Portal gives micro SMEs easy access to loan facilities

14.12.2012, von Edison Dy Ong

A new finance facility, powered by Internet technology to assist banks and lending companies expand their reach to micro, small and medium enterprises (mSME), has taken off on a good start.

Within a quarter period, over 12,000 local mSMEs have registered in the FINEX SMEplus loan portal project which was funded by eight founding banks and 12 industry associations. The organizations also shared the database of mSME members nationwide, as well as made business consultancy services available.

The FINEX SMEplus, a collaboration project between the FINEX Foundation for Entrepreneurship, Inc. (FFEI) and Department of Trade and Industry, and hosted by Eastern Communications, is a loan portal for mSMEs accessed through URL www.finex-sme.org.ph.

Recognizing the difficulties experienced by many entrepreneurs in securing loans from lending institutions, DTI's Bureau of mSME Development and FFEI conceptualized SME plus in response to the clamor of Philippine entrepreneurs whose financing travails have long been ignored.

Thus, the main objective is to provide a window for mSMEs to register their loan requirements in a trading platform which can be viewed by lenders and eventually process the loans requested, explained FFEI president Roberto Borromeo at a live demonstration during a press briefing. "They can also conduct a search for fellow entrepreneurs, service providers, lenders, consultants, and other capacity-building programs with mSMEs."

There is a difference in banks lending to huge enterprises and to mSMEs, comments Borromeo. "The banks need the database (in SMEplus) and they are the ones contacting the inquiring mSMEs." Borromeo believes that start-up entrepreneurs will finally find borrowing and lending a lot easier and more readily accessible through SMEplus.