INCUBATOR StartUp Village will launch an 18-month small business support program funded through a grant from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The company’s Project Match will link startups and micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) to financing and mentorship through a digital platform.

The project was also designed to help MSMEs digitize by connecting them to startups that can provide technology.

“We connect MSMEs and startups by providing them with the additional resources needed for this to happen. We educate the MSMEs and startups,” StartUp Village President Carlo Calimon said at a virtual event Thursday. “In the process, they will need additional financing to grow their respective products.”

Project Match aims to increase revenue and reduce costs for MSMEs through digital tools, provide access to financial and digitization resources, and provide financial education.

The small businesses will be linked to chatbot, digital banking, and e-commerce services startups.

“Because of the pandemic, we saw lots of challenges with regards to financing. The challenge is really how to access these loans. Banks are there — they would want to give assistance,” USAID Deliver Project MSME Competitiveness Lead Leandro Gazmin said.

“But really the challenge is matching them and how the enterprises would be capable or upgrade their capabilities to be compliant with the requirements of the loans.” 

The project is also backed by the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Information and Communications Technology, along with QBO Philippines, IdeaSpace, and Impact Hub Manila. — Jenina P. Ibañez



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