Small and medium enterprises (SMEs), considered the backbone of the Philippine economy, no longer have to look elsewhere to meet their funding needs.
The FINEX Foundation for Entrepreneurship Inc. (FFEI), the SME arm of the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines (FINEX), has partnered with data provider Dun & Bradstreet Philippines on a web-based loan portal that will connect SMEs directly to various lending institutions in just one click.
Through the portal, www.loanpinas.com, SMEs can register and post their loan requests online. These requests will be viewed by various participating lenders that can directly offer their loan products and discuss the terms with the potential SME borrower.
In addition to providing access to credit, SMEs can also take advantage of the expertise of SME mentors who can assist them in their loan application, documents preparation, project management, financial advisory,marketing, and other business advice.
Since the joint initiative with the Department of Trade and Industry was launched four years ago, the portal has undergone major changes, but continued to build its database of SMEs in the country.
Database of SMEs
From 20,000 DTI-registered SMEs in 2012, the portal now has a registry of more than 300,000 SMEs nationwide, said FFEI Vice President and Executive Director Victor P. Dela Dingco.
“This database will be made available to banks and other lending institutions which will subscribe to Loanpinas.com,” he added.
The loan portal currently has 13 founding member-banks and partners that have the privilege of accessing 20,000 SMEs from the Loanpinas database every quarter. These are:
- BPI Family Savings Bank
- East West Banking Corporation
- GM Bank of Luzon, Inc.
- Orix Metro Corporation
- People’s Credit & Finance Corporation
- Philippine Business Bank
- Philippine National Bank
- Philippine Savings Bank
- Planters Development Bank (now China Bank Savings)
- Small Business Corporation
Building a bridge
While they comprise 99.6% of all registered businesses in the Philippines and employ 70% of the country’s total workforce, micro and SMEs still usually find themselves marginalized when it comes to credit. Lack of access to financing, technology, raw materials and markets have been perennial hounding mSMEs and very few are able to survive beyond three to five years.
“Loanpinas.com serves as a bridge between SMEs and the lending institutions, as well as between SMEs and experts who can mentor them in growing their business,” said Mr. dela Dingco.