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APEC week was truly successful.
Go Negosyo was privileged enough to partner with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and Asia Society, both headed by industry icon Doris Magsaysay-Ho, in mounting the APEC SME Summit, held in GreenSun, Makati, last Nov. 17. President Aquino and some of his Cabinet secretaries, together with our entrepreneurship advocate in the Senate, Sen. Bam Aquino, likewise joined the Summit to give importance to the sector and how we can all rally the support it needs to elevate the competitiveness and innovativeness of SMEs to push them to grow and expand. As SMEs account for 99.6 percent of the number of enterprises, they play a major role in having growth that is more inclusive and beneficial to a wider base of the population.
The SME Summit was jampacked with an SRO crowd of over 2,000 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs, business leaders, and young and aspiring entrepreneurs.
President Aquino keynoted the summit, where he encouraged SMEs to inject innovation and greater competitive value-adding to be able to grow. He cited a number of SME programs like Shared Service Facilities, and the setting up of Go Negosyo Centers under the Go Negosyo Act that are being built around the country to assist micro SMEs.
The Summit featured leading innovative entrepreneurs and thought leaders in the world such as the passionate founder of AirAsia Tony Fernandes, Uber’s chief adviser David Plouffe, Barbara Navarro of Google, Josette Sheeran of Asia Society, Scott Anthony of Innosight, Wendy Kopp of Teach-for-All, Nix Nolledo of Xurpas, Fil-Ams Shiela Marcelo of Care.com, Dado Banatao of Tallwood Capital Ventures, Maria Ressa of Rappler, Dexter Ligot Gordon of Kalibrr and Angelo Umali of Simple Wearables, to name a few.
The summit was definitely a unique advanced experience for all those who attended. They heard about innovative ways to grow, out-of-the-box ideas, newfound inspiration and encouragement, the importance of disruptive innovations, the need for value creation, growth strategies, competency-building, the humility to accept mistakes and correct them at once, and the essence of customer satisfaction.
Enhancing SME growth potential through innovation, moreso through disruptive innovation and the use of technology can surely lead to a more robust SME sector, which will lead to a more inclusive economy, to make sure that nobody is left behind.