All over the Philippines, entrepreneurs sell everything from food to jewelry, accessories, to health supplements. The Philippine Institute for Development Studies says 99 percent of business establishments in the country are micro, small and medium enterprises.  

Creating jobs for many Filipinos and raising the quality of life of their families, increasing trade and promoting community development, MSMEs have become the backbone of the country’s economy, helping fuel the country’s financial growth.

But many challenges hinder the growth of MSMEs, such as lack of facilities and a good marketing strategy to promote their products, as well as knowledge on how to grow and achieve success that is sustainable.

Prescripto, Maxi Mango and Zubuchon are three MSMEs that were able to overcome challenges to grow and achieve success.

Perfume brand Prescripto started as a small home-grown enterprise. Prescripto owner Marnie Alcantara said, “On our first day as a business, my brother and I did the selling in a small stall in SM Southmall. We did not have any sales background. And like many new entrepreneurs, we worried because we were not businessmen. We did not do any marketing work—no advertising, promotions or celebrity endorsers because we could not afford them.”

Soft serve dessert brand Maxi Mango was founded by a young married couple Miki and Ivan Velasquez, who had their roots in Davao. Miki said, “We were OFWs [overseas Filipino workers] in London. We decided to come home to start our own business. We launched our first Maxi Mango pop-up with a lot of trepidation.” 

Sustainability is a key measure of success for Maxi Mango and other MSMEs. Starting out as a soft serve ice cream business, Maxi Mango worked with different ingredients and flavors and struck gold by focusing on one flavor:  mango float in a cup. The innovation has helped Maxi Mango firmly establish itself as a viable enterprise.

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