Department of Trade and Industry-Export Marketing Bureau (DTI-EMB) Director Senen M. Perlada encouraged entrepreneurs to “platformize” or use online platforms to promote their businesses, both in local and global markets. He said that this is part of the digital transformation entrepreneurs would have to go through to thrive in the new normal.
Perlada was among the panelists in the webinar “Global Innovation Mindset: How Filipino Entrepreneurs Can Shape the World” on 11 June 2020. The panel was organized by eCommerce startup eCFULFILL and tackled how micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can reach global markets in these uncertain times.
He was joined by eCFULFILL CEO Neptune Factor, AIM Dado Banatao Incubator Executive Director Prim Paypon, and Kumu Founder Roland Ros. JT Solis, eCFULFILL Vice President for Business Development and Partnerships, moderated the webinar.
eCFULFILL is a Filipino startup that connects MSMEs to global eCommerce platforms like Amazon, ebay, Etsy, etc. Local brands like Ampalaya Plus, Factor said, are now selling at premium prices in the internal market through their platform.
The AIM Dado Banatao Incubator is a startup incubator that’s home to more than 30 startups, including Kumu and eCFULFILL. Other startups include Stride Collective, which aims to make Marikina shoes globally competitive and Marikina to be known as the home of most innovative shoemakers.
Kumu Founder Roland Ros shared how he created Kumu, a Filipino-founded live streaming app that now has 4 million installs and 1 million active users. He said what makes Kumu different from other social media platforms is that since it uses live stream, there is no pressure to picture-perfect and no anonymity to encourage troll-like behavior.
Meanwhile, the DTI-EMB champions MSMEs through its various initiatives of getting them to export, including a partnership with eCFULFILL. The bureau also supports startups through QBO and partnership with the Departments of Science and Technology (DOST) and Information and Communications Technology (DICT).
The panelists shared the following insights on how Filipino entrepreneurs can thrive during and after the Covid-19 pandemic:
“We have to innovate or we will evaporate. Innovative Filipinos will make the new normal, whatever that might be. We’re still on our way there. But I’m certain that with Filipino innovation, we can make the new normal a better normal,” said Director Perlada.
Importance of community
“If a company has to pivot or has to go out of business, really having all of us communicate with each other and seeing if we could make a hire or maybe we could do a business partnership, or introduce you to investors. That is definitely something I do want to stress is the importance of community during this difficult time,” said Ros.
Study the crisis
“I encourage everyone to study the crisis and the problems around them. Because these things create and define necessity. And we all know that necessity is the mother of invention. If you find yourself with a possible innovation, try and grow it with like-minded individuals…Once you hold a potential idea, dream big and take the Philippines with [you],” said Paypon.
Don’t be afraid to ask
“Don’t be afraid to ask…There will always be people that will help. Second is to really love the Philippines. Not just love but [be proud] of what we can do, what our products are. Hindi siya basta-basta. We have very creative and innovative people.” said Factor.