Home Top News SM Prime bolsters MSME growth and boom in the Philippines

SM Prime bolsters MSME growth and boom in the Philippines

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SM Supermalls continues its commitment to empower and enrich the growth of local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) by building a thriving ecosystem of entrepreneurship and innovation.

“MSMEs are our local partners in generating value across all the communities we operate in,” said Steven Tan, President of SM Supermalls. “With 99.59% of the local economy composed of MSMEs, the persistence and vibrancy of local trade as well as the generation of jobs on the micro, small, and medium scale hinges on their success.”

In line with this, SM Supermalls continues to implement various programs and plan opportunities for MSMEs to grow their customer base through the vast network of SM malls in the country. With 67% of its tenants being MSMEs, these programs empower entrepreneurs by providing them with accessible and affordable prime retail spaces in SM’s high-foot traffic malls, as well as helpful packages to support their growth.

Marketplace for Success

Various local products sold by SM for MSMEs’ purveyors

“Because SM has been an established brand for over three decades, perhaps people have forgotten that we started out as a small enterprise ourselves,” said Tan. “Our own experience emphasizes the value in supporting our MSMEs and has given us valuable insight we can use to further support this crucial sector in line with the government’s efforts.”

Last May, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) introduced the fourth iteration of the national MSME Development Plan geared to reduce operational costs and eliminate barriers for new entrepreneurs. Through the plan’s implementation, the DTI hopes to grow the number of registered MSMEs, improve their contribution to the larger local economy, and support continual job creation.

The “SM for MSMEs” program supports budding entrepreneurs in overcoming three key challenges they usually face — access to a diverse group of customers, the high cost of traditional operational requirements like rent, and competition with established brands for attention and patronage. Serving as a marketplace for entrepreneurs facing difficulties finding the right venue and market, SM aims to be the incubator of the country’s next big brands.

“SM for MSMEs offer scalable packages to businesses in the communities around SM malls — for as low as P500 per day, small-scale businesses can rent a booth in SM’s high-foot traffic venues during regular exhibits and special events. The program currently has 633 purveyors nationwide, providing an affordable and strategic platform for entrepreneurs to sell their products and reach the right market.

Other Programs of SM for MSMEs

SM initiated its “StartUp Package” in 2021 to assist MSMEs in opening their first brick-and-mortar stores. The package provides startup-friendly rental rates within SM malls along with the free usage of kiosks and carts. Marketing assistance is also provided through free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces within the malls with valuable mentorship from its experts on operations and marketing. SM also offers financial assistance with BDO network bank. This program is currently running across five malls with 30 purveyors as of writing. Earlier this year, 44 StartUp Market purveyors successfully transitioned to SM tenants.

Supporting Farmers in our Rural Communities

The SM Sunday Market currently runs in 23 SM malls.

On top of these, SM helps support rural communities through opportunities for fair trade that also preserve its cultural heritage. The SM Sunday Market bazaar has been running since last year across 23 active and participating SM malls. Among its 135 purveyors are graduates of SM Foundation’s Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan program farmers who are local food and produce suppliers.

“Throughout SM’s decades of growth, we are familiar with the work and effort it takes to build a business from the ground up. Thus, with these programs SM aims to be a catalyst for the success of local MSMEs through support and tailored offers that further foster economic vitality and social well-being across all communities we operate in,” said Tan. “Because of the success we’ve been met with, not just on our own operations but with the programs and efforts we have initiated, we continue to pay it forward by supporting this crucial, underserved sector in the local economy.”

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