To kick start its founding anniversary celebration, the College of Economics and Management hosted a webinar via Zoom, streamed through the CEM Facebook page last July 27, 2021. This is the first installation of the four-day anniversary celebration of the college with the theme “Future-Proof CEM: Harnessing Business and Economic Opportunities in the New Normal.”
Mr. Joey Bermudez, the founding CEO of Iskaparate.com, shared the success stories of entrepreneurial mothers (Nanays) onboarded in Iskaparate.com, an online marketplace launched in September last year to provide an alternative marketplace for micro entrepreneurs who are affected by the mobility restrictions imposed during lockdowns.
Dr. Thomas Reardon, a professor at the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, discussed the transformation and modernization of agricultural value chains, specifically on the rise of e-commerce. Dr. Reardon emphasized the important role of CEM to equip large-scale firms and small and medium-sized enterprises to grasp opportunities and address challenges from the continued expansion of e-commerce in the new normal.
Mr. JT Solis, the CEO and co-founder of Mayani.ph, talked about the experiences of startups and how it grew to be ahead of the curve in the agri-technology space. He highlighted some of the lessons of Mayani in its less than two years of existence, such as the needed imperative for modelling impact as a by-product of revenue and investments, and the importance of infra-building and taking hold of the digital storm so that it can be sustainable for the smallholder farmers not just in the Philippines but also in Southeast Asia. Mr. Gerald Glenn Panganiban, Assistant Director of the DA-Bureau of Plant Industry and the National Urban Agriculture Program Director, discussed the responses and the ways forward of the Urban Agriculture Program (UAP) amidst challenges in food security. He coined the term STEP-UP, which means seed distribution, training, establishment of urban agriculture gardens, power of networking, unity in time of pandemic, and proactiveness, to showcase how the UAP is responding to the needs of their stakeholders.
Rewatch the webinar at CEM’s Facebook Page https://fb.watch/7ra0RqWXsi/.
Deborah B. Gay and Charis Mae T. Neric