48 young entrepreneurs in C.Visayas to undergo biz mentorship program



CEBU CITY – A new batch of 48 young entrepreneurs in Central Visayas is set to undergo the intensive mentorship program under the 3rd batch of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) – Money Market Encounter (MME)-Online which the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI-7) with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) launched on October 1 via zoom.

The batch comprised of 14 MSMEs from Cebu, 14 from Bohol, 14 from Negros Oriental and 6 from Siquijor. Participants of this online program called ‘mentees’ under the youth sector ages 18-35 are owners, co-owners and managers of various businesses such as food, tourism, manufacturing and trading.

These young entrepreneurs/mentees are to undergo on an intensive workshop program that includes 10 modules with the mentors scheduling their respective topics/modules.  The program may run up to 10 to 15 days depending on the mentors’ schedules.

Included in the KMME program is the Business Improvement Plan presentation of each participant/mentee to a panel of coaches where they will be asked about their knowledge on the market, their revenue streams, unique value proposition, and vision for their enterprise.

DTI-7 regional Director Ma. Elena Arbon said that the KMME-Online is a delivery mechanism to propel micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to survive and thrive in the new normal.

“The Philippines has a predominantly young population, thus tech savvy. This is your time and your world (young entrepreneurs), so take advantage of it. The country needs modern, current, stable and sustainable businesses for the economy to prosper,” Arbon said during her opening message.

Insights of some mentees

Herblend Wellness Hub proprietor and wellness coach Mitos Tuico ended her 6-year employment and started her own business in 2017.  “Doing business is about taking risks. Our first food service business failed, and we utilized our retained assets to start a new one in 2018, but it was also stopped during the pandemic,” Tuico said.

Now engaged in plant based-meal replacements and food supplements, Tuico aims to hone her skills in sales, marketing and financial accounting/management.

“The wellness industry was ‘in’ during the pandemic. But the most challenging part is attracting customers, especially the locals and our neighbors. That’s what I want to improve during the KMME-Online among others,” she added.

Bibi Doll Pono, owner of GRND UP Consumer Goods Trading, also expressed her excitement towards the learning program.  “I have always considered myself as a work-in-progress. Learning from the experts made me motivated and that fueled my passion to enroll,” Pono said.

Pono started her trading business during the pandemic, selling chorizo, pastries, cakes and other bottled products. In February 2021, she has sold 16,000 packs of chorizo alone.

“In three years’, with ample knowledge and experience, I want to employ more people, support local farmers. I want to give others the opportunity that was not given to me throughout the years,” Pono added.

She was rejected with help when she was still starting the venture.  Tuico and Pono are among the 14 mentees from Cebu that will undergo the 10-week online program this year.

The program is an initiative of the DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) – Go Negosyo to help the country’s MSMEs through capacity-building activities and inspire them to adopt smarter business strategies.

According to DTI since the KMME Online piloted in the 2nd quarter of 2016, it was already been implemented in all regions in the country and in 101 provinces and cities including those in Central Visayas.

The program has also benefitted more than 32,796 MSMEs, certified 734 mentors and has touched the lives of some 8,787 young entrepreneurs in the countryside who are now in the process of improving, scaling, expanding their businesses with the knowledge they got from this mentorship program.