Filipino SMEs bag top honors at ASEAN Business Awards

Three homegrown small and medium enterprises (SMEs) bagged top awards at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Business Awards, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said.

ASEAN Business Awards 2022 (via Go Negosyo Facebook page)

In a statement, Concepcion, who is the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (BAC) chair for the Philippines, said Home Healthlink Innovations and FELTA Multimedia Inc. won the top prizes in the SME Priority Sector – Healthcare and the SME Excellence in Innovation categories, respectively, while Esquire Financing bagged a special award for its role in MSME financing.

The annual ASEAN Business Awards recognizes outstanding and successful ASEAN enterprises contributing to the region's economic growth and prosperity. It is organized by the ASEAN BAC.

According to Concepcion, their victory demonstrates the innovation and passion of Filipino SMEs.

"There are 71 million MSMEs in the ASEAN region, accounting for almost all of the total establishments. In the Philippines, these small entrepreneurs also account for a large majority of the total enterprises. Considering their important role in job generation and our collective economic recovery, we must continue to support them," he said.

Mylene Abiva, President and CEO of FELTA Multi-Media, said receiving the SME Innovation award validated their emphasis on science, technology, and innovation as critical enablers for sustainable development.

FELTA Multi-Media is a pioneer in robotics technology education in the country and has introduced new teaching methods, tools, and curricula in public and private schools.

For Home Healthlink CEO Dr. Sheila Acosta, receiving the award inspired them to continue with their mission of providing safe, convenient, responsive, cost-effective, and caring hospital-grade medical services from the comforts of one's own home.

Home Healthlink provides continuing home health care, including transitional, intermediate, health rehabilitation, wellness, standalone, and palliative care for house-bound patients.

Special Award winner Esquire Financing brought collateral-free loans for small businesses to the Philippines, becoming one of the country's leading providers of loans to SMEs.

"Even during the pandemic, it continued lending to businesses and has vowed to partner with the Philippine government to help businesses recover. Esquire also operates a non-profit microfinancing arm, Help Foundation," Go Negosyo noted.

Meanwhile, Concepcion shared that the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), the Legacy Project of his Chairmanship of the ASEAN BAC, continues to be actively expanded and sustained across ASEAN.

AMEN is a public-private partnership platform that aims to support regional MSMEs through mentorship and training based on modules used by the Go Negosyo program Kapatid Mentor Microenterprises (KMME), which it conducts alongside the Department of Trade and Industry.

Phase 1 of AMEN has been piloted in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Phase 2 will cover the entire ASEAN with, once again, the support of the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund.

The ASEAN Business Awards promotes critical sectors to promote the ASEAN in the world's economy and encourage regional cohesiveness and global competitiveness.