Sorsogon SMEs benefit from micro-enterprise program

By Nikka Garriga

SORSOGON CITY, SORSOGON – From just a simple hobby, Yna Espedido was able to turn her crafts into a means of livelihood for herself and her community.

Yna’s Crafts and Clutter, which features handmade products made from various art forms, is among the upstart enterprises that the Rural Micro-Enterprise Promotion Program (RuMEEP) of Sorsogon was able to develop.

RuMEEP is a seven-year program assisted by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as the lead implementing agency.

According to RuMEEP Provincial Officer Merla Caguia, the initiative aims to develop Sorsogon’s micro-entrepreneurs to provide income not only to the family but to the entire community as well.

“Our goal is to provide the necessary interventions that would help sustain their businesses, from its humble beginnings as a household ‘sideline’ to the mainstream local market,” she explains

There are about 1, 043 existing and potential micro- and small and medium enterprises or MSMEs all over the province of Sorsogon currently under the RuMEEP.

Each has undergone trainings in business enterprise, product development and market assistance, among others.

Capitalizing on natural resources native to Sorsogon, the food items range from the famous pili nuts and tsokolate tableya to the dried bisugo and biribid or crispy rice nuggets.

The product line for the arts and crafts category consist of handmade novelty and house ware items sourced from indigenous materials such as the karagumoy vines, bariw, buri and bigaho among others.

“RuMEEP has continously been active in providing training to the weaving communities of Bakon District, Bulusan and Sta. Magdalena where the craft is a predominant activity,” Merla says.

Combining its potential and diversity, the RuMEEP hopes to increase the awareness of the public on these homegrown products and eventually gain support for its continuous development

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