Nearly a thousand sari-sari store owners participated in the first PREMIUM Caravan

 

Over 800 Hapinoy Negosyantes from different areas in Samar gathered to celebrate the first PREMIUM Caravan in Tacloban City Convention Center last January 23, 2018. With the theme “Sama-sama sa Negosyong Matatag at Masagana”, it aimed to link PREMIUM microentrepreneurs to different suppliers, distributors and government agencies, which play crucial roles in building a sustainable supply chain in the region.

In 2016, Bagong Araw Philippines: Rebuilding Through Microinsurance and Women’s Enterprises or PREMIUM was launched as part of the Post-Haiyan rehabilitation program of the Government of Canada to capacitate sari-sari store businesses in Samar and Leyte. Through training, access to loan and microinsurance products, it aspires to equip and prepare microentrepreneurs to be resilient in times of disasters, and at the same time. The recently concluded Caravan was the culmination of all the learnings and gains of the Cohort 1 and 2 PREMIUM microentrepreneurs.

It was attended by His Excellency John Holmes, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Government of Canada to the Republic of the Philippines, who shared how the Canadian Government aims to continually help Filipinos through different programs like PREMIUM.

Also present in the event were Sen. Bam Aquino, Engr. Meilou Macabare of DTI Samar, Atty. Juan Paolo Roxas of Insurance Commission, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Inc (CARD), Ms. Diolina Mercado and Ms. Jean Roxas of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada (CDF).

The morning program focused on presenting the successes of the program and recognizing the graduates of the PREMIUM project. Selected Hapinoy Negosyantes gratefully shared their stories and learning from the program. As part of the celebration of the Microinsurance week, Sagip Negosyo, the official microinsurance product of PREMIUM, was launched.

After the formal program, booths of different suppliers and distributors were opened for Hapinoy Negosyantes, which became the venue for them to interact. This aimed to present how large is the market for the suppliers and distributors, and to start a partnership that works toward a goal of building a resilient supply chain.

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The PREMIUM Project

After over a year of implementation, 822 sari-sari store owners graduated under the Hapinoy Negosyo Challenge program from Cohorts 01 and 02. These Hapinoy Negosyantes were given extensive training on business management and personal development. They were exposed to the best practices, skills and tools that are necessary for better business operations.

To assist them in improving their businesses, these PREMIUM microentrepreneurs were also given access to microloan with lower interest rate through CARD. This provision is for additional capital they can use to venture into new businesses and/or products or to increase their inventories.

A highlight of the PREMIUM project is educating microentrepreneurs on disaster preparedness and business continuity. One of its focal points is the importance of microinsurance and how it can help them sustain their businesses, especially in times of disaster. Understanding this, most of the graduates availed the Sagip Negosyo, a microinsurance product prepared by Microinsurance MBA Association of the Philippines, Inc. (RIMANSI).

The Bagong Araw Philippine PREMIUM is a three-year project that aims to help 1,600 sari-sari store owners affected by Typhoon Yolanda. It is made possible by the Canadian Government and the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada in partnership with CARD NGO, MicroVentures Foundation (Hapinoy) and RIMANSI.