Small and Medium Enterprises | Department of Trade and Industry

Frequently Asked Questions

Small and Medium Enterprises (SME)

1. What is the National Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Development Plan (Plan)? Who is the target market of the Plan?
The National SME Development Plan is a priority strategy for developing the SME sector that comprises 99.6% of the total Philippine enterprises. This is a government initiative for the SME sector in order to provide a strong domestic supply base for globally competitive industries.
2. Who are the agencies involved? What is the role of the DTI?
The Plan fuses together the different agencies of the Philippine government. The Department of Trade and Industry is the lead agency for the implementation of the Plan. Specifically, the bureaus involved are:
  • Bureau of Domestic Trade Promotion (BDTP)
  • Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development (BSMED)
  • Philippine International Trading Corporation (PITC)
  • Philippine Trade and Training Center (PTTC)
  • Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP)
  • Regional Operations Group (ROG)
  • Small Business Guarantee Finance Corporation (SBGFC)
  • Trade and Industry Information Center (TIIC)
3. What are the general objectives of the Plan?
The Plan hopes to achieve the expansion of the enterprise by graduating micro and small enterprises to higher levels of business undertakings and upgrading their productivity and value-added capabilities.
4. What are the specific objectives of the Plan?
The Plan has six-month objectives and three-year objectives.
a. Six-month (Jan-June 2003) objectives?
  • To increase the share of small and medium segments from 8.7% to 10% by fortifying micro-enterprises into small businesses and generating new ones
  • To strengthen 20 strategic SME Centers all over the Philippines
  • To intensify awareness of government initiatives to provide assistance to SMEs
b. Three-year objectives?
  • To increase the share of the Small and Medium segments from 8.7% to 12%
  • To increase productivity in terms of Gross-Value Added from 32% to 40% at the level of the Asian average
5. What are the basic strategies in implementing the Plan?
  • The Plan aims at a comprehensive and integrated approach to SME development
  • The Plan emphasizes the seamless access to government services
  • The Plan employs a supply-side push through financing, etc.
  • The Plan aims for localization to directly address the concerns of the SMEs
6. What are the elements of the Plan?
The Plan has five elements:
  • Financing
  • Human Resource Development / Entrepreneurship Training
  • Market Development
  • Product Development
  • Advocacy for Enabling Environment.
7. What website address will contain information about the Plan?
For more information about the Plan and other related materials, go to www.sbgfc.org.ph/smeplan
8. Who are the key contact persons?
SME - Project Management Office (SME-PMO):
Ms. Zorayda Amelia Alonzo
SME Core Group, National SMED Council
18th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero St, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Telephone: 810-5791 local 230 / 813-5720
Telefax: 813-5720
Email: sme-pmo@sbgfc.org.ph
Mr. Benel Lagua
SB Corporation
18th Floor, 139 Corporate Center, Valero St, Salcedo Village, Makati City
Telephone: 810-5791 or 95 / 813-5720 to 27
Fax No: 813-5726
Email: sbcorporation@sbgfc.org.ph
HRD / Entrepreneurship Training:
Ms. Adelaida Inton
Executive Director
Philippine Trade and Training Center
PTTC Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
Telephone: 834-1341 / 834-1344 to 49
Fax No: 834-1343
Email: pttc@netgazer.com.ph
Ms. Rhodora M. LeaƱo
Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprises Development
3rd Floor, Oppen Building, 349 Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: 890-5682 / 897-1680
Fax No: 896-7916
Email: bsmed@dti.dti.gov.ph
Product Development:
Ms. Minerva P. Franco
Executive Director
Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines
CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City
Telephone: 832-1112 to 18
Fax No: 832-3649
Email: pddcp@mozcom.com
Advocacy for Enabling Environment:
Ms. Minerva Fajardo
Executive Director
Trade and Industry and Information Center
4th Floor, Board of Investments Building, 385 Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
Telephone: 895-3611
Fax No: 895-6487
Email: MRFajardo@boi.gov.ph


1. What business is most viable to get into?
There are hundreds of businesses available. The viability of a business will largely depend on the following which an entrepreneur should analyze very well:
  • market niche that needs the product/services
  • knowledge of the product/services
  • location of the business
  • value-added of the product/services, in terms of quality and timeliness of delivery
  • promotion
  • availability of raw materials
  • after sales service
  • manufacturing capacity
2. Is there a need to prepare a business plan before implementing the business?
The business plan is a roadmap that will serve as a guide to the entrepreneur as he/she implements the business and as a monitoring and evaluation tool in assessing the progress of the business. It is not something that is permanent, but rather something that should be periodically updated as the market demand changes. Thus, the entrepreneur should seriously prepare the business plan before the start of the business.
All entrepreneurs, in one way or another, prepare a business plan. However, for the most part, a majority of entrepreneurs have their business plan residing in their minds or on little notes. When they started their businesses they relied solely on their gut-feel to tell them that their business idea is ok and that they should pursue it. But as the business progressed or investing more money into the business became more critical, these same entrepreneurs discovered how important it is to have a well-written business plan. So much so that they have had to hire a consultant to assist them in the preparation of the business plan.


1. What are the major financing programs under the Plan?
SULONG (SME Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth) Program is the brand name for the financing initiatives under the Plan. Under SULONG, government financial institutions (GFIs) have allocated P10 billion to lend out in the next six months. This will be achieved through the following:
  • Standardized Unified Lending Program by GFIs for SMEs
  • Standardized Accreditation Program by GFIs for rural and thrift banks
Moreover, the following policy, structural changes are being proposed to facilitate SME lending:
  • COA rules
  • BSP
  • Improvement of credibility of SB Corporation through sovereign guarantee and increased subscription
  • Operation of a credit bureau
  • Implementation of a credit rating system
In addition, the 'One Town, One Product, One Million Pesos' Program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is also a part of the Plan.
2. Whom do we contact for financing programs under the Plan?
You may contact Mr. Benel Lagua, President of SB Corporation, at telephone number 813-5791.
3. How can SMEs avail of the P10 billion funds being allocated by the government under SULONG?
SMEs can approach any of the following government financial institutions (GFIs):
  1. Development Bank of the Philippines
  2. Land Bank of the Philippines
  3. National Livelihood Support Fund
  4. Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corp.
  5. Philippine Export-Import Credit Agency
  6. Quedan & Rural Credit Guarantee Corporation
4. Will SULONG replace the other programs and products of the participating government financial institutions (GFIs)?
No, the loans under the SULONG program are IN ADDITION to the existing financial services of the participating GFIs.
5. Who qualifies to borrow under SULONG?
  • Enterprises in all industries except trading of imported goods, liquor, cigarettes and extractive industries.
  • Enterprises that are at least 60% Filipino owned, whose assets are valued at not more than P 100.00 M, excluding the value of the land, or subject to ownership rules as defined under existing Philippine laws for specific industries.
6. What type of loans may be funded?
  • For short-term loans, the entrepreneur may tap the program either for export financing (export packing credit) or a credit line for temporary working capital.
  • For long-term loans, SMEs may apply for loans for permanent working capital, or to purchase equipment, a lot or to construct a building/warehouse.
7. What is the maximum financing?
  • For short-term loans, the program can fund up to 70% of the value of the LC/PO (export packing), or 70% of working capital requirement (temporary working capital); maximum of P 5.0 M.
  • For long-term loans, 80% of the incremental project cost, maximum of P5.0M.
8. What is the repayment term?
  • For short-term loans, a maximum of one year.
  • For long-term loan, a maximum of five years, inclusive of a maximum of one year grace period on principal monthly amortization.
9. Are collateral required? If so, what assets are acceptable?
The program will not decline a loan only on the basis of inadequate collateral. However, the borrower must be willing to mortgage any available business and personal collateral, including assets to be acquired from the loan, to secure the borrowing.
The following are acceptable collateral: postdated checks, registered/ unregistered real estate mortgage (REM) / chattel mortgage (CHM), or the assignment of life insurance. In addition, for franchisees, the following may be considered: corporate guarantee and assignment of lease rights.
If the loan purpose is for export packing credit, a borrower may assign his letter of credit (LC)/PO or sales invoice.
10. What financial ratios/hurdles must a borrower meet?
The debt-equity ratio must at most be 80:20 after the loan. For franchisees, the required ratio is 70:30.
In addition, the borrower must show positive income for the preceding year. Should the SME borrower's financials show negative income in the past year, the government financial institution (GFI) may consider their average income for the last two or three years.
11. What is the interest rate for loans under this program?
The participating government financial institutions (GFIs) will charge the same rate for the program based on a regular review. In its program launch, the interest rate for loan releases until June 30, 2003 shall be: 9% for short-term loans; 11.25% for medium-term loans of up to 3-years and 12.75% for loans over 3-years to five years.
12. Aside from the interest rate, what fees must be paid?
A one-time application and evaluation fee of P2,000 for every P 1.0 M, a front-end fee of 1% of approved loan, and a commitment fee of 0.125% of the unavailed balance for long term loans.
13. How long does it take to process the loan?
This will depend on the government financial institution (GFI). For example, SB Corporation can process the loan within 2 weeks after receipt of complete documentation.
14. What is the One Town, One Product, One Million Peso Program?
The 'One Town, One Product, One Million Pesos' Program is a project of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo that seeks to enhance the stimulation of domestic demand through the development of small and medium-scale enterprises (SMEs) on a countrywide basis. For more information about the One Town Program, you may contact Director Andy Maquiling of the Office of the President at 734-2095.


1. What are the key training initiatives under the Plan?
The training and entrepreneurship development programs of the National SME Agenda seek to provide existing and potential entrepreneurs with the necessary skills and knowledge to become competitive players in the local or global market. It also seeks to create a pool of SME trainers, advisors and counselors who can effectively assist SMEs nationwide.
2. How can the SMEs avail of training programs? How much are the training courses?
Training programs are provided by both the private and government institutions and are available either for free or for a fee. SMEs must get in touch with the corresponding agency providing the training they would like to attend and register their names. They can check the major daily newspapers for the schedule or call Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) at telephone numbers 834-1344 to 49, or send a fax to 8341343 c/o Ms. Beth Manuel or Narcel. The seminar fees vary depending on the type and duration of the training.
Training programs are also available in the regions and provinces. They can check with the regional and provincial offices of the different agencies for the schedule.
The PTTC has come up with a compendium of training programs from which SMEs can check for the training schedule and contact information.
3. What is business counseling?
This is a service being provided to the SMEs wherein the business counselor explores with the entrepreneur the possible alternative solutions to the business management problems being encountered by the entrepreneur. The final decision, given the alternatives, still rests with the entrepreneur.
4. Where can I obtain a list of business counselors?
Business counselors are assigned to the SME Centers at the regional and provincial offices. SME Centers are the result of a joint undertaking by the private sector and government agencies, as initiated by the Department of Trade and Industry through its Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (DTI-BSMED). For more information, you may contact either Jerry Clavesillas or Dhel of BSMED at telephone numbers 897-1680 / 897-7596 / 890-4968, fax number 896-7916 or e-mail: bsmed@dti.dti.gov.ph.
5. How can I become a business counselor?
PTTC accredits individuals who successfully complete its Business Management Systems (BMS) course as business counselors. For more details on the BMS course, you may contact Ms. Beth Manuel at 831-9988 or 833-9325.
6. Where can I obtain training on how to prepare a business plan?
The Philippine Trade Training Center of the DTI (DTI-PTTC) provides training on business plan preparation. This is a 3-day program that will enable the participants to come up with a business plan for their enterprise. For the details and schedule you may contact either Ms. Beth Manuel or Narcel through telefax number 831-9988 / 833-9325, trunk line 834-1344 to -49 loc. 320 / 312 / 318, or via e-mail at tbmd@netgazer.com.ph.


1. What are the key marketing initiatives under the National SME Development Plan?
The marketing objectives of the Plan are to increase the exposure of SME products in domestic and foreign markets, and to improve the distribution of SME products among and between the local manufacturing and trade sectors. These will be done through the organization of trade fairs, the creation of buying and selling missions, the establishment of SME Trade Houses, and through the administration of buyer-supplier matching services.
2. Where and when are the international and national trade fairs and missions for 2003?
There are various international and national trade fairs mounted throughout the year by the Bureau of Small and Medium Business Development (BSMED), the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), and the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP). Please contact the respective agency for the schedules.
3/F, 349 Oppen Bldg., Sen. Gil Puyat
Avenue, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 897-1680 or 897-7596
Golden Shell Pavilion, Roxas Blvd.
Cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Pasay City
Tel. Nos.: 897-9659 or 890-5073
5/F & 8/F, New Solid Bldg.,
357 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Tel. No.: 890-5243 or 897-7610
2/F, 116 Tordesillas St., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 845-4776, 892-3335
3. What are the requirements to join the trade fairs?
Basic requirements include:
  • Registration of your business enterprise with the relevant government agencies (e.g. DTI, SEC, etc.)
  • Submission of accomplished application form
  • Payment of participation fee
Additional requirements may include:
  • Participation in training programs
  • Willingness to undergo product development
  • Track record of the company (years of operation, exports, sales, etc.)
More detailed information on participating in these trade events can be secured from the respective organizing agencies:
3/F, 349 Oppen Bldg., Sen. Gil Puyat
Avenue, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 897-1680 or 897-7596
Golden Shell Pavilion, Roxas Blvd.
Cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Pasay City
Tel. Nos.: 897-9659 or 890-5073
5/F & 8/F, New Solid Bldg.,
357 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 890-5243 or 897-7610
2/F, 116 Tordesillas St., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 845-4776, 892-3335
4. How much do I pay to participate in the trade fair?
The amount depends on the event and entitlements such as booth size, venue, and the number of fair days. More detailed information on the events of interest to you can be secured at the respective organizing agencies:
3/F, 349 Oppen Bldg., Sen. Gil Puyat
Avenue, Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 897-1680 or 897-7596
Golden Shell Pavilion, Roxas Blvd.
Cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Pasay City
Tel. Nos.: 897-9659 or 890-5073
5/F & 8/F, New Solid Bldg.,
357 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 890-5243 or 897-7610
2/F, 116 Tordesillas St., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 845-4776, 892-3335
5. How can I promote my product abroad?
You can participate in one of the international missions or trade fairs mounted by either the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) or the Bureau of Export Trade Promotion (BETP). Please contact these agencies for more details on the events.
Golden Shell Pavilion, Roxas Blvd.
Cor. Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Pasay City
Tel. Nos.: 897-9659 or 890-5073
5/F & 8/F, New Solid Bldg.,
357 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 890-5243 or 897-7610
2/F, 116 Tordesillas St., Makati City
Tel. Nos.: 845-4776, 892-3335
6. Where can I get a list of possible buyers for my product?
There are several ways through which you could find buyers for your product. One is to market your product amongst the members listed in the Trade Association Directory. A copy of the Directory can be obtained for P500 at the office of the Bureau of Domestic Trade (BDT), located at the Trade & Industry Bldg., 361 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City.
The BDT also provides market matching assistance to help locate buyers for your product. Online market matching services are also available through Tradeline Philippines and at DBP.
7. Where can I get a list of suppliers of manufactured goods?
The Bureau of Small and Medium Enterprise Development (BSMED) has a directory of the firms that participated in its National Trade Fair. For more information, you may visit the BSMED office at the 3rd Floor, Oppen Bldg., 349 Sen. Gil J. Puyat Avenue, Makati City, or call 897-1680 or 897-5775. You may also visit the CITEM web site at www.citem.com.ph. Online market matching services are also available through Tradeline Philippines and at DBP.


1. What are the key product development initiatives under the National SME Development Plan?
There are two main product development objectives under the Plan. The first is to create and sustain competitive advantage through product and package design and development, as well as through technology intervention. The second objective is to create an awareness and understanding of product development, its processes and how a company can use it to its advantage.
2. How can I avail of product development services?
There are several agencies that provide a variety of product development services and technology intervention assistance. Contact the agency that handles the type of service you need:
Product Development and Design Center of the Philippines (PDDCP) - the Product Clinic
Tel. Nos.: 832-1112 to 19; 833-7881
E-mail: pddcp@mozcom.com; pddcp@mozcom.com
Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI)
Tel. Nos.: 837-2071 to 82 loc. 2182
Technology Application & Research Institute (TAPI)
Tel. Nos.: 837-2071 loc. 2130
Metals Industry Research & Development Center (MIRDC)
Tel. Nos.: 837-2071 to 82 loc. 2407
Forest Products Research & Development Institute (FPRDI)
Tel. Nos.: (049) 536-2360, 536-2377
E-mail: bps@dti.gov.ph
Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI)
Tel. Nos.: 837-2071 to 82 loc. 2360
Packaging Research & Design Center of the Philippines (PRDCP)
Tel. Nos.: 837-2071 loc. 2271, 2206
Bureau of Food and Drug (BFAD)
Tel. Nos.: 807-0721
E-mail: bps@dti.gov.ph
Bureau of Product Standards (BPS)
Tel. Nos.: 890-4965, 890-4946
E-mail: bps@dti.gov.ph
Food Development Center (FDC)
Tel. Nos.: 828-4015, 838-4601
3. How much are these services?
The fees of the services vary depending on the project and the number of times the client has availed of the service.
4. How can I obtain information about HALAL, HACCP and ISO certification?
More information about HALAL certification can be obtained from the following:
Bureau of Export and Trade Promotion (BETP)
Asst. Dir. Tetet Reginio
Tel. Nos.: 890-5243 or 897-7610
Food Development Center
Dir. Dr. Alicia Lustre
Tel. Nos.: 828-4015, 838-4601
Office on Muslim Affairs
Usec./Exec. Dir. Datu Zamzamin L. Ampatuan,
Tel. Nos.: 742-2711 to 16 loc. 208
For information regarding ISO 1705 (Lab Testing) certification, please contact the Bureau of Product Standards (BPS) - Laboratory Accreditation Scheme:
Ms. Perla Baje
Tel. No.: 890-4965
E-mail: bps@dti.gov.ph
For ISO 900x certification please contact the ISO certifying bodies.


1. What are the laws governing SMEs?
SMEs are governed by RA 9178, an act to promote the establishment of Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) providing incentives and benefits.
Also, SMEs are governed by RA 6977 as amended by RA 8289. RA 6977 is the Magna Carta for Small Enterprises, an act to promote, develop and assist small and medium scale enterprises through the creation of a Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council, and the rationalization of government assistance, programs and agencies concerned with the development of small and medium enterprises, and for other purposes.
2. What is the BMBE Law? When will it be implemented?
RA 9178 is the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) Law, an act to promote the establishment of barangay micro business enterprises, providing incentives and benefits. The BMBE law will be enacted as soon as the implementing rules and regulations are completed.
3. Where can we register our complaints about local government, etc.?
Complaints can be addressed by one-stop shop centers located in various areas across the Philippines. The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) organized these centers.
4. What is the government doing to reduce the cost of doing business for SMEs?
The government provides for a seamless access of services. The lead agency is the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). DTI is implementing various efforts such as consolidating business registration requirements, buyer-supplier matching, streamlining financial requirements of government financing institutions (GFIs) and other similar initiatives towards reducing the cost of doing business.
5. What are one-stop shops? How are they different from SME Centers?
One-stop shops are venues provided by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to address complaints and other concerns about the local government.
SME Centers are venues provided jointly by the Department of Trade and Industry and by either the local government unit (LGU) or the private sector to render a range of services to assist both start-ups and already established SMEs in addressing their business needs. The SME Centers offer business counseling, as well as service facilities such as fax, computer and the like.
6. What is an SME Caravan? Where will they be launched? When?
An SME Caravan is a DTI-led traveling event showcasing SME opportunities and which provides firm-level assistance to SMEs in pre-identified regions. There have already been caravans in La Union, Negros Occidental, Tayabas (Quezon), Davao City, and Leyte.
[ Read More ]

Top Startup Businesses for 2012 | The Business Finance Store

You want your startup to succeed, so do we.  In the process of funding over 2,000 new businesses in 2011 alone, we frequently get asked for input from our clients on specific businesses or industries. While we are happy to give specific advice, here is some general information we’ve learned about some of the best startups to launch in 2012.
A recent IBIS World research study reviewed the best industries for your next startup. They based their findings on 1) projected revenue growth 2) forecast enterprise growth over five years 3) 2011 profit margins 4) the low barrier to starting such a business 5) and the amount of capital required (our specialty).
According to Brian Bueno, economic research analyst at IBIS World, the economy beginning to stabilize and other conditions such as job growth, credit conditions, and consumer spending will put “more money in the pockets of consumers and various opportunities for new businesses.”
If you’re ready to start a business and want to improve your chances of success, read the descriptions below of which are the up and coming industries of 2012:
Relaxation Beverages:
Everyone’s heard of energy drinks, but IBIS World’s research indicates that relaxation beverages are going to be big in 2012. Marketed for their relaxation or sleep promoting capabilities, the industry of relaxation beverages had a profit margin of 6.8 percent in 2011, as well as a low barrier to entry and minor capital requirements. Add this to the fact that the business grew 68.7 percent over the last five years (totaling $73.7 million) and suddenly, relaxation drinks are something to perk up about.
Social Network Game Development:
Now that smart phones are prevalent everywhere, the demand for game-related apps has accordingly increased: projected 5-year growth is an average of 24.4 percent annually. Even if the industry has a low barrier to entry, it does have medium capital requirements.
Internet Publishing and Broadcasting:
Having been in existence for years now, the continued popularity of smart  phones and tablets has made the industry of internet publishing and broadcasting more in demand than ever. Also to its advantage are the low barriers to entry and little labor input required to get the business started. The numbers for the industry are also positive; in 2011 profit margins were 17 percent, and it’s projected to have the third largest annual revenue growth at 9.9 percent.
Corporate Wellness Services:
In an effort to keep healthcare costs down, many employers are looking more and more to using corporate wellness providers. The fact that these services also improve employee productivity makes it doubly popular, which would explain why there is a projected growth for the industry of an average annual rate of 8.7 percent. Businesses in this industry are considered require a low capital costs with only a medium barrier to entry.
Online Survey Software:
With all the different types of marketing platforms available to us (especially social media), more than ever, businesses are looking for a way to track and predict their customers shopping habits. Granted, this is a fairly new industry, but the average profit margin was 60 percent in 2011, and the five-year annual revenue growth is projected to be 9.6 percent. While the barrier to entry is low, it’s capital costs are considered high.
E-Commerce and Online Auctions:
No longer the new kid on the block, e-commerce/online auctions (i.e. Ebay and Amazon) are still successful, with a five-year projected revenue growth of 9.6 percent. With almost 2,000 U.S. based e-commerce firms expected to join the industry, IBIS World, suggested that niche startups have the highest likelihood of success.
Buried among the internet and wireless technological startups are wineries, which have a five-year annual revenue growth to be projected at 4.9 percent. Particularly hot are the American wines, which are expected to increase at an annual rate of 2.3 percent. What helps make this such a promising business to start is the rising per-capita consumption of wine, and the increasing acceptance of American wines by those in overseas markets. The profit margin for wineries in 2011 was 7.6 percent, which goes to show that there is a high demand for this market.

Human Resources and Benefits Administration:
Now that the economy is recovering, many companies are looking to strengthen their human resources department by hiring outside firms to manage employees and their benefits. There is an expected annual revenue growth of 4.2 percent over the next five years, and the average profit margin in 2011 was 9.7 percent.
Scientific and Economic Consulting:
Consulting industries are also on the rise, with medium entry barriers and low capital costs, they have the highest employment growths through to 2016. IBIS World believes that the industry is expected to achieve annual revenue growth of 3.8 percent.
Street Vendors:
While fast food and food service industries experienced a decline, street vendors has steadily been increasing. IBIS World explains, “the potential for new and successful startups is particularly high in…street vendors…During the past few years, the industry surged ahead because of new consumer demand for unique and gourmet food trucks.” The industry is projected to achieve average annual revenue growth of 3.7 percent over the next five years to 2016, for a total of $1.7 billion.
Ethnic Supermarkets:
Like street vendors, ethnic supermarkets are a niche market with a lot of projected growth. IBIS World predicts that these industries will continue to grow “with changing consumer tastes and demographic trends,” and even though their 2011 profit margin was only 2.8 percent, another 365 markets are expected to open in 2012.
So if the economy is recovering at too slow a pace for you, and you’re ready to determine your own future, it helps to start looking at different industries to see which ones have promise. If you find the right balance between passion and aptitude for a business, you’ll be able to count yourself among the profitable numbers in no time.  But in order to make a profit, we know you need money to get started.  The Business Finance Store can help, fill out the form on the right to get information on potential funding opportunities for your startup.
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Investing in the Philippines

Why the Philippines is On the Verge of a Major Economic Boom

By Andrew Mickey
Friday, September 9th, 2011
“Where are we going to get a decent judge by tomorrow?”
That’s what the lady at the table sitting next to me asked her husband.
Your editor happened to overhear it, had the answer, and it led to one of the best investment opportunities of the next decade...
It was about nine months ago. I'd just flown into Manila in the Philippines. I was hungry. And after checking into my hotel, I stepped out to grab a quick bite to eat (it’s amazing how big an appetite you can build sitting for 18 hours).
Shortly after sitting down to my meal, I overheard the woman’s plight.
She was organizing a beauty contest and one of the judges had dropped out.
I couldn’t help myself. I mean, judging a beauty contest — in Manila of all places...
Who could pass this up?
So I interrupted, offered my condolences, implied that I had nothing better to do, and let her convince me how I would be doing her a favor.
After calling her colleagues and excitedly explaining how she got a “real American” to fill in, she gave me the address and time and we parted ways.
The next day I mapped everything out, got some folks at the hotel to go over the landmarks that would guide my excursion, and started on my way to the contest.
What I saw surprised me.
Like China — Only 10 Years Behind
As I walked to the event, I passed bums, beggars, street vendors pitching everything from cigarettes to Viagra, and everything else you’d expect to see in downtown Manila.
I turned a corner and suddenly found myself walking through an extremely nice area. There were fountains, gardens, music, and none of the other stuff.
I was in a giant outdoor mall.
I looked around and saw nothing but affluence: The stores were the places most guys go to when they're still in that stage where they spend all their money trying to impress their new girlfriend.
And they were packed with people, most of whom were walking around with multiple bags filled with stuff. No one was just hanging out like they do here in the U.S...
They were all spending money.
Then it hit me: Was I in China, only 10 or 20 years ago?
As always, data provided the answer.
The Economic “Sweet Spot”
In The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto, W.W. Rostow breaks down an economy’s development into five stages:
  1. Traditional Society
  2. Preconditions for Take-Off
  3. The Take-Off
  4. The Drive to Maturity
  5. The Age of High Mass Consumption
The definitions are self-explanatory. For example, the United States is in the mass consumption stage. China is driving to maturity. Most of Africa has been mired in traditional societies for centuries.
But the Philippines is in the sweet spot. It’s at the critical point where fortunes can and will be made: the take-off stage.
And taking off it is...
Philippines GDP Growth
The World Bank chart shows the Philippines GDP has grown steadily over the last 50 years. It was slow at the beginning, but now it’s accelerating fast.
Growth has been so strong that the Philippines is quickly becoming one of the few remaining hyper-growth economies in the world. Its GDP grew 7.1% last year. The credit crisis — which has mired the global economy — was barely a speed bump on its growth trajectory.
Naturally, Wall Street has already caught a whiff of the growth trend in the Philippines. They’ve put together a country ETF for the Philippines: The iShares MSCI Philippines (NYSE: EPHE)began trading late last year.
But it’s still too early for most investors. The ETF’s average volume is still about 1/500th that of more mainstream countries’ ETFs like China and Brazil.
When it comes to investing though, it’s best to be where others aren’t yet.
But there’s even more to the story...

The Fuel for the “Take-Off”
Every society has gone through the same stages. Dozens have made it through them, imploded, and gone through them again.
Each time they’ve gone through them, they’ve always had “fuel” for their take-off stages. That fuel is often natural resources.
Think about it like this: Every great society has been founded in an area abundant with natural resources. Whether it was water and fertile soil thousands of years ago, or timber, coal or oil, and minerals in the last few hundred years, natural resources were always essential elements.  
But today, in a much wealthier world, many factors are hindering natural resource production.
The United States and the rest of the mass-consumption societies are increasingly turning away from production and have become more focused on other things.
Take California, for instance. It still has massive reserves of oil both onshore and off. Those resources, however, cannot be tapped... not for a lack of technology, capability, or anything like that; they’re off limits merely because the government and environmentalists don’t want them to be developed.
Russia is another example. There are tremendous reserves of oil, natural gas, minerals, and timber. They are a huge part of the Russian economy. However, they remain largely untapped due to widespread corruption and poor property rights.
How soon will it be until BP or other oil majors put billions of dollars into another Russian energy project after the last one was taken from them by bureaucratic fiat?
The Philippines is doing the exact opposite. And it’s reaping the rewards.
The best example: The country recently changed its mining law to make it easier for foreign companies to come in and explore, develop, and mine the country’s vast resource base of copper, gold, oil, and other commodities.
It has plenty of fuel for takeoff, and it’s tapping into it all as fast as it can.
Winning Big in the Philippines
The Philippines is just one example of the many countries that are reaching the point where they make extraordinary leaps and bounds.
The top-performing stock market of any developing country since the credit crisis has not been the headline-makers like China and Brazil...
The big winner is Colombia, a country better known for the drug trade than exploiting its vast resources of copper, gold, and timber.
Meanwhile, the economic malaise in the West just seems to become more stagnant. Europe is perpetually on the verge of collapse. The U.S. has been avoiding making any sensible economic policy decisions since the credit crisis kicked off. And the next round of “fixes” will be more borrowing, spending, and printing... the results of which will surely be the same.
But in the end — if you’re willing to look beyond your borders and stereotypes — you’ll find a world of growing wealth and populations looking to get their piece of the global economic pie.
There are billions of people out there hungry for a more comfortable life and willing to make it happen for themselves.
We’ll be revisiting the Philippines for sure. When we do, we’ll find more opportunities. And we’ll cash in a favor...
After all, my friend from the beauty contest still owes me one.
Good investing,
Andrew Mickey
Editor, Wealth Daily
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