By Roi Lomotan
Around 51 Micro and Small Entrepreneurs (MSEs) in Negros Oriental will undergo an intensive ten-week mentoring sessions with businessmen to enhance their business skills and improve their respective businesses.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Negros Oriental recently launched this year’s mentees for its Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program, an initiative of the department in partnership with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE)-Go Negosyo that aims to help MSEs scale up their businesses through weekly coaching with successful entrepreneurs acting as their mentors.
This year, there are 26 mentees from Dumaguete City and 25 mentees from Mabinay town.
This is the fifth batch of KMME mentees in Dumaguete City and sixth batch of mentees in Mabinay.
DTI-7 Regional Director Asteria Caberte welcomed this year’s mentees during the launching event held June 11 at Bethel Guest House, this city.
“This is to address the need for change in the mindset para sa atong micro enterprises na ma-improve ang ilang pagka-negosyante. At the end of ten workshops, ten modules here they will proceed and present to us a business improvement plan. In that presentation, naa mga tagabangko ang among mimbitahon, naa ko diha para mo-critic sa ilang plano aron mahapsay, mahan-ay ilang plano. (This is to address the need for change in the mindset among our micro enterprises and help them enhance their capabilities in handling businesses. At the end of ten workshops or modules, they will proceed and present to us a business improvement plan. We will invite bank representatives and I will be there to critic their plans so they further develop their plan),” Caberte said in a media interview.
“Later on, when they are ready in terms of volume, we can invite them to participate in trade fairs. Aron makabaligya sila sa ilang produkto. And eventually when they need the working capital, sa ilang negosyo kay nilambo na, wala sila capital we can refer them to banks. (We will help them find a suitable market for their products. Eventually, when they need the working capital for their business, we can refer them to banks),” she added.
The DTI official also noted that this is their first intervention to help MSEs, and later on the department will assist them in terms of product development, labeling, packaging, and food safety tips as most of the KMME mentees this year are involved in food processing.
DTI will also help them in processing their regulatory requirements set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and in securing a certificate of product registration.
DTI is bringing top-caliber speakers from Manila to discuss the different modules under the KMME Program.
These modules are about having an entrepreneurial mindset, marketing, product development, operations management, taxation, accounting, finance, HR management, business development plan, etc.
The first two modules were taken up during the launching event.
Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NOCCI) President Francel Martinez and Joven Chavez, president of the Southern Negros Agri-fisheries Multi-Purpose Cooperative, discussed the entrepreneurial mindset and values formation and also shared their experiences in handling their business.
On the other hand, award-winning entrepreneur and best-selling author Ardy Roberto discussed marketing.
Caberte emphasized the importance of attending the weekly modules. “Ang pinaka-importante ang commitment. Dili pwede moabsent mao gyud among number 1 commitment na among gistrikto gyud. Mura na sila nag-masteral. Seryoso. Every module is equally important. (The most important of all is commitment to attend the module. We don’t allow absences. That is a requirement we strictly observe here. This is similar to a master’s degree. Every module is equally important),” she said.
Meanwhile, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Regional Governor for Central Visayas, Ed Du, sees this program as a great help for MSEs.
“Gusto nato nga kaning atong mga negosyante kaning mga micro mo-scale up sila from micro to small, from small to medium, then hopefully, medium to large. Basin kaning nga batch naay bilyonaryo na madato dire para accomplishment nato sa province (We want our micro enterprises to scale up. From micro to small, small to medium, and hopefully, medium to large. Who knows someone from this batch might become a billionaire? That would be a great accomplishment for our province),” Du said.
The mentees in Dumaguete will hold their KMME session at the DTI office while the mentees in Mabinay will hold sessions in their municipality.
KMME sessions are held every Tuesday in Dumaguete and every Wednesday in Mabinay.
Apart from Mabinay, DTI has also rolled out other LGU-based KMMEs, particularly in Bayawan City and La Libertad.