DAVAO CITY – Forty-eight more micro entrepreneurs from the region have already completed the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-led mentorship program, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 announced.
The Kapatid Mentor ME (Micro Enterprises) program, or KMME, has been among the agency’s viable strategies in developing local entrepreneurs. Hence, it has been appreciative of its partnership with the PCE for nurturing its clients through mentoring.
This program started in 2016 with only 20 mentees from Davao City as a test run.
DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said that this initiative was proven to be an effective public-private partnership scholarship program because the mentee graduates, in general, experienced various improvements in their operation and their business as a whole.
“With the successful initial implementation of the program in Davao City, it was immediately rolled out region-wide the following year. Since then, the KMME program has become a constant component of our SME development-related interventions,” she said.
From 2016 until 2019, it was conducted as a regular in-person learning program in a classroom type modality. However, the agency had to make the necessary shift to an online platform in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was in response to the demands of the very limiting situation, the trade official explained.
With such a move, the KMME program has continued to help the mentees pivot their respective businesses and became resilient as those were the times when a number of businesses ceased operation. But evidently, Filipinos are very resilient and innovative by nature, many forms of businesses majority online sprouted and multiplied all over the region.
For this year, the mentees started their engagement right after its official launching last April 6. Exactly three months after, the participants finally reaped the fruits of their labor as they were proclaimed graduates during via a virtual ceremony on July 6.
These mentees hurdled the 10-module program wherein notable business practitioners mentored them and provided them with sound advises to improve their operation. They were likewise coached by business experts in the preparation of their respective Business Improvement Plans, which they presented and defended before a team of panelists coming from different fields of specialization and expertise.
As of July 2022, the Davao Region already registered a total of 690 graduates. Majority of whom are noted to have expanded their operations as the KMME program armed them with important updated skills to manage and grow their business.
DTI-Davao City director Rachel S. Remitio shared that the KMME is one of the most comprehensive packages of interventions for the MSMEs.
“We consider ourselves in DTI lucky for the strong partnership we have with the PCE. In the meantime, the mentees are luckier for qualifying for the program, and because of their hardwork and dedication, they were able to finish the 10 modules. With that, they now belong to the elite group of KMME graduates nationwide,” she said.
Remitio further emphasized that this is not yet the end of DTI’s assistance but only the beginning of many other trade and development support interventions from the agency.
“They can access the department’s services from product development, branding, and trade training and seminars to business matching and trade fairs, among others. the government services session they had on May 27 gave the mentees an overview of how they can avail of the programs not just from DTI but also from the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Science and Technology, Intellectual Property Office and Small Business Corporation,” Remitio concluded.