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Cebuana Lhuillier unveils one-stop business hub to accelerate growth of MSMEs

Microfinance services provider Cebuana Lhuillier introduced on Thursday its Kanegosyo Center, which serves as a hub for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to access business loans, expand market reach, and benefit from free growth tools and training programs.

“These are significant elements that were lacking in the past,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and chief executive officer of PJ Lhuillier Group of Companies, during the launch event. 

“These initiatives will enable aspiring entrepreneurs to apply for funding and receive coaching to start or sustain their businesses,” he added.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, nearly all businesses in the Philippines, categorized as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), make up 99.58% of the total. 

These MSMEs created 5,461,731 jobs and generated P2.09 billion in sales in 2021 alone.

“We are working together very closely down the same direction with the private sector to be competitive worldwide,” said President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr., on the administration’s plans for economic regeneration in his keynote speech during the launch event.

“And find ourselves as an investment destination and thriving economy with a stable situation and aspirations,” he added.

Mr. Marcos said that education is a crucial part of regenerating MSMEs, alongside public-private partnerships claiming to unite the country toward economic solution.

Kanegosyo Center is a long-term government partnership that aims to provide growth in the support and development of MSMEs through comprehensive curated offerings in resources and assistive interventions.

It is an open ecosystem that provides access to micro loans, micro insurance bundles, and savings account.

It will include micro investment and sales systems (Kanegosyo Bundles), expertise support through a free mentorship program (Kanegosyo Coach), and free assistance and guidance on government processing requirements (Kanegosyo Assist).

Kanegosyo Center will employ a ‘tech-brick’ approach where online resources are supplemented with onground coaching with local government units (LGUs).

Follow-up sessions with MSME mentees will be done every 30 and 60 days, according to Mr. Lhuillier.

Privete partnerships consist of organizations such as Go Negosyo, independent asset management company ATRAM, and MSME super app ENSTACK. 

Government partnerships include the Department of Trade and Industry, the Cooperative Development Authority, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

Given the project’s open ecosystem, other institutions are encouraged to partner with Cebuana Lhuillier to expand the range of options for MSMEs. 

“If there are other banks, institutions, private entities, and fintechs who wants to serve the MSMEs, we will gladly partner with them,” said Annette Yvette W. Tirol, senior vice president at Cebuana Lhuillier. 

Kanegosyo Center will start availability in 22 LGUs around the country with dedicated people manning the kiosks, according to Mr. Lhuillier.

“We’ve given around almost 9,000 people loans already in the last two months,” Mr. Lhuillier said on the pilot launch of the project. 

“We’re targeting north of 35,000 to 40,000 [more MSMEs to onboard] on top of that number,” he added. — Miguel Hanz L. Antivola

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