Wednesday, October 20, 2021

SM Supermalls launches The SM StartUp Package

It's been over two years since the pandemic halted life and many livelihoods in the Philippines. During the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak, 70.6 percent of 1,804 Philippine MSMEs were forced to temporarily close, with 66.2 percent reporting temporary employee cutbacks, according to a 2020 Asian Development Bank (ADB) research.

Despite these figures and the challenges posed by the shifting landscape, the enterprising Filipino discovered numerous opportunities in online businesses, with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) registering over 88,000 new e-commerce registrations by the end of 2020. By 2022, the number of e-commerce businesses is expected to reach a million (from 500,000 in 2020). MSME entrepreneurs have become unsung heroes of the economy by leveraging the online space, all while providing for their families and realizing their business goals.

Because of its founder, the late Mr. Henry Sy's inspiring narrative, SM Supermalls believes in the potential of every Filipino to be a great company entrepreneur. Sy, also known as "Tatang" in SM, began his career as a small business owner with his first shoe store, ShoeMart.

It is stated that it is in SM's DNA to allow and encourage small enterprises like the one it previously was as a result of this. On Tatang's birthday, October 15, SM introduced The SM StartUp Package, which seeks to give small online enterprises the necessary support in order to have their own store in an SM mall. This is for the first 100 digital-based MSME entrepreneurs who do not currently have a shop within SM or any other physical store.

The package includes benefits such as low rental rates and free usage of kiosks or carts for new businesses; marketing support to provide the brand free exposure on SM's online assets and in mall ad spaces; financial aid from BDO; and operations and marketing coaching from SM professionals.

SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia, SM Southmall, SM Pampanga, SM Clark, SM Grand Central, SM Sta. Rosa, SM City Cebu, SM Iloilo, SM Bacolod, SM CDO Downtown Premier, and SM Lanang Premier are the 13 regional and premier malls where the StartUp Markets will be located.

"We created The SM StartUp Package because we saw how Filipinos persevered in the past year. Very much true to the spirit of Henry Sy, who always said he worked harder during bad times, many MSMEs did not let the pandemic stop them from providing good service and products -- even from their own homes. We want to give them a chance to further grow their businesses and brands, and enable them to start their own SM shops which they can one day grow into business empires, just like our founder once did.,” said SM Supermalls President Steven T. Tan.

The late founder Mr. Henry Sy, helped sell items at his father's retail shop after coming to the Philippines at the age of 12 from China. He was able to start his first business in 1958, a shoe store named ShoeMart, which would eventually become the basis for today's 77 SM Supermalls, after saving enough money. the company's late founder is definitely proof of an entrepreneur's perseverance and hard work. 

The mall's prosperity was not without its difficulties. One prominent example was when Mr. Sy established SM Megamall in Edsa in 1985, during a period when the Philippines was in turmoil. Instead of discouraging him, the political and economic atmosphere drove him to strive even harder to overcome the crisis. This attitude would persist over the following several decades, inspiring a new generation of MSME owners to seek out chances even in the face of hardship.

This is evident in the stories of entrepreneurs like Chizmozza founder Hannah Ramos, who sold her own mozzarella recipe online before opening her food cart at SM, Ian Darcy, who started his namesake fragrance brand after being forced to resign from his marketing job; and Oishii Maki chef Randy Molina, who started a sushi and maki business at SM after working as an Overseas Filipino as a Japanese Chef in 5-star hotels.

“I took a chance to grow Chizmozza from an online store to having one humble food cart in SM North Edsa back in 2016. Now Chizmozza has 21 SM branches. They saw the potential of our unique cheese products and through our mutual hard work and perseverance, we grew, even through the pandemic.” Hannah shared

These are just some of the stories behind successful MSME owners and how they were able to succeed, when empowered with the right resources. The SM StartUp Package will allow more people to level up their online start-up, inspiring them to follow in the footsteps of “Tatang” so they can take more confident steps even during these uncertain times.

During the virtual launch of the SM StartUp Package hosted by Sam YG last Oct 15, SM Supermalls President Mr. Steven Tan was joined by three young successful MSMEs; Nina Ellaine Dizon-Cabrera from Colourette, Patty Ang from Patton, and Jerald Sze from 365 Designs Retailing, who talked about how their business began online and how they successfully grew it at SM Supermalls.

Other notable guests during the launch included Ms. Jean Pacheco, Assistant Secretary of DTI, and the SM Super Team composed of BDO Network Bank’s SVP and MSME Business Head Karen Cua, BDO Acquiring FVP Merchant Partnerships and Retail Sales Head Bob Tolentino, SM Supermalls VP for Corporate Marketing, Grace F. Magno, and AVP for Leasing Strategy and Operations, Gina T. Katigbak, who discussed details of the SM StartUp Package.

For more information, visit or follow @smsupermalls on all social media accounts to find out how to sign up for The SM StartUp Package.


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