Business consortium to push e-commerce to SMEs in Visayas


The Ureka forum, a consortium of big businesses, recently disclosed its plan to promote e-commerce among small and medium enterprises in the Visayas, following a similar campaign in Northern Luzon in October last year.

Led by the Union Bank, the forum aims to help local small businesses take advantage of digital technology to expand their market reach and raise their productivity.

The other members of the forum are Air21 Global Inc., Advanced Manufacturing Technology Inc., DragonPay Corp, and, representing government, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

“SMEs need to raise their game to a higher level to be competitive both in the local and global markets. And the best option to be a force to be reckoned with in business is to pursue the digital route,” explained UnionBank president Edwin R. Bautista.

However, even as they predominate the economy, only one per cent of SMEs have a working website, in what UnionBank executive vice president Genaro V. Lapez calls a “catch 22” situation.

Citing  that 47 million Filipinos wired to the Internet and 26 million using smart phones, Lopez  pointed out a major “disconnect” that has to be addressed.  He said this is the reason why “Union Bank partnered with industry leaders and experts to empower SMEs to take advantage of technology and turn local businesses into global enterprises via e-commerce.”

The Ureka Forum was launched in Baguio late last year.

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