CITY OF CEBU – At the end of the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) – Online Money Market meeting of the Department of Commerce and Industry (DTI-7) and the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 48 young entrepreneurs from Visayas Powerhouses expect to gather more information and advice on how to improve their businesses amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Launched on Friday via the Zoom videoconferencing portal, the KMME mentees are made up of 14 micro, small and medium-sized business (MSME) owners each from Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental, and six from Siquijor.
Mentees are between the ages of 18 and 35 and are owners, co-owners and managers of businesses in the food, tourism, manufacturing and trade sectors.
The mentoring and workshop program will consist of 10 modules of different topics.
It will last 10 to 15 days, depending on the mentors’ schedules.
The KMME program involves presenting each participant’s business improvement plan to a panel of coaches.
They will be asked about their market knowledge, sources of income, unique value proposition and visions.
Mitos Tuico, owner and wellness coach of Herblend Wellness Hub, ended his six-year job and started his own business in 2017.
“Doing business is taking risks. Our first restoration business failed and we used our retained assets to start a new one in 2018, but it was also shut down during the pandemic, ”Tuico said in an online interview.
Now engaged in plant-based meal replacements and dietary supplements, Tuico aims to hone her skills in sales, marketing, financial accounting and management.
“The wellness industry is all the rage during the pandemic, but the hardest part is attracting customers, especially locals and our neighbors. This is what I want to improve during the KMME, ”she added.
Bibi Doll Pono, owner of GRND UP Consumer Goods Trading, also expressed her enthusiasm for improving her skills during the apprenticeship program.
“I have always considered myself to be a work-in-progress. Learning from the experts motivated me and it fueled my passion to enroll, ”said Pono.
Pono started trading during the pandemic, selling chorizo (sausage), pastries, cakes and other bottled products.
In February 2021, she alone sold 16,000 packets of chorizo.
“In three years, with a lot of knowledge and experience, I want to employ more people and support local farmers. I want to give others the opportunity that has not been given to me over the years, ”Pono explained.
Tuico and Pono are among the 14 mentees in Cebu.
Director of DTI-7 Ma. Elena Arbon said that KMME-Online will help MSMEs survive and thrive in the so-called new normal.
“The Philippines has a predominantly young population, so tech-savvy. It’s your time and your world, young entrepreneurs, so make the most of it. The country needs modern, current, stable and sustainable businesses for the economy to thrive, ”said Arbon in his opening message at the launch of the program also organized with the help of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo.
Since KMME Online was piloted in the second quarter of 2016, it has been implemented nationwide in 101 provinces and cities.
The program has benefited over 32,796 MSMEs, certified 734 mentors and improved the lives of 8,787 young entrepreneurs in the countryside. (ANP)