PACKWORKS, a business-to-business consumer goods marketplace, has entered into a tie-up with microlenders seeking to reach its network of over 270,000 mom-and-pop retailers, which are known in the Philippines as sari-sari stores.
“Our objective is to enhance financial inclusion, tap into untapped growth potential, and fortify the foundation of our retail industry,” Packworks Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Bing Tan said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are actively pursuing these goals through strategic partnerships aimed at providing accessible and affordable financial services to empower the sari-sari store sector,” he said.
Packworks said its microlending partners are Cebuana Lhuillier and 1Sari Financing Corp.
“The lack of access to regulated credit and financing programs also forces them to live cash-in-hand, unable to get loans when they need them, which limits their growth potential,” it added.
The micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprise sector is considered highly underbanked, according to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“Enabling sari-sari stores to access essential financial services allows them to efficiently replenish their inventory, ensuring they are well-prepared to meet the heightened demand for various items during this festive period,” it said.
Aside from partnerships with financial service providers, Packworks will also be partnering with Bayan Academy to provide sari-sari stores owners access to learning modules on micro-entrepreneurship.
In the next two years, the company is hoping to expand its network to 500,000 sari-sari stores. — Justine Irish D. Tabile