DAVAO CITY- Merkadu Inc. a private sector-led initiative to assist Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) market their products and develop their businesses was launched on the recent Kadayawan weekend (Aug. 17).
Heidi Villanueva, co-founder of Merkadu said the company provides an enabling environment for these MSMEs to thrive.
“According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, as of 2017 more than 99% of all registered establishments in the Philippines are MSMEs. Among the most common of them are wholesale & retail trade, and food and also according to the Davao City Business Bureau, they have recorded a total of 36,326 registered business establishments as of June this year,” Villanueva describes the potentials of the growing MSME in the country and in Davao City.
Among the services offered in the Merkadu platform include; a Plug-and Play Bazaar- for MSMEs to test market new products or grow their existing businesses, Merkadu Strip- A foodie hub with activities and entertainment, for local food businesses to serve gastronomically adventurous locals and tourists, Concept Store- for local businesses and creators to showcase and market their innovative products at relatively lower costs compared to main retail channels, Community space- For community events that inspire ideation, celebrates local culture, or engages us on relevant business and social concerns, Huddle and co-working space for homegrown innovators- where startup entrepreneurs, innovators, project managers, and creators can work together and huddle to learn, engage, or design products and ideas.
The company has a five-year tie-up with NCCC Mall in Buhangin where the space for the platform is realized. The mall’s Sky Garden is the hub of Merkadu’s activities.
“Here they don’t have to worry about the weather such as heavy rains which could disrupt their businesses, also they do not have to worry about security,” Villanueva said adding that the space is an ideal incubation hub for small businesses to test their markets.
Currently they have 12 existing booths which can be expandable with demand of additional MSMEs.
“Merkadu’s vision is to be Mindanao’s most diverse and multi-cultural market space for creativity, innovation and sustainability, and our mission is to create sustainable growth and market development opportunities for all aspiring entrepreneurs and MSMEs,” Villanueva said. (PIA/RG Alama)