Small businesses, startups need more funding options, says SEC

Small businesses, startups need more funding options, says SEC

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said available financing instruments for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need to be expanded to boost their business operations.

“In our continuous bid for financial inclusion, we recognize that there really is a need to broaden the financing instruments available for MSMEs,” SEC Commissioner Karlo S. Bello said during the 11th and last leg of the commission’s 2023 nationwide roadshow on capital formation for MSMEs and startups held in Tacloban City on Dec. 7.

“Together with our industry partners, we wish to present the different ways you can acquire financing through the capital market in order to jumpstart your business or expand your operations,” he added.

With this, the SEC pitched crowdfunding as an “accessible and viable capital-raising option for MSMEs and startups for their business expansion.”

The corporate regulator defines crowdfunding as a fundraising activity done by startups and SMEs where the public can fund a business idea via an online platform.

“It is unmistakable that MSMEs and startups have a crucial role in driving economic growth, fostering innovation, and generating employment,” Tacloban City Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez said in his opening remarks delivered by City Planning and Development Coordinator Janis Claire S. Canta.

“Understanding the challenges they face in accessing capital and in navigating the financial market, we have committed ourselves to create an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and investment,” he added.

In February, the SEC’s roadshow was done in Cebu, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Bacolod, Legazpi, Iloilo, Clark in Pampanga, Baguio, and Metro Manila. The roadshow attracted around 1,500 in-person at-tendees and over 8,000 online attendees.

Meanwhile, the SEC launched the Call-a-Friend and Engage with SEC (CAFÉ SEC) platform during the roadshow to give startups more opportunities to explore financing options in the capital market.

CAFÉ SEC is a channel for roadshow participants to reconnect with crowdfunding intermediaries and the Philippine Stock Exchange, Inc. for questions regarding their financing needs, and additional information on capital market-based products and services.

The newly launched initiative set the start of weekly consultation meetings on Dec. 13, with succeeding meetings scheduled every Wednesday. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave