Pres'l awards for MSMEs reaffirm growing importance of small businesses — Concepcion

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The revival of the presidential awards for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) has reaffirmed their growing importance in the country, Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion said on Wednesday, July 10.

Concepcion expressed his appreciation for President Marcos and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for reviving the Presidential Awards for Outstanding MSMEs when they awarded a chocolate maker from Davao and a bamboo treatment cooperative from Negros Oriental in a ceremony.

They were the first in 15 years after the awarding ceremony went on hiatus.

"When the President himself gives importance to MSMEs by recognizing the outstanding ones, this just emphasizes their roles in achieving our goal to become an upper-middle income nation," Concepcion said, noting that MSMEs account for almost all of the enterprises in the country and generate more than half of the jobs for Filipinos.

The Presidential Awards for Outstanding MSMEs is pursuant to the Magna Carta for MSMEs or the Republic Act No. 9501.

The recipients of this year's award are Malagos Agri-Ventures and Kawayan Collective.

Malagos Agri-Ventures makes the internationally acclaimed Malagos Chocolate, which has won recognition both for the quality of its premium single-origin, and tree-to-bar chocolates as well as its fair-trade practices with local cacao farmers.

Meanwhile, Kawayan Collective specializes in bamboo treatment to create a diverse range of bamboo products such as engineered panels, prefabrication models and starter house kits, and leverages on the expertise of traditional bamboo craftsmen.

In his speech, President Marcos said the recipients "show us what an ideal enterprise looks like: environmentally conscious, community-driven and socially responsible."

"It is important to encourage government and non-government entities, academic institutions, and other enterprises to follow their example," he said.

The President also announced an Executive Order (EO) institutionalizing the MSME Development Plan 2023-2028 to set the specific goals and outline the procedures and activities for all involved agencies. He announced that the DTI is working with the MSME Development Council to finalize the EO.

"The story of these finalists proved just how important it is for MSMEs to have access to money, markets and mentoring in order for them to scale up," Concepcion said, adding how the programs of Go Negosyo, the non-profit he founded more than 18 years ago to encourage entrepreneurship among Filipinos, revolve around providing MSMEs access to these three pillars.

"For MSMEs to fully realize their potential to power the economy, we must enable them to scale up: to help the micro become small, the small become medium, and the medium enterprises to join the ranks of the country’s large corporations," he said.