Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV was in Bacolod City yesterday to check the provincial Negosyo Center and make sure that it continues to cater to the needs of the Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs of Negros Occidental.
At the Seminar on Entrepreneurship of the Department of Trade and Industry at the Negosyo Center, Aquino encouraged MSMEs to make the Negosyo Centers as their “second home” so they could connect with big and established business entrepreneurs and learn from them.
The event was attended by around 15 micro and small business owners around the province, government agencies and DTI partner agencies in Negros Occidental, like ONOPRA, ANP and NOFP.
“We are doing this in all Negosyo centers in the country and we see to it that it will become a focal point for those wanted to start or expand their business through raising their concerns on enterprising,” Aquino said.
On his his authored Go Negosyo Act, DTI has already exceeded their target to create 300 Negosyo Centers nationwide this year, with six in the province.
He added that these NCs are venues to inform the people and help their business grow by keeping updated on the programs of the government and advice from the business counselors in the center.
Aquino lauded the private business sectors that help in the Negosyo Center small and starting entrepreneurs through the Mentor Me program.
The Negosyo Centers provide free entrepreneurial trainings, one-on-one interaction with the business counselors, as well as directly addresses the concerns and queries of the MSMEs.
“Around 97-99 percent of businesses in the Philippines are MSMEs and they need help from the government,” Aquino said, adding, “We need to focus on their need to make their business successful.”
Aquino also said that, together with the DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez is also working on increasing the number of plantilla positions in the NCs to regularize those who are helping small-time entrepreneurs, especially the business counselors.
Aquino, who also chairs the Committee of Education in the senate, added that he will further connect with colleges and universities to tap help, especially from business and commerce students, to reach out to these MSMEs through integration of their lessons in school.
He also hopes that the Negosyo Centers will be saturated and sees more successful MSM entrepreneurs in five years' time.*Mark L. Garcia
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