The Department of Tourism has launched a financing window for entrepreneurs interested in establishing ecotourism businesses in protected areas.
The Grassroots Entrepreneurs for Eco-tourism or (GREET) program was conceived to encourage entrepreneurial individuals to explore the tourist-drawing potential of eco-tourism sites in their communities, with the end goal of providing livelihood opportunities for their residents.
The GREET program provides P50,000 to P100,000 grants as start-up capital to deserving groups or individuals with feasible business proposal in eco-tourism sites. Preference will be given to businessmen at least 18 years of age, as part of the national government’s initiative to increase opportunities for the country’s entrepreneurs. The criteria for the selection of potential investments include: originality, uniqueness of the project and creativity, viability of implementation and projections, income impact and job creation, promotion of natural and cultural preservation and growth potentials.
Some examples of the innovative eco-tourism projects include: campsite management business for trekkers in Mt. Apo, Davao del Norte; boat tours to the Sea Rock Garden islet and marine sanctuary in Davao del Sur; river cruise and firefly watching on the Quipin and Ogod rivers in Sorsogon; a souvenir shop in Bohol; and boat and service upgrading for whale shark-watching in Donsol.
The application period is extended until August 30, 2007 and the awarding of grants will be on September 2007. Application forms and business proposal outline are available online at www.wowpinoy.net/greet. You may also contact the Philippine Convention and Visitors Corporation at (02) 5251255 or 5259318 to 27 local 279 for more information.