Teaching with the Web:
A Collection of Online Treasure Hunts and Webquests

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The Value of SMMEs: A WebQuest for Fourth Year High School
(English, Araling Panlipunan & Technology and Livelihood Education)

Authored by P. Arinto


Introduction
According to the Department of Trade & Industry (DTI), small and medium scale industries (SMEs) form “the backbone of the Philippine economy”. This means that our economy is supported by this sector, which has been expanded to include micro industries—hence the acronym SMMEs. The importance of this sector can be measured by the following facts:

SMMEs comprise about 99.6% of all registered firms nationwide.
SMMEs employ 69.9% of the labor force.
SMMEs contribute 32% of the economy.

This sector of the economy is so important that one of the priorities of our government, through DTI, is the promotion of the SMME sector. Now DTI cannot do this job alone. It needs the assistance of other government agencies, private organizations, and individuals like us. Yes, even young people like you can help DTI promote the idea of SMMEs. Read on to find out how.

Task
The DTI website includes a section in which different enterprises are featured. This serves the purpose of promoting specific enterprises as well as promoting the idea of engaging in business as a way of earning an income for oneself and one’s family, generating employment, and contributing to the growth of the economy.

DTI needs to enlarge its database of profiles of SMMEs. The larger the database, the more SMMEs can be featured in the DTI website. This is where you can make a contribution.

Find out what SMMEs are operating in our locality and produce detailed profiles of these enterprises. You will do this task in groups of 4-5 members each. Each group will focus on a specific local enterprise. The profile of that enterprise should answer the following questions:

1. What is the name of the enterprise and who are its owners/proprietors?
2. When was it started, by whom, and why?
3. Is the enterprise small, medium or micro? Cite the amount of capitalization, number of workers employed, and other details that will support your answer.
4. What products are produced and what raw materials are used by the enterprise?
5. Where or to whom are the products sold? How does the enterprise market its products?
6. What is the monthly or quarterly volume of sales? the annual gross income? the annual net income?
7. What problems are or have been encountered by the enterprise?
8. What forms of support has the enterprise received from government and nongovernment organizations?
9. What are the enterprise’s plans for the future?

The profiles you will write should include photos and/or drawings of the company’s products, including the raw materials. If possible, include a graph showing the quarterly volume of sales and, if the business has been in operation for several years, the annual volume of sales over several years.

Process
1. Once you know the group you are assigned to, get together and decide on the different roles each of you will play. The roles are:

Roles Responsibilities
Member 1 Find out the answers to questions 1, 2 and 3 and write that portion of the SMME profile

Act as team leader: coordinate the interview with the SMME owner or manager; ensure that all team members are on track with their work; lead in revising and finalizing the SMME profile to be written by his/her group
Member 2 Find out the answers to question 4-6 and write that portion of the SMME profile
Member 3 Find out the answers to questions 7-9 and write that portion of the SMME profile
Member 4 Take photos or make drawings of the company’s products and the raw materials used; provide captions to these illustrations; and make graphs showing the growth (or decline) in monthly or quarterly sales and annual income comparisons

2. Once you have clarified your roles, do some background research on the topic of SMMEs using the websites listed in the Resources section. All groups will do this at the same time through an online treasure hunt that your teacher will supervise during a special class session to be held at the computer lab. During this activity you will find out the definition of SMMES, the various types of SMMEs, and the contribution of this sector to the economy.

3. 
After doing the background research, your class should be able to come up with a list of SMMEs in your locality and neighboring communities. Each group will then be assigned a specific enterprise or business taken from this list.

Using a form letter prepared by your teacher and signed by him/her and the school principal, make arrangements or set an appointment to interview the proprietor/s or manager of the enterprise or business assigned to your group. The best schedule for the interview is a Saturday, when you have no classes, or after class hours. 

4. Conduct the interview as a group. Remember that each of you is assigned a different section of the SMME profile to write. When conducting the interview therefore, you can take turns asking questions. But do help each other out. Pay attention to answers to the questions of other group members and take down notes even for these. This is because you will write only one SMME profile as a group. All of the parts of this profile should hang together.

In doing the interview, be polite/courteous, speak clearly, listen attentively, and take down detailed notes. If you have a tape recorder and the interviewee allows it, tape the interview so you can check some of your notes against the record.  Member #4 should be taking photographs (be sure to get the interviewee’s permission for this).

The interview itself should last no more than one to two hours.

After the interview, discuss your notes with your group mates to check if you have everything you need to write your portion of the company profile. This discussion should take place on the same day when you conduct the interview so that the information is still fresh in your memory.

Steps 3 and 4 should be completed in two weeks.

5. Write your section or portion of the SMME profile. Observe the rules of effective writing (proper spelling, punctuation and grammar). Be ready to show your draft to your group mates during the class session when you are expected to put your profile together.

Member 4 should at this time be printing the photos to be included in the SMME profile and writing the captions for them. He/She should also be making the graphs.

The time alloted for this step in the process is three days—that is, three days immediately after the conduct of the interview.

6. During the special class session for this purpose (probably on a Saturday at the computer lab), get together with your group and put together the parts of the profile into one coherent profile. Make use of appropriate transition signals to ensure a smooth flow between one section and the next. You may have to rewrite and/or rearrange some sentences to ensure a smooth flow of ideas.  Together, make sure that all parts of your profile are well written (with a good introduction and an effective conclusion, and observing the rules of grammar, spelling and punctuation).

At this same group meeting, decide on which photos to include in your SMME profile and make sure the captions are well-written. Examine the graphs made by Member #4 and make improvements if necessary.

Encode your SMME profile using using a word processing program (MSWord or StarWriter), scan the photos and graphs, and lay them out in the profile. Be guided by the scoring checklist for the profile that is given in the Evaluation section.

7. Submit the SMME profile to your teacher on the due date.

8. Accomplish the self-assessment and peer evaluation forms (to be distributed by your teacher) and submit these to your teacher on the due date.

Resources

Definition of SME
http://europa.eu.int/ISPO/ecommerce/sme/definition.html

Philippine SME Profile
http://www.actetsme.org/phil/phil98.htm

National SME Agenda
http://www.dti.gov.ph/contentment/66/69/671.jsp

Sample profile of an SMME
http://www.dti.gov.ph/contentment/66/69/856.jsp

Support for SMEs
http://www.rba.co.uk/sources/sme.htm

Programs to help Philippine SMEs
http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/040727/16/3lzji.html

Role of SMEs in stabilizing economy
http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/gen/2004/07/22/bus/gov.t.eyes.role.of.smes.in.stabilizing.economy.html

Forging a dynamic and competitive SME sector
http://www.dticebu.net.ph/Library/The%20Philippine%20SME%20Development%20Strategy%20-%20full%20text.pdf

APEC Survey of technology needs of SMEs
http://actetsme.org/archive/uapexec.html

Philippine SMES best practices
http://www.asean.or.id/12923.htm

Evaluation
Your group’s SMME profile will be graded using the following checklist. You may use this checklist to assess your draft prior to submitting it for grading.

Criteria Yes
(2 pts.)
Partly
(1 pt.)
No
(0 pt.)
1. Is the name of the company or business stated?      
2. Are the names of the owners or proprietors given?      
3. Is there a brief history of the company or business?      
4. Is the history complete? Does it include when the company or business was founded, who founded it, and its purpose or objectives?      
5. Is it stated whether the company or business is small, micro or medium-sized?      
6. Are the relevant details to justify the classification given, such as the number of workers employed and the amount of capitalization?      
7. Are the products of the company or business identified?      
8. Are the raw materials used identified?      
9. Is the market of the company’s products identified?      
10. Are there photos of the company’s products?      
11. Are the photos clear/sharply focused?      
12. Are the marketing strategies used by the company described?      
13. Is there a graph showing the monthly or quarterly volume of sales?      
14. Is the annual gross income stated?      
15. Is the annual net income stated?      
16. Are the problems experienced by the company in the past and/or the present identified?      
17. Are the forms of support from government and other organizations (like banks) identified?      
18. Are the company’s plans for the future stated?      

Members of a group will receive the same score for the group’s SMME profile. This is why you must all work together to make sure that the profile is as good as it can be.

Each group member will also be given a score for the self-assessment activity and for teamwork as measured through the peer evaluation activity.

Conclusion
This project should help you appreciate the importance of small, micro and medium enterprises in the economy. Such businesses generate employment for many people, encourage production, and contribute to tax revenue.

In addition, this project should help you develop skills in gathering relevant information from various sources, in particular the Internet and local experts (the owners and/or managers of the SMMEs), in writing a business profile, and in combining text and non-text or visual forms of presenting data.

I hope you will learn a lot from this activity.
 

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