UREKA Forum breaches 1000 e-MSME mark
The exciting journey toward e-commerce continues as the UREKA Forum - the country’s biggest mass conversion program for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) - breached the 1000-mark last February 25.
The UREKA advocacy recorded a new one-day activation with 291 MSMEs enabled to operate on a full end-to-end e-commerce platform at the UREKA Mega Manila Forum held at SM Megatrade Hall.
This brings to 1051 the total number of MSMEs who have benefited from the UREKA Forum – the Bank’s flagship corporate social responsibility project – in less than 18 months. The program supports the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)’s target to deliver 100,000 MSMEs to e-commerce by 2020 as a key component of the “2020 Philippine E-Commerce Roadmap (2020 PECR).”
Meanwhile, the increasing number of MSMEs was complemented by the growing number of consortium partners.
Facebook Asia-Pacific, Microsoft Philippines and Taxumo have joined UREKA champions Air21, AMTI, DragonPay, Esquire Financing Inc., GeiserMaclang Marketing and Communications Inc., Panahon TV, PLDT SME Nation, and SHOPINAS.
Microsoft Philippines Head for Solutions Group Rey Lugtu advised the participating MSMEs to utilize their websites and Facebook page to tell the story of their products. “You have to be able to talk about your products with pride. The content of your description is the soul and your personal touch to your online business. With this, you inspire trust in your business,” Lugtu told the MSMEs.
Meanwhile, MSMEs also heard from DTI Assistant Secretary Arturo Boncato. Other representatives of the government namely Department of Information and Communications Technology Program Director for e-innovation Monchito Ibrahim, Department of Science and Technology Director Edgar Garcia, and Department of Tourism Assistant Secretaries Ricky Alegre and Maria Lourdes Japson also attended the forum.
UnionBank President and COO Edwin Bautista, on the other hand, urged the MSMEs to “devote energy, imagination and commitment to grow your e-business whether as a new channel augmenting your existing business or as an entirely new way of doing business, toward a borderless 24 x 7 online world.”
For his part, UREKA proponent and UnionBank Executive Vice President Genaro Lapez urged all UREKA MSMEs to become success stories at the soonest possible time, “as conditions for immediate success have never been better (than now).”
UnionBank came up with the UREKA forum and advocacy upon learning that less than one percent of MSMEs have working websites despite the fact that they comprise over 95 percent of all registered businesses in the country and employ 62 percent of the labor force.
“If you promote e-commerce, especially among our MSME’s (then) sustainable and inclusive financial development in our country is bound to happen,” Lapez added.
UREKA E-Cadets were in full force to assist MSMEs get their eCommerce businesses up-and-running.
Guests and participants intently listen to the forum speakers who discussed the immense e-commerce potential. (Shown in photo, from left) Consortium partners SHOPINAS President & CEO Sheila Lina, AMTI SVP & General Manager of Solutions Group Bong Paloma, and UnionBank Director Carlos B. Raymond, Jr.
Forum Moderator Christine Jacob-Sandejas with speakers (from left) UnionBank Chief Technology & Transformation Officer SEVP Henry R. Aguda; Customer Segments Management Group Unit Head Jaypee Soliman; Microsoft Philippines Head of Solutions Group Reynaldo Lugtu; Facebook Asia Pacific Head of SMB Community Engagement Beth Ann Lim; and UnionBank Director Dr. Paco Sandejas.