Over 100 Maranao entrepreneurs recently learned how to create engaging content and promote their businesses and products via e-commerce during a training organized by PLDT and its wireless unit, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), in partnership with the provincial government of Lanao del Sur.

“We have been partnering with the local government of Lanao del Sur for several years now, and we at PLDT and Smart are quite happy to work with like-minded organizations whose goals are aligned with ours. We will continue to create and implement more programs to help bring the Maranao people into the digital economy,” said Judee D. Chaves, Mindanao Relations Head at PLDT and Smart.

The initiative is part of PLDT and Smart’s eBizNovation program, aimed at boosting livelihood opportunities for Micro-, Small-, and Medium-Sized Enterprises (MSMEs) and cooperatives through technology, and helping them succeed in the digital age.

“These days, e-commerce is the way to go, but here in the province, it is not yet widely used. With this training, we want to introduce this platform to our Maranao entrepreneurs and enhance their skills so that they will have the capability to reach more markets nationwide,” said Provincial Cooperative Officer Ashadie Alonto.

In Lanao del Sur, the eBizNovation program has become an avenue for various women-led enterprises to upskill and improve their businesses. Aslia Dimaocom, chairman of Pinduguan Farm Producer Cooperative, is among repeat participants of the program. Having learned the basics of social media marketing during PLDT and Smart’s first training program in 2022, Dimaocom has further expanded her skills with the latest training and is now able to create content and use online platforms.

“I am thankful to have participated in PLDT and Smart’s training program for the second time because using an e-commerce platform would have been difficult for me without the lessons on how to create content,” she said.

PLDT and Smart’s eBizNovation program aims to leverage digital technologies to develop and improve the lives and livelihoods of communities across the country. These efforts are part of the group’s commitment to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 5: Gender Equality, and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.