First Circle, a Filipino fin-tech startup, launched an online tool called Project Finder last July 7, 2022.

The First Circle Project Finder will help Philippine small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to find government contracts.

First Circle highlighted how SMEs struggle to find appropriate clients and projects as they mostly rely on referrals and word-of-mouth instead of using digital tools that will help boost their sales and marketing capabilities.

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The startup noted that the Philippine government can be a big source of business for SMEs. In fact, a website called PhilGEPS, or the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System, has hundreds of postings from local government units and agencies that small businesses can bid on.

Despite the existence of PhilGEPS, not a lot of SMEs take advantage of it — possibly due to the lack of familiarity.

Also, First Circle noticed that most SMEs do not have the time to explore PhilGEPS contracts on a regular basis and that “most SMEs lack the proof of funding needed to win the bidding system for contracts. This is because SMEs often count on unpaid receivables from ongoing projects to fund their next business opportunities.”

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That’s what Project Finder tries to fix. This online tool shows the contracts listed from PhilGEPS and other LGU websites, which would’ve been inaccessible without a proper account of extensive research.

“Database users can find projects with a simple keyword search, and filter results further by contract budget and region. Users can also save time by setting daily or weekly email alerts for business-relevant government projects. To do this, search for a keyword, then click the ‘Get alerts for this search’ button above the search results,” says PhilGEPS.

The online tool also allows businesses to project funding directly from the platform using the company’s own loan product called PhilGEPS Project Finance. It will be always available for applicants, who will only have to pay for the borrowed amount plus interest.

You can visit the online tool here: https://my.firstcircle.ph/project-finder.



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