Facebook Community Boost program for MSMEs touches down in Dumaguete

Facebook Philippines Public Policy Head Clare Amador kicked off the Facebook Community Boost event in Dumaguete. The event aims to equip entrepreneurs, community leaders, students, and government institutions, with digital skills they need to grow and thrive.

DUMAGUETE City — Local entrepreneurs and community leaders—as well as participants from other regions in the Visayas—gathered in Dumaguete to be part of Facebook’s Community Boost, held in Brooke’s Place, Bantiguel. Facebook’s global initiative aims to help small businesses grow and to equip more entrepreneurs with the tools and skills that they need to keep up with the mobile-first market.

“We’re happy to welcome Facebook to Dumaguete to help enhance community leaders’ digital skills, and make sure our vibrant community of entrepreneurs and small businesses are able to get more out of the internet. I’m very proud that Facebook selected our region—specifically Dumaguete and Cebu to be among the first four Philippine cities to benefit from this program,” said Assistant Regional Director Nannette Arbon, Department of Trade and Industry Region 7.

Facebook Community Boost Dumaguete participants learned about Facebook’s safety and privacy tools through Facebook’s privacy check-up booth.

The Facebook Community Boost program is set to be held in Manila on October 23 and Davao on November 20. It is designed for entrepreneurs looking to get their start-up business ideas off the ground and existing local businesses working to grow further in their digital transformation journey and meet their goals.

“At Facebook, we want to help people and communities build meaningful online connections to unlock economic opportunities and empower their advocacies. With Facebook Community Boost, we take this a step further by visiting cities, providing resources and tools for small businesses and organizations to thrive online, so that more people could benefit from their growth,” said Clare Amador, Programs and Policy Head, Facebook Philippines.

Department of Trade and Industry Provincial Director Nimfa M. Virtucio participated in one of the group activities during Day 1 of Facebook Community Boost in Dumaguete.

Since 2017, Facebook has trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs in 21 cities across the Philippines with programs like #BoostYourBusiness and #SheMeansBusiness. With Facebook Community Boost, the social media company bolsters its commitment to helping micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and communities grow with free and easy-to-use Facebook tools and digital skills training workshops.


Responsible craftsmanship

Dumaguete-based Subida Souvenirs is a venture that not just focuses on producing quality handmade trinkets and souvenirs, but also on fostering sustainable livelihood through the cultivation of local creative skills in Negros Oriental.

“We started 3 years ago after I met some craftsmen while on a mountaineering trip,” said Michael Angelo Alano, founder of Subida Souvenirs. “They shared how they were only able to sell their crafts during fiestas and could not make sales for the rest of the year. It was a shame that the talents and skills of these local artisans were left underappreciated.”

Department of Trade and Industry Negros Oriental Provincial Office representatives joined the Facebook Community Boost event in Dumaguete to learn more about how they can make the most of Facebook tools for their work.

Around the same time, Michael had also been looking for a passion project. And he found purpose in making sure that these craftsmen are able to find and connect with potential buyers. “I wanted to help these artisans and their products get the recognition they deserve. That’s really how Subida Souvenirs came to be.”

By cultivating a healthy presence and directly engaging customers on Facebook and Instagram, Subida was able to expand their reach beyond their immediate vicinity and help give back to their community partners, while also helping find a steady stream of income for the artisans in Negros Oriental.

“Since we started, we have grown our pool of artisans and trained 128 craftsmen to design and create products that best reflect the Filipino culture. Facebook has been our main avenue to showcase that and it has effectively helped share our story, core values, and the work of the community we engage with,” shared Michael. “Our dream is to eventually venture outside of Negros onto the national stage by 2022.”

Stories like that of Subida Souvenirs underscore the importance of understanding the digital landscape and learning how to use the internet to your advantage. Facebook Community Boost aims to educate more MSMEs across the Philippines on the online marketing tools, practices, and resources available at their fingertips to help drive the growth of their businesses.

To learn more about FCB and register to these events, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/boost.