Successful matchmaking in the Philippines

BiD Network provides direct and indirect support to entrepreneurs across the globe. In the Philippines we work together with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). In the past 5 years, PBSP and BiD Network organized yearly the BiD Challenge Philippines and unlocked 2.2 million USD of finance for small and medium sized businesses in the Philippines. Rochelle Bantigue, Program Officer at PBSP is sharing successes, tips and tricks to match entrepreneurs to investors and corporate partners.

One of the biggest matches in the Philippines has been with the health cooperative; In Health There is Wealth.  Last year they signed an agreement with the Land Bank worth 1 million USD. As a consequence, In Health There Is Wealth is able to expand and provide adequate, accessible, and affordable medical services to even more patients.

Also smaller social enterprises are matched by PBSP. This year there have been already two investments from European Business Angels in Filipino businesses. Habi Footwear met an Angel from the Netherlands and GUV Nutrifries got in contact with a Belgian investor. Both received a loan that supports them to upscale their production to meet the high demand for their goods.

These are just a few examples of the successful matchmaking program in the Philippines. But how are these matches realized? Rochelle explains: “The focus of our matchmaking policy is continuous matching and referrals.  PBSP works with many investment partners, these organizations include investment funds, banks, NGOs and a local Business Angel Network; PBSP does not collect finder’s fee from these partners. Once a promising entrepreneur has been identified, PBSP helps with the final preparations before a personal introduction is made between the entrepreneur and investor. Out of monitored enterprises, at least 35% of our entrepreneurs are successfully matched to an organization that provides financial and/or non-financial support.”

“Key in facilitating these matches includes the following: building a good relationship with the investment partners, providing them with quality and viable business plans, and monitoring the progress of entrepreneurs.” Every year PBSP organizes the BiD Challenge Philippines, a business plan competition for Philippine entrepreneurs. At the award event, investors meet the best entrepreneurs from the competition and take part in a professionally organized program. PBSP is now regarded as an important player in the ecosystem of entrepreneurship in the Philippines, “also, monitoring is essential for matchmaking. By sending out surveys, doing field visits, and making individual calls to entrepreneurs, PBSP knows exactly which entrepreneurs are making progress and are attractive for financiers.”

BiD Network supports PBSP in these activities by incorporating them into an international network. This opens opportunities for international finance and skills. In addition, BiD Network has provided PBSP with the skills and tools to build an investor network and setup a matchmaking department. Contact matchmaking[at]bidnetwork.org to see how you can set up matchmaking activities in your organization.