MSMEs to use e-commerce knowledge to expand markets

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10:16 PM January 9th, 2017

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By: Victor Anthony V. Silva, January 9th, 2017 10:16 PM

FOURTEEN micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) are expected to expand their markets and become more competitive after completing a workshop on e-commerce organized by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

The 14 ventures have been part of DTI Cebu’s five-week e-commerce and digital marketing workshop which ran from Nov. 21 last year until today, Jan. 10.

“Hopefully, through the use of their websites and social media accounts, they will be able to expand their market and reach more potential clients,” said Hope Melgar, chief of DTI Cebu’s industry development and investment promotion division, in a phone interview.

She said that this would hopefully lead to more sales and make the MSMEs more competitive using the tools they had at their disposal.

The trade official said the growth of these businesses will translate to more jobs created, especially in the manufacturing sector.

“Once their businesses grow, they will receive many orders. Therefore, they will need more people to create their products,” Melgar said.

The participants, which are all based in Cebu, came from the tourism, home furnishing, food, trucking, energy, and industrial sectors, said Melgar.

The participating MSMEs included Murillo’s Export Int’l. Inc., Total Pro-Tech Solutions Inc., Jae Enterprise, Joyful Cebu Travel and Tours, ESR Travel and Tours Services, Sustainable Energy and Enterprise Development for Communities, and Gerson Builders.

E-commerce or electronic commerce is defined as the sale of goods through a digital channel to a private end user.
Among the topics covered in the workshop are website creation, product photography, web payments, social media presence, and search engine optimization.

E-commerce advocate Janette Toral, who was instrumental in crafting DTI’s Philippine E-commerce Roadmap 2016-2020, led the workshop.

A total of 15 workshop participants are set to “graduate” today at the University of the Philippines Cebu Negosyo Center.
“What they learned from the workshop will be great tools to market their businesses,” said Melgar.

Back in December, one of the MSMEs, a travel agency, immediately received inquiries regarding tour packages during Sinulog this month after putting up a website, which was required of those who joined the workshop.

Meanwhile, she said they are not immediately looking at launching the second installment of the workshop. Instead, the DTI is proposing to train personnel to become experts on e-commerce to allow them to reach out to more MSMEs.

She added that they are also looking into capacitating business counselors in their Negosyo Centers across the province to be able to advise business owners on how to approach e-commerce should they decide to give it a go.

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