Returning Overseas Filipino Workers and their families who want to establish technology-based enterprises in the Philippines can get funding from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
DOST Secretary Fortunato de la Peña said in a PNA media interview that the agency is set to allot Php5 million initial funding for its Innovation for Filipinos Working Distantly from the Philippines (iFWD PH) program that can accommodate 25-30 OFWs for this year.
The initial funding will be made available first in the National Capital Region/ Metro Manila and afterward roll out to other regions.
A maximum amount of Php 250,000 will be allotted per OFW business. DOST will provide free training on product development, laboratory tests, and initial runs for testing the market. Equipment can be provided as a loan that will be paid back to DOST without interest.
To qualify for the funding assistance, the OFW would be required to show a counterpart funding in the same amount loaned, in cash or equipment, to set up their technology business.
The technology-based businesses can be any but not limited to the following:
- food processing
- food production
- accessories production
- computer services
- professional services
OFW applicants will be first screened for entrepreneurial competencies. If they pass, they will then be given training in enterprise management and exposed to DOST technology available from among 7 research and development institutes that can help them set up the business.
After the free training, the OFW will be asked to create a business plan.
OFWs who do not need DOST capital help can also be given free advice and business training.
OFWs with no capital OFW and no technology-based skills can be grouped together and trained to set up a business.
OFWs who wish to avail of the DOST capitalization can go to the DOST regional office or Metro Manila clusters.
DOST has been helping local businesses with science and technology training through the SET UP program. Some of these grantees have helped the agency address the coronavirus pandemic with assistance given to frontliners.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to DOST for providing ways to help the returning OFWs set up businesses with their families in the Philippines.
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