Amid the ebb and flow of their businesses, three Cebu-based small entrepreneurs have made a steady course to success as full repayments of their obligations to the government were made in an admirable display of true commitment to public-private cooperation.

The business shops, namely, Winten Season Ice Cream,  Detalia Aurora, Inc., and Crema Homegrown Recipes are partner-beneficiaries of the Department of Science and Technology 7 under its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP).

They successfully paid off the government funds extended them by DOST 7 to be able to acquire the technology needed to make their businesses grow.

DOST, through SETUP,  encourages the adoption of technology innovations to improve business operations, thus boosting productivity and competitiveness, by providing funding and technology assistance for the purpose. Under the program, DOST also helps provide solutions to business related-technical concerns of its private partners through technology transfer and interventions.

Winten Season Ice Cream, whose sole proprietor is Nestor Saligumba, is an ice cream factory that started its business operations sometime in 2005. Aiming to increase production efficiency and profitability, Saligumba partnered with DOST 7 in 2013 to upgrade his ice cream shop’s production and packaging technology and product quality through SETUP.

With the P433,000 in funding and technology assistance from DOST 7, Winsten Season increased its volume of production by 40% and improved the quality and shelf life of its products, thus increasing its gross sales by 30%.

Detalia Aurora, Inc., is a furniture company that prides itself on a quality of work which “combines modern technology, traditional Filipino craftsmanship, and innovative use of indigenous materials” in producing finest quality of furniture products.  

Through SETUP, the Mandaue City-based company was able to secure P629, 236 in funding assistance from DOST 7 2005 to upgrade its compressed air system and furniture finishing technology.

As a result,  the company achieved reduced product reworks and rejection rate from 3% to 2% of the total volume production, not to mention its introduction of energy-efficient and environment-friendly compressed air system and furniture finishing technology in the company.

Crema Homegrown Recipes, on the other hand, received P185,000 in funding and technology assistance from DOST 7 in 2014 to upgrade its processing and packaging technology for the production of specialty pies and other bake products.

With the acquisition of high-capacity baking-machine and packaging materials, Crema was able to introduce innovative products and packaging technologies in its line of business.

These acquisitions have resulted in a marked reduction in production processing time by 50%, thereby increasing its production volume. Moreover, a significant improvement in the quality and packaging of its products as a result of DOST 7 assistance has boosted the profitability of the business.

Through the years, the DOST 7 assistance sustained these once-budding enterprises and, through technology and innovation, helped them grow bigger and stronger than they were before. They repaid not only by giving back fully what they received. They repaid as well by giving back to the community quality goods produced by technology-driven entrepreneurship and showcasing what innovation can do to improve the life of people in the community.