917Ventures creates MSME ecosystem to address digitalization woes

  The Philippine government has made the digitalization of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) a  top priority  to spur the growth ...

 The Philippine government has made the digitalization of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) a top priority to spur the growth of the Philippine economy. In the 2023-2028 Philippine Development Growth Plan, the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) highlighted the need to provide targeted support to MSMEs in fast-tracking technology adoption, digitalization, and automation, to lead to higher productivity and greater innovation. 

“One of the most important things we learned in the past few years–and especially for MSMEs– is the importance of digitalization. It not only helps businesses keep up with the times but also ensures that they’re growing at pace with the digital economy,” said Natasha Bautista, 917Ventures’ Head of Growth and Programs. “There is still a lot of room for growth when it comes to increasing digitalization in the Philippines. In contrast to countries in the region, the Philippines' digital economy currently accounts for just 9.4% of our gross domestic product, whereas Vietnam stands at 14.26%, and Malaysia at 14%.”

917Ventures, the largest venture builder in the Philippines, supports MSMEs by providing them with the tools they need at every stage of their journey so they can become digital-first businesses and ensure that they achieve long-term success and sustainability.

“Whether it's providing them with initial capital, helping them get started online, or guiding their expansion to reach a wider audience, our comprehensive suite of solutions provides them with end-to-end support to take them where they want to go,” she added. “We have, to date, been able to support more than 10,000 MSMEs across our ventures and portfolio companies and we hope to expand our solutions to the 1 million MSMEs in the Philippines and help them with digitally transforming their businesses.”

Unlocking capital with FundSpace

For entrepreneurs who want to get started or level up but don’t have the funds to do so, there is FundSpace, a loan platform that offers a suite of financing options that cater to every business's needs. On FundSpace, businesses of all sizes can take a loan for amounts as little as  Php 50,000 to Php 100 million–one of the largest loan amounts available for local MSMEs.

“Securing capital is often one of the biggest hurdles to starting a business, which is why we created FundSpace–an easy and convenient platform where businesses can get the funds they need at low and flexible interest rates. Through FundSpace, they get cash quickly with its processing time that’s 12 times faster and disbursement that is eight times quicker than usual methods,” Bautista explained.

Upskilling to streamline operations with KodeGo and MemoApp

As businesses expand, the imperative to enhance skills and streamline operations becomes more evident than ever. Enter KodeGo, more than just a coding boot camp, it equips businesses with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in a digital world. Beyond traditional coding, KodeGo offers a wide array of digital courses that are indispensable for businesses looking to scale and optimize their processes. These courses cover a spectrum of essential skills, including full-stack web development, virtual assistance, bookkeeping, and artificial intelligence.

When it comes to streamlining processes, MemoApp takes the lead as it digitizes previously manual and paper-based processes to make them more intuitive, accessible, and efficient. With its swift workflow approval system, integrated e-signature feature, and easy access to fundamental document templates, MemoApp simplifies how businesses manage their operations.

Getting started online through RUSH

For businesses that want to embrace digitalization, the first step is to get your business online. RUSH is an all-in-one eCommerce platform that takes care of the entire purchase process – from discovery to delivery – empowering merchants to easily launch, manage, and scale their online stores.

RUSH enables merchants to create their e-commerce platform, their mobile app, and access to the GCash GLife Marketplace. It also offers an end-to-end loyalty management platform so businesses can continue to delight their customers by creating relevant and rewarding experiences.

Accessing a wider audience through m360 and Inquiro

Once businesses have successfully established their online presence, the next step is to strategically connect with their target audience and guide them toward the point of purchase. To accomplish this, companies can harness the power of m360's innovative multi-platform messaging solutions. These comprehensive tools empower businesses to effectively inform and engage their customers through a seamless blend of SMS and social media channels.

m360's multi-platform messaging solutions are key to delivering vital information, timely updates, and enticing promotions to customers. With the ability to reach customers where they are most active, businesses can foster stronger connections and drive higher conversion rates.

Furthermore, understanding customer behavior and preferences is paramount for the success of any marketing campaign. Inquiro’s data-driven solutions offer a suite of services designed to provide deep insights into the current customer base and the target audience. More than just analytics, Inquiro's solutions empower businesses to not only comprehend their existing customer demographics but also unearth untapped opportunities by identifying potential audiences beyond their current reach. Inquiro also offers Credibility Scoring that helps businesses assess the risk profile of customers by automating credit-related decision-making.

“Digitalization is not a destination; it's a journey. It's not just about going online; it's about embracing processes that enable businesses to not only exist in the digital realm but thrive, compete, and innovate within it. That’s what we provide with 917Ventures–an MSME ecosystem that will handhold you through every step of every business’ digital journey,” Bautista added.

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