CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The effects of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have brought out some entrepreneurs from micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who required help with information and communications technology (ICT) skills.
This was the observation of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 10 (Northern Mindanao) based on the agency’s two-year experience collaborating with MSMEs in the region.
Julie Nieve, DTI-10 spokesperson, said in a media forum Thursday that at the height of Covid-19’s series of community quarantines and the high number of cases, the agency turned to digital platforms to continue its service.
“We oriented MSMEs about the importance of having an online presence of their businesses. Some of us may be familiar in using social media, but we have to recognize that some MSME entrepreneurs have yet to learn the online platforms like Facebook,” Nieve said.
She said this is true for some farmer-entrepreneurs in rural communities who have microscale business models.
Melvin Fabello, the proprietor of MC Coffee, said the pandemic forced their businesses to go on a “hiatus”, prompting them to focus on online marketing.
With the help of DTI, Fabello and his team underwent a series of training courses on packaging development and improving the coffee they produced.
“Now that the market is open again, DTI gave us the technical know-how on how to package (our products) right,” he said.
Fabello also noted that the “word of mouth” by their friends helped increase the interest in pure arabica coffee.
Meanwhile, Nieve said despite the pandemic, the number of new business registrations in Northern Mindanao in 2021 remained high at 24,239.
This is only 637 less than the 24,876 business registrations in 2020, both new registrations and renewals.
“Even with the restrictions, we still have received many business name registrations because many of our businesspeople found an opportunity where they could sell their products and services online,” she said in the vernacular.