MANILA - Small businessmen can thrive even as more foreign players enter the country by tapping into their innovative spirit, SM Investments vice chairperson Teresita Sy-Coson said Friday.
Sy's father, Henry Sy, started out with a small shoe store in downtown Manila, which he grew into an empire that includes SM Supermalls and BDO Unibank, the country's largest lender.
Micro, small and medium enterprises or MSMEs are the "most innovative," Sy-Coson said at the launch of this year's ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.
"Many businesses come from small businesses, we all have to take small steps and then later on we have to leap," Sy-Coson said.
"Whether we like it or not, foreign investments are coming in, if we can't beat them join them," Sy-Coson said.
Part of this year's summit is the launch of a network of mentors for entrepreneurs, headed by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council.