MANILA, Philippines — Small Business Corp. (SB Corp.) plans to set up the first microfinance institute  to support efforts of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to mentor and promote the growth of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

In a statement, SB Corp. president and chief executive officer Ma. Luna Cacanando said the MSME Finance Institute would help address the capacity building and mentoring needs of MSMEs.

Through the MSME Finance Institute, SB Corp. aims to enable MSMEs to assess and evaluate their business needs, effectively manage their business, and come up with an enhancement plan.

The MSME Finance Institute will have an advisory council composed of MSME advocates and experts including former National Economic and Development Authority director general Cielito Habito, former DTI undersecretary for MSME Development and former SB Corp. chairman and chief executive officer Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, and former Philippine International Trading Corp. president and chief executive order Ma. Lourdes Baua.

The advisory council would provide guidance in setting the thrust of the MSME Finance Institute.

In addition, the advisory council will share expertise and information in addressing issues to be faced by the institute.

SB Corp. serves as the microfinancing arm of the DTI.

The MSME Institute forms part of interventions being implemented by the DTI to promote the growth and advancement of MSMEs.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said there was need to continue providing support to MSMEs as programs being implemented by the government have led to the growth in the number of enterprises.

As of November, there were 1.39 million business establishments registered in local government units, up from 900,000 last year.

Philippine Star, December 24, 2018