The objectives of the Project are to improve or expand the assistance capacities provided by the Paraguayan Government and private sector business associations to Paraguayan MSMEs to improve their performance as companies.
The country has more than 250,000 MSMEs, most of them do not have enough capacity and technology to carry out good business management. The FOMIPYMES Project seeks to improve or expand the capacity to assist Paraguayan MSMEs, in this way, it will be possible to improve the management of companies, strengthening them and making them more competitive in the business environment, so that they are sustainable over time.
With the technical assistance works in general, the Project supports the key sectors by carrying out the following activities:
a) training courses in business management, business advice and training courses in technical areas related to the assisted sector.
b) carries out research work on the assisted sector to know in detail the updated situation of the same and see mechanisms for its strengthening.
c) provides the sector with specialized knowledge, applying the experience of Taiwan in assisted areas to provide greater knowledge.
d) annually organizes the national MSMEs award to reward outstanding companies at the national level, encouraging and supporting companies in their development.
e) technical assistance for the development of a new image and new products for the assisted sector.
At the end of the 4 years of assistance of the FOMIPYMES Project, the Vice Ministry of MSMEs of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay has better capacity to be able to assist more than 150 companies per year.
Public sector project leader: Ministry of Industry and Commerce
Public sector partners: National University of Asunción (UNA), National University of Itapúa (UNI), Ministry of the Environment and Sustainable Development (MADES), Ministry of Women, Ministry of Youth (SNJ), Paraguayan Institute of Crafts (IPA), Agricultural Credit (CAH).
Private sector partners: Paraguayan Industrial Union (UIP), Industrial Association of Garment Manufacturers of Paraguay (AICP), Paraguayan Herb Center (CYP), Paraguayan Foundation.
The sectors benefited from the assistance of the Project have taken place after several evaluation workshops, carried out between technicians from the Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MIC), technicians from the Faculty of Economic Sciences of the National University of Asunción (FCE - UNA), and the Technical Mission of Taiwan in Paraguay, based on statistical and census data provided by MIC and FCE UNA technicians.
As a result of these evaluation workshops, it has been defined to work with four sectors in the 4 years of the Project, in the following order:
- 2019: textile,
- 2020: yerba mate,
- 2021: leather,
- 2022: dairy.
2018 Design of the project and signing of the Technical Assistance Agreement
2019 Home implementation, Textile
2020 Yerba mate
Carrying out diagnostic work of the companies to know their situation and progress before and after the assistance provided.
In 2019, the first edition of the National Mipymes Award was held, which originally had four categories.
The 2019 winning companies were:
• Empowerment of Women: La Caramella
• Entrepreneurial Youth: Botanical Store
• Climate Action: Mboja’o
• Fair Trade: Maitei Blends
The 2020 National Mipymes Award, had the categories focused on social and environmental responsibility, being the same: "Empowerment of Women", "Entrepreneurial Youth", "Climate Action", "Fair Trade" and "Excellence".
The Excellence category was incorporated this year with the aim of recognizing MSMEs that are excellent in their community.
In this way, it was sought to encourage the participation of companies from the interior, since a winning company is chosen from each region, and these 6 companies compete for the national award for excellence. Both the regional and national winners carry a prize.
During the registration process, a series of Webinars aimed at micro, small and medium-sized companies registered for the award were carried out free of charge, in order to support them to strengthen their management and innovation capacities, increase their sales, and explore opportunities for transformation. and transition to the world of e-commerce, in the face of the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the 2020 edition, the PNM had 619 registrations.
Technical visits were made to the selected companies, which were carried out simultaneously with consulting teams from different regions covering the 6 regions of the country. A total of 295 companies were visited that accepted the visits and participated in the preselection of the award.
There were 50 shortlisted MSMEs, 5 MSMEs per category and 5 MSMEs per region. These are the finalists for the Excellence category, which already has a Technical Assistance award valued at US$ 1,500:
• Region 1: Sweet Manjar
• Region 2: Ysapy
• Region 3: Elva Confecciones
• Region 4: Tava Glamping
• Region 5: Mandio Pizza
• Region 6: Prolimp
The winning MSMEs of the 4 original categories carry a Technical Assistance award worth US$ 4750, while the MSME national winner of Excellence has an additional Technical Assistance valued at US$ 3500, thus adding a total of Technical Assistance valued at US$ 5000. In addition to technical assistance, each of these 5 winning MSMEs carries a computer granted by the National Youth Secretariat.
The winning MSMEs by category are:
• Empowerment of Women: Delibebé & Kids
• Entrepreneurial Youth: Mitãis
• Climate action: Paraguay Business Group S.R.L. - Jerovia
• Fair Trade: Cheli Natural
• Excellence: Tava Glamping
In 2019, after assisting several MSMEs in the textile and clothing sector and the Yaguaron Association of Confectioners and Related Workers, in 2020 they have been able to contribute to the development of masks for community use, hospital gowns, as a measure. of reconversion of activities, as well as to face the pandemic that affected the entire country.
Another achievement is the production of garments with their own brands, with the possibility of selling their products in the multi-stores enabled throughout the country.
The FOMIPYMESProject also supported the activities of the Industrial Association of Garment Manufacturers of Paraguay (AICP), in the preparation of a Manual of Good Practices, said manual is a set of procedures for the elaboration and production of masks for community use, which as an element differentiator for those companies that apply, obtain a quality seal. The quality seal is a differentiating element in the production processes of face masks, as it incorporates criteria and good practices for their manufacture.
Thus, training was also carried out for garment makers from different regions of the country, training more than 80 garment makers on the standards of the manual of good practices for the elaboration of face masks for community use (non-hospital) through videoconference platforms.
Since the beginning of the Project, apart from having the permanent accompaniment of the Vice Ministry of MSMEs of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay, it has been working with the unions of the key and defined sectors, in this case, the clothing sector and the yerba mate sector in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The experience was very satisfactory for having the support of these unions, and the result was positive. Apart from the aforementioned, there was also the direct collaboration of educational institutions such as the National University of Asunción and the National University of Itapúa, to strengthen technical knowledge of specific areas of the aforementioned sectors and improve the management of companies.
The Project encourages building and training a network of capacities in both the public and private sectors, in order to expand assistance to MSMEs, making more companies serve at the country level.
Taking into account a rather difficult year 2020 that we have had to work with due to the Pandemic, the FOMIPYMES Project, even so, has developed each of the activities projected in the year, most of the activities developed have been carried out virtually (online), that includes all training activities in general for companies in the Yerba Mate Sector and the Textile Sector, as well as companies registered for the 2020 National MSMEs Award with free courses in order to support them to strengthen their management and innovation capacities, increase its sales, and explore opportunities for transformation and transition to the world of e-commerce, in the face of the situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. And the face-to-face activities have been developed in compliance with and respecting all the sanitary measures required by the local government.