Aboitiz Foundation and Smart join forces, boost coop digitalization in Visayas

Aboitiz Foundation and Smart join forces, boost coop digitalization in Visayas

Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., and PLDT Inc.’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) launched Aboitiz Smart Coops Training (Visayas) via Zoom last August 2, 2022. The event was hosted by Founder and CEO of Limitless Lab Joie Cruz, together with Aboitiz Foundation Enterprise Development Program Manager Gero Torres, and PLDT and Smart Group Corp Comm Visayas Relations Head Marylou Gocotano.

To keep the cooperatives’ means of livelihood amidst the pandemic, Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., the corporate social responsibility arm of the Aboitiz Group, partnered with PLDT Inc.’s wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) in conducting digital skills training for “Aboitiz Smart Cooperatives”.

The “Aboitiz Smart Coops Training” is an ICT-based capacity development program to help improve coop members’ digital skills and knowledge. It is part of the Aboitiz Foundation’s “Biyaheng Digiskarte Program” and PLDT and Smart’s “Project eBizNovation”, both of which promote the use of basic digital tools such as social media for more complex services including e-commerce and online payment systems and  in fostering the development of their micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). After its initial launch last October 2021, the second leg of the project is the virtual training dubbed the “Aboitiz Smart Coops Training of Trainers”.  A total of 63 participants from nine cooperatives in Cebu attended the online event.

“Aboitiz Foundation together with SMART will continue to help and assist you on your journey towards the path of recovery and resilience. We hope that through this training and mentoring, we can further develop your business and help you bounce back better,” said Aboitiz Foundation President and Chief Operating Officer Maribeth Marasigan.

The Aboitiz Smart Coops Training covered the following topics: smartphone basics and identification of the parts, function, and uses of a smartphone; accessing the Internet and performing its tasks and functions; identifying social media and messaging apps and online transaction apps such as Facebook marketplace; learning  Internet safety and practical tips on how to protect themselves from possible scams; and familiarizing themselves with mobile money.

“The Aboitiz Smart Coops is part of PLDT and Smart’s Ebiznovation Program which aims to help MSMEs and cooperatives improve their ways and means of livelihood through digital solutions. Through this initiative, we hope to be their partners in recovery and resilience as we guide them in their journey to digital transformation,” said Marylou Gocotano, PLDT and Smart Group Corporate Communications-Stakeholder Management Visayas Relations Head.

Aboitiz Foundation and Smart provided training equipment for Aboitiz Smart Coops including Sagip Multi-Purpose Cooperative (right photo). The donated Digiskarte packages and kits contain smartphone, Smart Bro pocket wifi, Smart retailer kits and load wallet.

The session topics were delivered through the informative and simplified clips from #FarmSmart  hosted by “Tito Manny”. Additional topics such as the roles of an Aboitiz Smart Coops trainer and the ideal team composition are expounded by the program host Limitless Lab Founder and CEO Joie Cruz. Using gamification and infotainment strategies, the milestone learnings from the training were followed by the game show-type questions.

Aboitiz Smart Coops Training is a project under “Biyaheng Digiskarte” the flagship project of Aboitiz Foundation Enterprise Development program which aims to help the sustainability and recovery of the workflow, development, and success of the partner cooperatives using modern digital technologies.

Aside from “Biyaheng Digiskarte,” Aboitiz Foundation’s enterprise development program also provides access to finance in partnership with the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (CARD) Inc., with over 380 million loan disbursements benefiting over 11,000 clients for the past 6 years. #

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