Gerome Panlilio of Germano's Chilli x Google MSME CaravanBusiness Features

Google MSME Caravan trains over 100,000 small business owners

Google announced today that its digital skilling program MSME Caravan has successfully trained more than 100,000 micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) owners and employees.

In partnership with several stakeholders including the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), MSME Caravan is a local Grow with Google program which aims to train small entrepreneurs on how to grow their businesses using digital tools such as Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) and Primer app alongside access to experts. The program started even before the pandemic and Google continued it through virtual events to help MSMEs acquire digital skills so they can pivot during a critical time.

“With the impact of MSME Caravan reaching more than a hundred thousand trainees, we’re deeply grateful to our partners including the Department of Trade and Industry who made this possible with us,” Bernadette Nacario, country director of Google Philippines, said in a media release. “We hope that this program will create a ripple effect and help more small business owners reap the benefits of our growing digital economy.”

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Google and DTI created an 8-week webinar series called MSME Caravan Mondays featuring modules related to digitizing businesses such as insighting, Ads101, analytics, eCommerce, and more.

Germano’s Chilli

Partnerships with telcos Converge and Globe allowed Google to curate digital workshops featuring Filipino entrepreneurs not only to discuss digital tools and business tips, but to inspire and give them hope in navigating the uncertainties of the pandemic.

Among those who benefited from Google’s skilling program is Gerome Panlilio of Germano’s Chilli, a bottled chili garlic business. When Gerome started in 2008, he struggled to create brand awareness with limited sales channels such as bazaars. After attending Google’s training workshops in 2018 and again in 2021, he was able to make use of Google Business Profile to put his business on both Google Search and Maps and bring customers directly to his online store.

“Through helpful tools such as Google Search and Maps, I was able to gain brand awareness that turned into more sales. The seminars also taught us how to adapt and pivot during the pandemic which allowed us to continue selling online,” said Gerome Panlilio.

According to Panlilio, Germano’s Chilli’s online sales have grown by 90% from 2021 to 2022.

Now, not only does Germano’s Chilli sell well locally through local supermarkets, he is now working on bringing his products to the United States through a major Filipino retail supermarket.

“Going online has helped my business immensely. It also taught me how to create a resilient business model that is ready to address challenges like the pandemic,” Panlilio said.