BAGUIO CITY –More than one hundred young students from various colleges and universities in the city completed the one-day e-cadet training here last week spearheaded by the Union Bank of the Philippines as one of its corporate social responsibility projects, the UREKA Forum.
The one-of-a-kind e-cadet program aims to educate college students on e-commerce and digital marketing with hands-on training to help market the products of micro, small and medium enterprises gain headway in the digital world.
Earlier, Union Bank and its consortium helped more than 1,000 micro, small and medium enterprises launch their own e-commerce businesses in less than 18 months.
Aside from the training sessions, URECA e-cadets were paired with a URECA e-MSMEs to get them more support for the successful expansion of their businesses from solely brick-and-mortar by going online and eventually becoming brick-and-click.
URECA proponents believe the e-cadet training will help further ensure the sustainability of the 1,051 activated MSMEs for their products to have access to a wider market for increased profit, among others.
Apart from exposing the e-cadets to a more practical eco-system of e-commerce, the said initiative also helps students have a viable source of income in the near future while pursuing their studies.
Union Bank executive vice president and head of the Center for Strategic Partnerships Genaro Lopez said the UREKA e-cadet program is an effective tool to empower both the e-MSMEs and now the students success by unlocking the borderless potentials of e-commerce.
“With the implementation of the said program, we are involving the student in nation-building through inclusive innovations to equip them with skills to be globally competitive,” Lopez said.
It will be recalled that the first UREKA Forum was also held in Baguio City in October 2015 and since then, the forum has completed its national loop with stints in Iloilo and Davao in 2016 and most recently, the Mega Manila forum last February.
Union Bank president and UREKA Executive Director James Morris Ileto said they did a region-by-region rollout of the project because they wanted the UREKA Forum to be relevant and customized for the unique opportunities and business needs of MSMEs in each region.
The UREKA Forum is cited as a showcase private sector effort with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Information and Communication Technology in their effort to deliver a minimum of 100,000 MSMEs doing e-commerce by 2020 as promised to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat.
The UREKA consortium partners are Air 21, AMTI, Dragon Pay, Esquire Financing Inc., facebook Asia-Pacific, IBM, Microsoft Philippines, Panahon TV, PLDT, SME Nation, SHOPINAS, and Taxumo.