Nearly two years since the pandemic started, many businesses have been brought to a screeching halt, forcing many Filipinos to look for livelihood in other places. Most have turned to online businesses due to the need for social distancing. If you’re one of many budding Filipino entrepreneurs, you might want to check out this new program from SM Supermalls.
A surge of online businesses over pandemic
According to a 2020 Asian Development Bank (ADB) study of 1,804 Philippine MSMEs, 70.6% were forced to temporarily close with 66.2% reported to have temporary staff cuts during the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Despite these statistics, Filipinos found many opportunities in online businesses. In fact, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) recorded over 88,000 new e-commerce registrations at the end of 2020, with a total of 500,000 overall. This figure is projected to be a million e-commerce enterprises by 2022. By taking advantage of the online space, MSME owners have become unsung heroes of the economy, all the while providing for their families and making their business dreams a reality.
SM recognizes this reality
SM Supermalls understands the potential of each Filipino to be successful business owners because at one point, SM was essentially a start-up. Their founder, the late Mr. Henry Sy found his start as a small business owner with his first footwear shop ShoeMart. That’s why SM believes it is in their DNA to enable and inspire small businesses like the one it once was.
So now SM wants to give back
And they’re doing it through The SM StartUp Package. Last October 15, on Sy’s birthday, SM launched this new program, which aims to provide small online businesses the valuable support they need so they can set up their own shop in an SM mall.
Who can get it?
The SM StartUp Package is available to the first 100 digital-based MSME owners who currently don’t have a shop inside SM or any other physical store in general. That means if you’re a budding online MSME owner, you’ve got a chance!
What are the features of the package?
The SM StartUp Package can provide you with different features such as start-up friendly rental rates and use of kiosks or carts free of charge; marketing assistance to give the brand free exposure in SM online assets and ad spaces inside malls; financial assistance with BDO; and mentorship from SM experts on operations and marketing.
Where will it be located?
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MSME owners who get the chance to have The SM StartUp Package will be able to join the so-called StartUp Markets in SM Supermalls. These StartUp Markets will be situated in prime mall locations within 13 regional and premier malls in major cities, namely: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier.
These start-up entrepreneurs have already found success with the help of SM
Despite facing challenges, many entrepreneurs were able to grow their businesses with the help of SM Supermalls. This includes entrepreneurs like Chizmozza founder Hannah Ramos, who sold her own mozzarella recipe online before opening her food cart at SM; Ian Darcy, who started his namesake fragrance brand after being forced to resign from his marketing job; and Oishii Maki chef Randy Molina, who started a sushi and maki business at SM after working as an Overseas Filipino as a Japanese Chef in 5-star hotels.
“I took a chance to grow Chizmozza from an online store to having one humble food cart in SM North Edsa back in 2016,” Ramos said. “Now Chizmozza has 21 SM branches. They saw the potential of our unique cheese products and through our mutual hard work and perseverance, we grew, even through the pandemic.”
So how can you sign up?
Interested in growing your business with SM Supermalls? You need to meet the following criteria:
- an existing business operating for three (3) years or less, no existing physical store;
- the business has to fit the definition of a micro-enterprise: (1) has 1-9 employees; (2) has a maximum of PHP 3 million in asset size;
- online or kiosk concept must be that of an original, homegrown brand; and
- the business must have complete business registration and tax documents
And you need to submit the following requirements:
- registration form;
- tenant application form;
- company profile;
- product photos with price photos;
- top 5 selling products;
- link to your online store or e-commerce website; and
- business registrations and certifications.
Head on to the SM Supermalls website to find out more about the program and how to apply.