Making Unsung Heroes Heard.
The Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the backbone of the national economy, accounting for 99 percent of all companies in the Philippines, roughly 66 percent of employment, and a third of the gross value. As the digital economy becomes more important, these MSMEs face the problem of digital transformation.
Bain & Company (2018) reports that only 16% of MSMEs in ASEAN have fully embraced digitization, leaving the majority without the necessary resources to comprehend digital technologies.
This challenge, which has been emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic, has caused Filipinos to shop online more than ever before, thereby pushing the importance of a digital business.
Despite the country’s high internet penetration rate and reputation as the “social media capital of the world,” many Filipino entrepreneurs, including those in rural and remote areas, have heavily relied on physical operations. Unfortunately, many of these entrepreneurs lack familiarity with digital marketing and e-commerce practices, making it even more difficult for them to adjust during the COVID-19 crisis. With 51.2 million Filipinos unbanked, the situation has become even more challenging.
How can Filipino MSMEs and women entrepreneurs (WEs) be competitive in a digital economy? How do we help the unsung heroes thrive in a more digital world?
The Department of Trade and Industry’s ‘digital first’ program, was designed to provide Filipino MSMEs with digital tools and knowledge to improve local economic growth. The main goal was to empower Filipino business owners, particularly women entrepreneurs (WEs), and get them to go digital. This would help them grow and become more sustainable and in turn, bolster the Philippine economy.
To push this initiative, the government agency reached out to M2.0, a communications agency offering social media marketing services.