Puerto Princesa MSMEs connect to bigger opportunities through PLDT, Smart ‘Speed Dating Business Edition’

Businesses can reach greater heights with the help of the right partner that can lead them to resources, opportunities, and innovations that will help them reach a wider market and increased income.

PLDT and Smart, through their corporate business arm, PLDT Enterprise, recently hosted the latest “Speed Dating: Business Edition” event at Costa Palawan Resort in collaboration with the Puerto Princesa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The ‘speed dating’ activity connected around 30 small- and medium-sized enterprise owners and managers to experts in financial, technical, marketing, and other strategies that could help them boost their profitability.

The event featured learning sessions on the Smart Messaging Suite, a text messaging platform that businesses can use as an effective go-to-market strategy; and the eBizNovation program, PLDT and Smart’s collaboration with TikTok Shop which seeks to upskill micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become digital merchants.

Mentors included representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry, Smart, TikTok Shop, Cisco, PLDT’s accredited channel partner AllConnect, the Department of Trade and Industry’s Small Business Corporation, and Soprano, Smart’s technology partner for A2P messaging.

“Our goal for this speed dating event is to give SMEs access to technology, financial services, and go-to-market strategies to boost their competitiveness and drive them to success, not only here in Puerto Princesa but also across the whole province of Palawan,” said Rafael Davila, SMBiz Regional Luzon Business Head, PLDT Enterprise.

“At PLDT and Smart, we harness technology to help provide better opportunities for all. eBizNovation is our digital upskilling to e-commerce program where we help MSMEs gain skills that they can use to better market their products and services on various digital platforms,” said Stephanie Orlino, Stakeholder Management Head, PLDT and Smart.

Ampy Esguerra, one of the participants during the ‘speed dating’ event, said the activity would help her expand her network and opportunities for her Ampstudio and Printing business in Puerto Princesa.

“This activity could help me reach out to more prospective clients. It was very enlightening. I realized I can use all these tools to further my business. I learned something new, like TikTok—it’s not only for entertainment, but it could also be used for shopping. I thought if I could use these tools, my business would expand greater,” said Esguerra.

Grace Laraga, owner of Hilltop Printshoppe souvenir items business, also expressed her appreciation after joining the activity.

“This event was very helpful, especially because my husband and I have always wanted to widen Hilltop’s reach beyond Palawan. I was inspired by TikTok’s presentation and learned that there are so many opportunities in the digital space,” said Laraga.

PLDT and Smart have been supporting MSMEs through upskilling programs, technology, and innovative solutions that can help grow their businesses. This initiative highlights the group’s commitment to UN Sustainable Development Goal No. 1: No Poverty, and No. 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth; and highlights support for the government’s Go Digital Pilipinas Movement, as a founding member of the Digital Infrastructure pillar of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC).