Batac: Ilocos Norte, DTI team up to expand center for MSMEs

photo courtesy by Leilanie Adriano

Ilocos Norte officials is working with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to expand the provincial government’s one-stop shop and co-working space to further help the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

Elma Gabriel, head of the provincial government’s MSME office, confirmed this on Monday after the DTI vowed to provide a shared service facility (SSF) worth PHP3.9 million to inspire local entrepreneurs to dream big with the all-out support of the various government agencies to promote the culture of entrepreneurship among Ilocanos.

“To serve our growing community of innovators and professional practitioners under the creative industries, there is a need to scale up and expand the incubation center to accommodate more clients,” she said.

The agreement was formalized after members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan unanimously approved on Monday a resolution, which granted Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc the authority to enter into a memorandum and usufruct agreement with the DTI for the provision of the SSF.

Based on the proposal, the 40-square meter Incubation Center, located on the second floor of the La Tabacalera Ilokano Lifestyle Center here, will be expanded to house a complete set up of office equipment with computers and printers, including cameras, drone, and exhibit materials, among others, for the MSME clients.

More than a year after it opened to cater to the needs of budding entrepreneurs, Gabriel said the center has hosted 70 various meetings and events and served over 4,000 clients to improve products and services of MSMEs in the province.

The center also works as a one-stop-shop with partner institutions such as DTI, Mariano Marcos State University, Department of Science and Technology, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for product promotion and development.

Mildred Dacuycuy, a food processor and innovator in Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, said the incubation center is a big help to MSMEs because it unifies and integrates all available services for entrepreneurs in one building.

Aside from providing a physical space for brainstorming and establishing linkages with public and private stakeholders, the center also provides coaching and mentoring sessions.

“The presence of the facility motivates us to do better because they offer a complete package of what MSMEs look for to make it big in business,” Dacuycuy said.

About 90 percent of local businesses in the province are composed of MSMEs.

The center provides various assistance from product conceptualization, development, packaging, promotion, and marketing including funding assistance among others if needed. (Leilanie Adriano)

Leave a Reply