By Manila Standard
According to a 2020 Asian Development Bank study of 1,804 Philippine MSMEs (micro, small, medium enterprises), 70.6 percent were forced to temporarily close during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Despite the odds created by the changes in the landscape, the enterprising Filipino found many opportunities online, with the Department of Trade and Industry recording over 88,000 new e-commerce registrations at the end of 2020. This figure is projected to be a million by 2022 (from 500,000 in 2020).
SM Supermalls understands the potential of Filipinos to be successful business owners, owing to the story of its late founder, Henry Sy.
Sy, fondly called “Tatang” in SM, started out as a small business owner with his first footwear shop ShoeMart. Because of its humble beginning, inspiring small businesses has been in SM’s DNA.
On Oct. 15, not coincidentally Tatang’s birthday, SM launched The SM StartUp Package, which aims to provide small online businesses the valuable support they need so they can set up their shop in an SM mall. It is available to the first 100 digital-based MSME owners who currently don’t have any physical store.
The package offers start-up friendly rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge; free brand exposure on SM online assets and ad spaces inside malls; financial assistance from BDO; and mentorship from SM’s operations and marketing experts.
The StartUp Markets, as they will be called, will be situated in prime mall locations within 13 regional and premier malls in major cities: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier.
“We created The SM StartUp Package because we saw how Filipinos persevered in the past year,” said SM Supermalls president Steven T. Tan.
Tan continued, “Many MSMEs did not let the pandemic stop them from providing good service and products – even from their own homes. We want to give them a chance to further grow their businesses and brands, and enable them to start their own SM shops which they can one day grow into business empires, just like our founder did.”
Following in ‘Tatang’s’ footsteps.
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