Dutch Offers Experts to Negros SMEs

A Dutch non-government organization is offering its pool of experts to small and medium entrepreneurs in Negros Occidental.

Albert Weterings, country coordinator in the Philippines of Programma Uitzending Managers (PUM) or Manager Deployment Programme, yesterday said that he will have to establish contact “with SME organizations and local institutions.”

Weterings said that applicant-organizations can get free expertise from the Netherlands to help them in their SMEs.

“We only assist SMEs who meet certain standards such as it is existing for at least two years, minimum of 10 employees, focus on those people who really need it and where we can leave a impact and those people who cannot afford experts,” he pointed out.

However, he clarified that the organization “does not provide funds only experts.”

Weterings said that the focus of PUM “is for SME to grow, export their products, make money and create jobs and achieve better life.”

PUM is fully funded by the Dutch government and works in 5 countries from 70 nations in the past.

“The reason for the scaling down is for us to make an impact and not just a drop in the ocean. To create something and it will mean that we are going to quadruple our projects here,” he said, adding that in 2016 we had 27 projects in the Philippines.

“My intention is to make 100 this year. We have five people working here. In Manila, Cebu, Davao, Cagayan de Oro and in Negros,” Weterings said.

He also said that their group “work on one-on-one basis.”

Now, we are focused on the whole value chain, he said.

PUM has 35 years of experience in 70 sectors in the economy.*