DTI chief calls on corporate foundations to practice inclusive, innovative CSR

MAKATI—Inclusive business model is not just about helping small players, as big companies also benefit from partnerships that this model creates, the country’s trade chief said.

Speaking at the League of Corporate Foundations’ Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Expo on 19 July, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez called on companies to continuously innovate even on its processes to adopt an inclusive business (IB) model for its CSR initiatives.

“If CSR is about the practice of ‘doing good is good business,’ the government is about generating business to do good,” said Sec. Lopez.

He added that that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte is sincere in helping the poor and those who have less in life by providing more opportunities for jobs and entrepreneurship, and inclusive business is a viable option for this.

According to him, while private and public sectors have different approaches to practice inclusivity, the synergy between the two should push the shared goal of improving the quality of life of every Filipino, thus making a symbiotic business model.

“We encourage the corporate sector to integrate the IB model in their respective CSRs. With the big brother-small brother connection, the government is now developing a simplified formula to properly incentivize companies that integrate small players in their value chains,” he said.

Sec. Lopez mentioned that the government’s focus in implementing this initiative is on the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), adding that programs and initiatives that aim at developing MSMEs can only mean greater economic success for the country.

“With the creation of new business ventures and the push for innovation in existing MSMEs as critical parts of an inclusive innovation process, we can now focus on strategies to promote innovation-led entrepreneurship,” he added.

The trade chief said that by aligning inclusive innovation with the overall goal of inclusive economic growth, the impact can reach the marginalized sectors, where business process innovations have the potential to reduce inequality in the country.

He added that in ushering an entrepreneurial revolution, there is a need to generate smarter, idea-based entrepreneurs, who are value-adding and carry ideas with unique selling propositions.

Sec. Lopez shared with the corporate foundations current initiatives under the Dutertenomics framework to widen the gains of development, address income inequality and alleviate poverty, including the Build Build Build infrastructure program that promotes more regional and rural growth centers. He also mentioned DTI platform to develop MSMEs, as well as the outcomes of the recently concluded MSME Development Summit.

“Big companies integrating small companies in their value chains will make the CSR more inclusive and sustainable,” he concluded.

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