Business Operations of Non-Government Organization-Assisted Grassroots Enterprises in the Provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras


by: Christine Mae D. Hernando, John Lorenz R. Belanio


Given the importance of grassroots enterprises in national development, there is a need to examine how such enterprises manage their operations in order that enterprises of similar scale or nature can learn from their experiences and also, that they can be better assisted towards sustainability of business operations. The paper is based on a case study that focused on the production and marketing operations of grassroots enterprises in the provinces of Iloilo and Guimaras as viewed through the lenses of the entrepreneurs themselves. These enterprises were assisted by a non-government organization through its micro-finance development project. Using a qualitative research design, primary data was generated through interviews with the management of the client associations and cooperatives. Findings show that the grassroots entrepreneurs are engaged in the production and marketing of agricultural products such as native chicken, goats, carabaos, and milkfish as well as handloom woven products. Marketing of products is done by the entrepreneurs themselves and mainly within Iloilo province. In order to address production and marketing concerns of the NGO-assisted entrepreneurs, the study recommends the complementation of government, NGO, and private sector in the delivery of business services to help ensure sustainability of grassroots enterprises. Such services include entrepreneurship trainings enhance production and marketing skills of the entrepreneurs as well as organizational strengthening activities, among others. The study also recommends a special government legislation to protect hablon/handloom weavers’ rights and welfare, and promote the hablon industry as part of the Filipino cultural heritage and also, as an important livelihood activity for grassroots entrepreneurs.

Keywords: Grassroots enterprises, production, marketing, sustainability