SM’s inclusive growth puts MSMEs at the heart of its operations



The Manila Times

Financial Times

Every time an MSME succeeds, it helps the country’s economy. SM Investments Corporation (SM Investments), the leading conglomerate in the country, recognizes this potential as it continues to provide growth opportunities to its MSME partners across its core businesses: retail, property, and banking. With over 99% of business enterprises operating in the Philippines listed as micro, small, and medium enterprises, the opportunity for growth exhibits considerable promise. The success of these MSMEs directly contribute to the development of the economy nationwide. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, businesses from this sector created 5.46 million jobs or 64.67% of the country’s total employment. Serving MSME partners SM Supermalls’ strong ties to its communities contribute to local economic growth with 68% of its tenants representing the MSME sector. Additionally, SM’s role as a marketplace for over 90,000 MSMEs helps its communities navigate the changing landscape of modern retailing. In terms of financial support, SM extended additional funding to MSMEs through its banks BDO Unibank Inc. and China Banking Corporation. The two banks combined accounted for over PHP62 billion in outstanding loans to MSMEs in 2022. BDO’s community banking arm BDO Network Bank provides financially inclusive programs in the regions through access to funds. Through the MSME Kabuhayan Loan, BDO assists small business owners in need of extra funding to increase their inventory of stocks, purchase business equipment and assets, or pursue expansion plans. The SM StartUp Market, one of SM’s MSME support initiatives, recently launched its second batch of new businesses that joined the program in SM City Fairview earlier this year. The first batch of these budding enterprises was launched in October 2021 to help online businesses set up THEIR fiRST PHYSICAL STORES. THE PACKAGE COMES WITH start-up-friendly rates and the use of kiosks or carts free of charge. SM remains dedicated to the community where it operates by engaging with key leaders in both the public and private sectors to create a thriving environment for MSMEs. In this year’s National MSME Summit, SM Investments Vice Chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson noted the importance of working together referring on how MSMEs are integrated into the company. “Starting as a small enterprise ourselves, we recognize MSMEs as a driving force for innovation,” she said. “They are the ones who bring new ideas, new concepts, new offerings to the consumers. That’s why we remain committed to supporting the growth and empowerment of MSMEs.”