16 August 2020, Dubai, UAE—The Philippine Consulate General in Dubai and Northern Emirates hosted a webinar on entrepreneurship on 14 August 2020. The webinar was the last segment of the five-part training module of the Consulate on financial literacy for Filipinos based in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

The webinar, which is part of the Consulate’s Parola Series, focused on discussions on entrepreneurship and various government assistance available to start-up businesses, especially to overseas Filipino who recently returned to the Philippines due to the pandemic. 

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Mr. JR Papel, a Dubai-based marketing manager of a multinational corporation and a full-fledged entrepreneur, discussed the current concerns and difficulties faced by would-be and existing business owners amidst the pandemic. Among these concerns are disruption in supply chain and cash flow, and reduction in productivity.   He explained how these challenges should be considered when planning to set up a business during the current economic situation.  He also gave recommendations on how existing business owners could respond and adapt to financial insecurities brought on by the coronavirus outbreak.

Agriculture Attaché Gil Herico and Commercial Attaché Charmaine Mignon Yalong briefed participants on the programs of their respective agencies that aim to stimulate and support the establishment and growth of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines, including those who would later on intend to venture into exporting. 

The participants were particularly interested in the loan facilities that said agencies introduced recently to assist overseas Filipinos adversely affected by the outbreak to become entrepreneurs.  The participants welcomed the news that the Department of Trade and Industry launched the Helping the Economy Recover thru OFW Enterprise Start-ups (HEROES) to help repatriated OFWs start their lives anew in the Philippines as business owners.  

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Consul General Paul Cortes expressed his appreciation to the resource persons and mentors of the Consulate’s financial literacy program, who for the past 4 years have been lending their time and expertise to the Consulate in developing and delivering training modules which are responsive to the needs of overseas Filipinos in Dubai and Northern Emirates.

The Consulate General has been conducting its financial literacy program since 2017 to promote personal financial management among the members of the Filipino community. In efforts to come up with a program that is appropriate to the needs and requirements of Filipinos in Dubai and Northern Emirates, the Consulate General taps Filipino practitioners in the banking and insurance sectors, investment management companies, real estate firms, and professional organizations to develop training modules aimed at building the capacity of participants on various financial issues to allow them to make informed, sound, and effective financial decisions.

The seminars that the Consulate conducts yearly, free of charge, cover a wide range of topics from savings and budgeting, debt management, investment and insurance, to entrepreneurship and re-integration. END