Ilocos Norte and DTI Collaborate to Expand Support Center for Local Entrepreneurs

Ilocos Norte, Philippines — In an effort to enhance support for local micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Ilocos Norte officials have partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to expand the provincial government’s one-stop shop and co-working space.

According to Philippines News Agency, head of the provincial government’s MSME office, the DTI has committed to providing a shared service facility (SSF) valued at PHP 3.9 million. This initiative aims to inspire local entrepreneurs by offering comprehensive support from various government agencies, thereby promoting a culture of entrepreneurship among the Ilocano community.

The expansion of the 40-square meter Incubation Center, located on the second floor of the La Tabacalera Ilokano Lifestyle Center, was approved following a unanimous resolution by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan. This resolution granted Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc the authority to formalize a memorandum and usufruct agreement with the DTI for the SSF. The upgraded facility will be equipped with office essentials, including computers, printers, cameras, a drone, and exhibit materials to better serve MSME clients.

Since its opening over a year ago, the center has hosted 70 meetings and events and has catered to over 4,000 clients, helping to enhance the products and services of local MSMEs. The facility operates as a one-stop shop in collaboration with multiple partner institutions such as the Mariano Marcos State University, the Department of Science and Technology, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), and the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) for product promotion and development.

Local food processor and innovator, Mildred Dacuycuy from Pasuquin, praised the incubation center for unifying services and resources for entrepreneurs under one roof. The center not only offers physical space for brainstorming and establishing connections but also provides coaching and mentoring sessions to further support entrepreneurial growth in the region.

With MSMEs comprising about 90 percent of local businesses in Ilocos Norte, the enhanced center aims to deliver a broad spectrum of services from product conceptualization to marketing and even funding assistance when needed.