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The Philippine STAR champions SMEs in ‘Nakakalocal’ project

By LAI S. REYES, The Philippine STAR Published May 20, 2022 3:00 pm Updated Jun 07, 2022 5:49 pm

The pandemic has forced the hands of many Filipinos to augment their income by selling assorted stuff online—from homecooked and ready-to-cook food items to groceries, medical supplies, consumer tech products, fitness equipment, bicycles, even gardening tools and implements.

Not all attempts have been successful though. But for every kitchen god and goddess with a blah Dalgona coffee or the best sushi bake recipe, a new entrepreneur with the next big thing is ready to take his/her place.

And just as the economy is starting to open up again, The STAR wants to keep the momentum going by encouraging MSMEs to create more innovations.

A helping hand

SMEs are the economic lifeblood of the Philippines. They account for more than 99% of the registered businesses in the country and provide 60% of jobs.

And so, the PhilSTAR Media Group led by the Philippine STAR puts the spotlight on local small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in its latest campaign dubbed “Nakakalocal: Love Local, Grow Global,” which will be launched on June 12.

According to PhilSTAR Media Group executive vice president Lucien Dy Tioco, this initiative was brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As businesses came to a halt because of the government-imposed lockdown, a slew of new products and services were pushed online. Most of these finds are undiscovered gems,” shares Dy Tioco. “Despite the crisis, Filipino resiliency and creativity were pushed to a new level. And that’s something every Juan should be proud of.”

This advocacy is designed to help SMEs that have difficulty accessing knowledge and resources that would give them more leverage.

Indeed, the proliferation of MSMEs during the pandemic brought excitement to our otherwise uncertain lockdown lives.

“And that digitalization had given everyone equal opportunities to thrive and scale up,” notes Dy Tioco. “Innovation and Filipino ingenuity are the catalysts to bringing up local products and services to a whole new level.”

We want to work with companies who can best represent our culture, history or identity in what they make and promote.

And just as the economy is starting to open up again, The STAR wants to keep the momentum going by encouraging MSMEs to create more innovations — proudly-made Filipino products and services — that will help boost the economy and Filipino pride by using The STAR’s various platforms.

This nationwide online initiative is aimed at giving SMEs an opportunity to showcase their wares and business profiles and, at the same time, contribute to nation-building.

“We believe SMEs are vital drivers of economic growth in the country,” enthuses Dy Tioco. “So we plan to support them by offering ourselves as a platform for their creative products and their inspiring stories.

This advocacy is designed to help SMEs that have difficulty accessing knowledge and resources that would make them more productive and business owners who are afraid of leveraging the power of social media.

“Beyond the use of our many diverse platforms, we are also creating a venue for SMEs to connect with mentors, learn new skills and discover techniques to nurture future growth together with our supportive partners who share our vision,” adds Dy Tioco.

Indeed, “Nakakalocal” is the perfect platform even for aspiring entrepreneurs, students, even homemakers who wish to build their own business and hopefully scale up.

What’s in store for SMEs?

Leading to its launch on June 12, “Nakakalocal: Love Local, Grow Global” will feature (on print and online) an integrated media campaign through “Starting Up,” a series of featured articles and video content on successful SMEs and the “Next Big Thing” in various industries: Food and Delicacies, Digital Technology, Home Furniture, Jewelry and Accessories, Clothing, and Health Essentials.

From the roster, the “Nakakalocal” program will take 36 selected SMEs — The STAR SMEs — in a full-year program of promotions, learning and mentoring sessions.

“One of the goals of this program is to create a roster of SMEs and connect them with The STAR’s institutional partners,” notes advertising guru Dy Tioco. “The ‘Nakakalocal’ program will focus on these pillars — Awareness (brand awareness, reach), Consideration (traffic, message), and Conversion (sales) to create a strong marketing promotional campaign.”

At The STAR, we believe that their success will enable an increase in job creation, heighten the Philippines’ global competitiveness, and promote innovation.

So what does it take to be a STAR SME?

For one, they should bring something new to the table, and a whole lot more:

  • A customer-centric business approach.
  • Delivers high-quality products and services with a strong and patriotic vision.
  • Should be determined to put the Philippines on the global map with their business.
  • Products and services should be a representation of Filipino culture and identity.
  • Supports sustainability.
  • Ethical and socially responsible.
  • Registered business.

“By providing their customers with a unique value, their products and services are innovative and creative,” shares Dy Tioco.

From June to October, it’s all about “Growing your Business.”

“In this phase, we will formally launch the ‘Nakakalocal’ advocacy campaign and focus on how to grow and take your business to greater heights,” discloses Dy Tioco. “This is where we will put the spotlight on SMEs and feature celebrity entreps.”

There will also be online bazaars, live selling, online talks, e-convention, mentoring, and business pitching.

How to stay on top of the game is the main highlight of “At the Peak,” which will run from November to December. In this phase, the program will focus on how to not lose the selling power.

“Nakakalocal” will feature inspiring stories of SMEs and tips from budding MSMes that started their journey with the campaign.

At The STAR, we believe that their success will enable an increase in job creation, heighten the Philippines’ global competitiveness, and promote innovation that, in turn, will stimulate domestic demand, contributing to the pursuit of economic prosperity.

On to greater heights

The STAR is excited to promote SMEs that are developing their products and services that can stand the test of time.

“We want to connect with businesses eager to put the Philippines on the global map with their own creativity,” stresses Dy Tioco. “We want to work with companies who can best represent our culture, history or identity in what they make and promote.”

“Nakakalocal” is for every SME that wants a door of possibilities open for their growth and expansion.

“We want to be the enabler of each partner SME’s success,” asserts Dy Tioco. “May ‘Nakakalocal’ be the first of many future endeavors that inspire more Filipinos to support local brands and showcase the ingenuity of the very best of local talent.”

Indeed, it’s the perfect time to “love local, grow global.”