Have a hundred pesos? Attend a training and earn

This and 11 other practical trainings for micro- and small enterprises are open to the public at affordable registration fees – from P100 to P750, Sofronio Jucutan, past president of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI), announced Friday.

Jucutan heads the committee preparing for the Small and Medium Enterprise Week on July 17-21. He also heads the public-private sector council for Davao City's Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED).

The trainings this year include basic courses on community and self-managed enterprise, on preparing a business plan, and on intellectual property rights for SMEs, as well as knowing the basics of industrial and human relations.

There are also specialization trainings on packaging and marketing of ethnic commodities, energy audit forum for SMEs, business prospects of medical transcription, business registration forum, designing an accounting system and filing, preparation of income tax returns, emerging food safety issues, and information and technology (IT) solutions for  SMEs. 

The one-session courses will be held in the function rooms of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), University of the Philippines in Mindanao, Ateneo de Davao University, and in other venues.  

Jucutan told MindaNews that SMED also offers monthly courses in other fields, such as the 10-session "How to Start a Business" entrepreneurial development course.  The course is P1,500 per session.

The course offering would be expected to encounter some problems, mainly attitudinal, he said.

Jucutan said many micro- and small entrepreneurs “want it [a course] always free, but they really have to invest in it".

"We have to train so that there will be more business and more employment too," he said.

Since 2000, SMED has organized trainings during the annual SME Week, said Jacky Flores, SMED's aide for training and consultancy. Flores said around 1,500 home and community-based micro and small entrepreneurs have attended different courses.

Jucutan said that the trainings are intended to help SMEs which “have difficulty competing with branded products.” But the bigger problem among these enterprises is access to capitalization, he added.

But Jucutan said “there are already mechanisms taken to aid SMEs gain more access to capital and lessen barriers, like offering tax holidays.”

According to the National Statistics Office, of the 35,886 micro-small-medium enterprises in Southern Mindanao as of 2001, about 91.4 percent were micro enterprises, or those whose capital are below P3 million. Small enterprises, with P3 million to P50 million capitalization, made up 7.8 percent.

Both the medium scale enterprises, with P50 million to P100 million capitalization, and the large companies barely made up one percent of the number of enterprises in Southern Mindanao. (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)