DTI programs help women entrepreneurs grow businesses

By Kris Crismundo

March 8, 2023, 5:15 pm

<p>Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual <em>(file photo)</em></p>

Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual (file photo)

MANILA – In line with the celebration of International Women’s Day, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Alfredo Pascual said the agency aims to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs through its programs.

In a statement Wednesday, Pascual said out of all registered businesses in the country, 313,608 of which belong to women.

The number is nearly 30 percent of the total 1.08 million registered establishments based on data of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).

“In support of women entrepreneurs, the DTI provides alternative and accessible sources of financing through our financing arm —Small Business Corporation (SBCorp). SBCorp has already released about PHP1 billion worth of loans in support of businesses owned or operated by women through its Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3) program and Bayanihan CARES, an interest-free and collateral-free financing program that aims to assist MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises),” Pascual said.

He also cited capacity-building programs that can help women entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

These DTI programs include the Rural Agro-industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development (RAPID) Growth Project, She Trades Philippines and Investing in Women Asia.

Pascual underscored the crucial role of women in achieving the agency’s strategic priorities and actions.

“In line with the administration’s socioeconomic agenda, we at DTI have defined the breadth of our mandate and devised our efforts around key goals. We aim to propel the country's industrialization driven by science, technology, and innovation (STI), upgrade, upskill, and upsize micro, small and medium enterprises and usher in their digital transformation, enabling them to reach wider markets. Further, we aim to create globally competitive and innovative industries and create an environment where businesses can thrive,” he said.

Pascual said the DTI continues to support policies that aim to increase the share in the economy of women entrepreneurs as well as marginalized sectors.

“We at DTI believes that as we uplift women, we uplift our nation. We believe that gender equality is an important factor to realize our development goals and achieve a prosperous Philippines with equal opportunities for all. With this, I call on our fellow Filipinos to join us in honoring Filipino women and their invaluable contributions to economic development,” he added. (PNA)