CIDA contributed CAD $8.6 million to work with Business Support Organizations (BSOs) and Investment Promotion Centres (IPCs), to support the development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through sectoral enhancement, partnership development, and capacity development for investment promotion, to create jobs for both men and women, and to reduce poverty in the Philippines.
1) Project Introduction
- PEARL Phase II was built on two previous CIDA projects, namely the Enterprises Support Project (ESP) and the Private Enterprise Accelerated Resources Linkages (PEARL) Project, which supported the development of sustainable networks of services for SMEs, and worked to foster an enabling environment to allow dynamic Philippines SMEs to grow and to link up with Canadian SMEs.
- PEARL II took the following approaches:
- enhancing the capacity of BSOs by training their executive personnel;
- working with selected BSOs to provide sustainable services to SMEs;
- focusing on specific sectors and regions with growth potential; and
- working with organizations that are targeting enterprises with a clear orientation toward growth and increasing competitiveness.
- PEARL II has four components:
- Sectoral Enhancement:This involves support through training, market and export enhancement, policy studies and advocacy to labour-intensive sectors including furniture, food processing, wearables, natural and organic projects and gifts and housewares.
- Partnerships Development Facility:This is a cost-sharing mechanism to encourage the development and implementation of initiatives proposed by the Business Support Organizations.
- Capacity Development for Investment Promotion:This component focuses on strengthening the capability of the Board of Investment and the Investment Promotion Agencies to work with sectors with the potential to multiply employment and investment opportunities for the country (in particular, through enhanced information technology).
- Dissemination and Sustainability:This works at ensuring that project results are institutionalized and sustained beyond the life of the project.
2) Project Results
- Majority of the BSOs have a trained full-time Executive Director and a strategic plan to support members enhance competitiveness and increase membership.
- Over 100 Knowledge Products has been developed to enhance the capacity and sustainability of selected SMEs and BSOs.
- External libraries and partnerships with existing educational and governmental institutions have been developed for wider distribution and use of Knowledge Products throughout the country.
- Income-generating environmental projects and management systems has been implemented with increased environmental awareness and practices.
- Websites and customized management information systems have been built to make Investment Promotion Centres meet the needs of investors better.
- Centre for Lean Systems and Management has been created to allow timely access to market information.
- A video and training program for gender equity in the workplace has been developed and distributed.
- Training materials on a business case for the use of Environmental Management Systems have been developed and distributed.