Have a better business with DOST (First of two parts)
By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas
Our country is so backward there are so many opportunities for you to get into business. So if you are the enterprising type and you don’t like having a boss, you should consider this country heaven. Until you try running an enterprise on your own. More so if you studied business. Chances are you would have so many theoretical niceties in your head only to find out applying it on the ground and really living on its income is not sugar and spice and all things nice.
You might have read a lot about some people making it big by using other people’s money. That means you have to borrow money from multiple sources. Certainly, that would be the route to follow. Unless you have close relatives who consider a few millions of pesos peanuts that could be readily lent to an upstart, you will be facing a vertical wall of a mountain of ice to climb. An ice-cold reality right in your face.
But everything starts with the first step. If you have that gung-ho attitude and manage to cobble small amounts from here and there, then you are on your way. You will get negative comments everywhere instead of encouragement, but if you are of the sterner stuff, you Quixotically move on.
Luckily, in an ocean full of sharks, there are institutions that can help you take a few steps more. Some of these are government agencies. This might make you change the usual attitude of people that government is always a burden on your back.
The Department of Science and Technology is one of such. And from what I found out they are very welcoming to strangers even those who just intend to inquire on how they could be helped.
When it comes to technology, they have the necessary expertise but let us go to that later. For this piece, let us first talk on how to get you really going.
The DOST have the SETUP (Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program) for those who managed to start small or medium businesses but need support to get bigger or become better in their operations. They can lend you money to get the necessary equipment at almost no interest. They will not even charge you anything to cover administrative costs. Well, what is government for.
Our bakery neighbor next door was able to avail of that service so they were able to acquire modern machineries. They have two kids, one is taking up Medicine at De La Salle University and is now in her third year proper. The younger one is also in the same university but is just in his second year. Yes, for people who are resourceful enough to keep their business competitive enough, they are also resourceful enough to get their kids some good education.
Another business woman I know who availed of the same service is in the printing business. She only had one lousy machine before that could only print on paper. Now, she has three and could come up with “tarpaulin” posters, streamers and plastic leaflets. Naturally, she now has more people, more headache, and more money. (But we ran out of space so we’ll pick it up from here next week).**