the Department of Trade and Industry during the launching of Mindanao Trade Expo 2019 last Saturday.

Ambi pointed out that about 60% of MSMEs are facing access to funding as their major problem. “For example, they already put up a business and they wanted to improve their products or expand the business, they need to have capital first,” Ambi told TIMES.

Among the interventions that the company has provided is the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program that is “designed to bring down the interest rate at which micro-finance is made available to micro enterprise,” said Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez in a previous news report.

Under this program, borrowers can avail of loans for startups between P5,000 and P300,000 with maximum interest rate of 26% annually without collateral.

Also, to provide more avenues for the MSMEs to market their products, Ambi said they have One Town, One Product (OTP) Philippines Hub, Go Lokal Stores and several trade exhibits in both local and national levels.

Other than the financing, another major challenge for all MSMEs is their compliance with regulatory requirements for their goods and services.

“Especially for the food processors because they need to have FDA (Food and Drug Administration) license before they can market mainstream,” Ambi said. “Although they have enterprises already, they still have to conform with the regulatory requirements,” she continued.

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