(Clockwise, from upper left: Rags2Riches President Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, BPI SEAL-SEGA Winner Jasmine Obatay; BPI SEAL-SEGA Winner Mark Nayan Caronan; Bayan Family of Foundations President and Chairman Prof. Jay Bernardo III; and BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo during the opening program of the 2023 SEAL-SEGA Launch)
BPI Foundation, the social development arm of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), recently launched the second year of its Small Enterprise Acceleration Lab - Small Enterprise Growth Agenda (SEAL - SEGA) Program, aimed at empowering nano, micro, and small enterprises as part of the Foundation’s thrust on financial wellness and inclusivity. This program falls under the foundation’s initiatives on enterprise development and livelihood, centered on financial inclusion for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) through capacity development, network development, and access to finance.
In collaboration with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bayan Family of Foundations, and BanKo, BPI Foundation is committed to enhancing interventions for micro and small start-ups. This year, the BPI SEAL-SEGA program expands its reach to include nano start-ups which are challenged to establish proof of concept, or producing pilot projects or products for their businesses.
(L-R: Startup Village President and Co-Founder Carlo Calimon; BPI Foundation Program Manager Noel Tiu; 2022 BPI SEAL-SEGA Winners Mark Nayan Caronan and Jasmine Obatay; Rags2Riches President Reese Fernandez-Ruiz; BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo; Bayan Academy Program Director Mary Zaida Villanueva; Bayan Academy Program Officers Jodie Sanvictores, Michelle Bandibad, and Danielle Lintag; and Bayan Academy Executive Director Basil Soriao)
“BPI SEAL-SEGA is designed to meet the needs of small and micro start-up businesses through training, mentoring sessions, and cash grants. The capacity training program also aims to help assess products, services, operations, and marketing – and to assist in drawing up development plans,” says Owen Cammayo, Executive Director of BPI Foundation.
During the kick-off ceremony, Cammayo emphasized the need to prioritize the nano, micro, and small enterprise sector, and pledged support for its development and growth. “We believe that empowering this sector with the right mindset, behavior, and proper skillset, and providing them with easy access to appropriate financial solutions is the way to go,” he said.
In 2022, the first run of SEAL-SEGA qualified 56 micro-enterprises for the training program and business pitch challenge, while 20 enterprises were assisted with grants and mentorship program. Some of these include JAO Plaque Awards, Bro’s Smoke Burger, and AniMattify.
“Through the webinars, mentoring sessions, and cash grant, I was able to develop new skills, expand my network, and make strategic investments that have resulted in significant growth for my business,” says Jasmin Obatay, proprietor of JAO Plaque Awards Printing Services. Her business provides high-quality and unique recognition awards and prints that aim to showcase the creativity and innovations of their local artisans and craftsmen. It later went on to be part of the Top 10 SEAL-SEGA Winners.
Another example is Mark Nayan Caronan of Bro's Smoke Burger, a food business and franchising entity that enables young entrepreneurs to franchise the business with just a minimal capital of Php 3,000 to Php 5,000.
Starting this year, the program will offer two tracks:
SEAL-SEGA for Micro Enterprises (ME) supports stable start-ups with viable products and sustainable market presence. Selected enterprises receive cash grants and participation in mentorship programs that can help drive their business expansion and development.
Meanwhile, SEAL-SEGA for Nano Enterprises caters to challenged start-ups, including unregistered businesses operating with limited resources. Through comprehensive training, mentorship, and market connections, these early-stage enterprises gain the skills and support needed to establish proof of concept and solidify their enterprises.
Aspiring entrepreneurs with clear market potential and adaptable business models are encouraged to join BPI SEAL-SEGA and unlock their start-up's full potential. To learn more, visit https://www.bpisealsega.com.ph/ and follow BPI Foundation on Facebook and Instagram.