Growing businesses, growing communities

Setting up your own shop and business is only the beginning. What comes next is an even bigger challenge: growth.

Members of local communities in Antique know the value of having their own business, but like other regions in the country, they lack the skills in management, marketing, and enough funds to turn their dreams into reality. For lack of knowledge and finances, it was common for many new entrepreneurs to be taken advantage of by opportunistic traders.

Considering this, Innovative Solutions (INSOL) worked to spur communities who were determined to succeed by setting up agriculture-related businesses and local retail trading. At its Enterprise Center, INSOL trained the residents of Antique in its Enterprise Center and taught them how to properly manage and grow their enterprise on their own.

However, helping communities set up their own local businesses is one thing. Making sure they continue to grow is another.

Many local micro-entrepreneurs did not have access to loans and funds to jumpstart their expansion. This meant they could not upgrade their equipment or buy more raw materials to increase their production.

To further support the development of the businesses they helped start, in 2011, INSOL made extra funds available for lending to local entrepreneurs. These loans were designed with flexible terms to make sure all enterprises would have the means to access the funds they needed to propel their businesses. As a result, business owners increased their revenue and created more jobs for the community as they hired more staff to sustain their growth and support their expansion.

Recognizing the similar needs in other regions, INSOL established additional Enterprise Centers and expansion in Rizal, Laguna, and Metro Manila. INSOL has since granted loans to 265 entrepreneurs, helping the development of communities in Antique and some parts of Southern Luzon.