Agusan del Norte entrepreneurs: There is more to techno upgrading in DOST

“SETUP is bringing technology and innovation closer to us, the local entrepreneurs” – Lourdes Manulat of ILM Trading, entrepreneur and SETUP client.

The Training on Innovation and Product Development for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) in Agusan del Norte organized by the Provincial Science and Technology Center-SETUP kicked off at Almont City Hotel in Butuan City, July 19.

The Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) is a nationwide strategy of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to assist and encourage S&T innovations among qualified MSMEs. Eighteen SETUP clients in Agusan del Norte attended the said training as part of SETUP activities to equip them with needed skills for productivity and competitiveness.

According to Mr. Ricardo N. Varela, Assistant Regional Director of DOST-Caraga, it is part of DOST’s mandate to assist in the socio-economic growth of Filipinos. Providing technology upgrading opportunities to MSMEs means more jobs and income for the locals. Aside from acquiring new equipment, SETUP clients also receive free trainings, technical assistance and others. The participants applauded the efforts of the Provincial Science and Technology-ADN for making the assistance fast and hassle-free in their part.

The two-day training facilitated by Prof. Richard S. Celeste, a business management expert and entrepreneur from Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology, focuses on three aspects: developing the skills of the participants in identifying new and creative products; developing a more customer-centered approach in business,and; encouraging innovation and collaboration in their respective companies. Earlier in the training, the participants made their own innovative products out of plastic straws, bottles and papers and prepared their own product presentation.

“Most of our local entrepreneurs give less prioritization on the importance of innovation and product development. To be competitive and more profitable, they needed these two,” said Ednon John Aparicio, Project Assistant for PSTC-ADN SETUP Program.

Interested clients and entrepreneurs can visit their respective provincial science and technology centers in the region to know more about the program.