Manila, November 22, 2021—The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) recently launched two new activities to support micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines as part of Philippine Startup Week and the continuing celebrations of USAID’s 60th anniversary.
Project MATCH, launched on November 15, will expand market access for startups, usher in the digital transformation of MSMEs, and enhance access to financial services for MSMEs and startups. Meanwhile, the Impact Pioneers Network, launched on November 19, will unlock local investment capital to help fund enterprises addressing key development challenges such as education and employment, agriculture and fisheries, affordable healthcare, the climate crisis, and gender inequality through innovative, market-based blended finance model solutions.
USAID Philippines Acting Mission Director Sean Callahan joined Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez and other Philippine government and private sector representatives in Project MATCH’s virtual launch last week.
“These efforts are all part of USAID’s continuing commitment to support and empower Filipino MSMEs to improve their lives and more broadly, to contribute meaningfully to the country’s economic recovery post COVID-19,” said Callahan. “As we celebrate the 60th anniversary of USAID, we remain committed to supporting the Philippine government in its pursuit to effectively respond to the needs of the Filipino people and to achieving a sustainable, resilient, and inclusive economy.”
During the Project MATCH launch, Secretary Lopez emphasized that through the initiative and multilateral partnerships created, “we fulfill our end goal for the growth of MSMEs and startups to eventually support the growth of the Philippine economy, generating employment, innovation, and financial inclusion.”
MSMEs comprise 99 percent of enterprises in the Philippines and generate around 63 percent of local employment. By launching these two activities, USAID will empower MSMEs to play a more vibrant and active role in helping the Philippine economy recover from the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the past 60 years, USAID has worked with the Philippine government and local organizations to achieve shared development goals, investing more than $5.1 billion to support the Philippines.