BanKo, the microfinance arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), is on a mission to empower sustainable microenterprises through convenient and affordable microfinance products that promote economic growth and push for digitalization as a means of sustainability and financial inclusion.
“BanKo is serious in its commitment to be the trusted financial partner of the masang Pilipino. Our mission is to give them a better life today and nurture their future through easy access to affordable financial solutions,” said Rod Mabiasen, BanKo Business Head of Financial Inclusion and Microfinance Solutions.
This year, BanKo is aggressively opening more branches and launching digital tools and products to grow its rural footprint and customer base to provide financial services to more individuals and help more self-employed micro-entrepreneurs (SEMEs) grow their businesses.
BanKo together with Likhang Maragondon and Floro Capiz Handicrafts welcomed the Sustainability Fair attendees to their booth showcasing locally made handicrafts. Photo shows BanKo President Jerome Minglana (rightmost), Likhang Maragondon owner Catherine Unas Diquit (leftmost) and Floro Capiz Handicrafts owner Romel Floro (third from right) with some of the members of their respective teams.
Among its primary products that target the SEMEs is the NegosyoKo Loan, a micro business loan with affordable rates, flexible terms, and simple requirements that help micro-entrepreneurs in expanding their businesses.
In partnership with Innovative Research and Intelligent Solutions Corp (INNOVARIS), BanKo also launched the e’Nay app that will empower sari-sari store owners to quickly, easily, and conveniently order, manage, and pay for their inventory through the online platform.
BanKo also participated in BPI’s first “Green and Beyond Sustainability Fair,” held last June 2 to 4 at the Glorietta Activity Center, Makati City. The event encouraged the public to embrace a more sustainable lifestyle by raising awareness and fostering dialogue on sustainability. Throughout the three-day event, the BanKo booth showcased products handmade by its SEME clients, Likhang Maragondon and Floro Capiz Handicrafts.
Likhang Maragondon is a native products enterprise that taps into traditional craftsmanship of weaving and making bamboo products. On the other hand, Floro Capiz Handicrafts produces unique handmade capiz shell products such as parol, lamps, and ornaments.
BanKo also facilitated a coffee talk session with Catherine Unas Diquit, owner of Likhang Maragondon and Romel Floro, owner of Floro Capiz Handicrafts where they talked about how their social enterprises have adopted sustainability in their products and operations, and how BanKo has supported their business expansion and innovation initiatives.
“We are only a three-year old company but we are thankful that BanKo and BPI helped us grow our business. We have one rural bank in Maragondon [Cavite], and we are grateful that BanKo is also present in our area. What I like about them is the fast approval and approachable staff,” said Diquit.
“And if you are a microbusiness with a limited budget, it is difficult to fund your business innovations. We’re grateful that BanKo is there to help small enterprises. We were able to use the loan instantly,” she added.
The same goes with Floro – the loan that he received from BanKo was able to sustain his business, especially as they navigated the pandemic and transitioned to post-pandemic operations.
“This is the very reason that BanKo exists – to promote financial inclusion by providing access to easy, convenient, and affordable loan products to fund the operations or grow the businesses of SEMEs, as these strengthen their financial capacities,” said Mabiasen.
To date, BanKo has over 300 branches in 75 provinces, and has disbursed loans to more than 270,000 microbusiness owners since 2017. As of March this year, the NegosyoKo Loan portfolio grew 24% year-on-year, with record-high P3 billion in loans to over 40,000 clients.
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