BPI Foundation, the Bank of the Philippine Islands’ (BPI) social development arm, today announced the launch of BPI Small Enterprise Acceleration Lab (SEAL), a program for the development of local micro and small enterprises (MSEs), with its first track, Small Enterprise Growth Agenda (SEGA), in collaboration with Bayan Academy.
BPI SEAL-SEGA is a search for start-up companies that are ready to expand their enterprises. This programme aims to satisfy the needs of new firms by providing training, mentoring, and cash grants. The training program is designed to assist entrepreneurs in evaluating their products, services, operations, and marketing, as well as formulating their start-up firm development plan. I’m so fortunate to be able to learn from this webinar many things regarding these SMEs and how BPI is able to help them. It was indeed a great experience acquiring knowledge from them as they were able to share their knowledge with us.
“It’s no secret that the past two years have been extra tough for the entire business community, most especially for the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) which faced multiple challenges including the lack of funds to maintain their businesses after a series of lockdowns. To help address the pressing need for an intervention and spur growth to the MSE sector, we are excited to kick-off the pilot run of the BPI SEAL-SEGA,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo.
In 2020, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) reported that 99.51% of all businesses across the country belong to the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector. Micro enterprises account for 88.77%, while 10.25% are small enterprises.
According to a study conducted by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies in 2018, this sector continues to struggle in the value chain, primarily due to lack of access to finance, labor and technical and management know-how. SEAL-SEGA aims to help bridge the gaps.
“Startups proved to us that crisis can also be a strong driving force for creativity and innovation,” DTI Undersecretary of Regional Operations Group Blesila A. Lantayona noted. “If this new normal has taught us anything, it is harnessing the benefits of digital technologies and transformation that could be an opportunity to create sustainable and adaptable businesses.”
Bayan Academy President and Chairman Prof. Francisco “Jay” Bernardo said, “BPI SEAL SEGA is dedicated to helping startups sustain, develop and scale up their businesses. We are here to be part of the nation-building efforts that SMEs have been providing us.”
Fifty (50) MSEs will be chosen to attend the boot camps and present their plans to a panel of judges in a business pitch. The Top 1–10 will each earn a P100,000 cash prize, while the Top 11–20 will each receive Php50,000. The business challenge is available to 18-year-old and older start-up entrepreneurs with a total asset value of less than Php1 million. The deadline for applications is July 15, 2022.
Visit https://bpifoundation.org/page/bpi-seal-sega and follow BPI Foundation on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about SEAL.