The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) demonstrates the massive potential of the grassroots level in Region 7’s food and non-food industries with the mounting of the One Town One Product (OTOP) Product Showcase at the Paseo Solana, Ayala Center Cebu on November 17 - 19 this year.

DTI Central Visayas Regional Director Asteria Caberte says that the event will feature products of local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that have undergone product development workshops conducted by the department under the OTOP Program.

Dir. Caberte adds that MSMEs participating in the OTOP Product Showcase will also supply products for the Go Lokal! stores, Tindahang Pinoy, trade fairs and other market access platforms used by the DTI.

The DTI official explains that the current OTOP Program is a leveling up process that focuses on new variations, better products that have significant improvement in the areas of quality, design, standards, compliance, marketability and production quality.

Around 100 MSMEs in Central Visayas took part in the recent OTOP Next Gen Screening, Assessment and Triage (SAT) sessions in Cebu City where experts from the Design Center of the Philippines and from the private sector evaluated potential OTOP products.

For queries on the OTOP Product Showcase, interested parties may call any of the following: Victoria Diaz, of DI 7 Regional Office at (032) 255-0036 -37, Vierna Teresa Ligan of DTI Bohol at (038) 5018260, Marivic Aguilar of DTI Cebu at (032) 2556971 / 2553926, Olivet Somido of DTI Negros Oriental at (035) 4222764, and Marlene Patria of DTI Siquijor at (035) 4809065.

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will launch the Mentor ME (Micro Entrepreneur) Program, a free business seminar consisting of a series of mentoring sessions for existing and budding entrepreneurs, in Central Visayas on October 7, 8:30 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.,at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

The ‘Mentor Me’ program, a pilot project jointly developed by DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE), will have its regional pilot run in Cebu.

The aim of the program is for MSMEs to scale up their business through the weekly theoretical, conceptual discussions and mentoring sessions by experienced entrepreneurs, and seasoned business lecturers on the different functional areas of entrepreneurship. The Mentor ME Program is divided into two phases and will run for 12 weeks.

DTI 7 Assistant Regional Director Nelia Navarro said that the mentors are experienced entrepreneurs and seasoned business lecturers who have the heart to share their wisdom and formula for success to existing and budding entrepreneurs. “Beyond the books and seminars, our mentees will be inspired to listen to experiences of these entrepreneurs and will gain valuable learnings from the mentors,” she emphasized.

Dir. Navarro underscored the significance of the Go Negosyo Act in bringing assistance to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to become more competitive as this sector comprise 99.7% of the registered businesses and is the backbone of the country’s economy.

The agency also underscored the importance of the program to equip the local MSMEs with the needed skills sets, the right mindset, and business know-how to ultimately scale up and sustain their enterprise.

Navarro cited that the department has provided capability enhancement seminars, shared service facilities, marketing assistance and has linked with non-government organizations to help enterprises achieve competitive advantage through capability building and the introduction of green practices into their business operations.

Expected to be present during the launching of Mentor Me Program in Cebu this coming Friday are: Go Negosyo founder and presidential adviser for entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Oryspa founder and president Sherill Quintana, Mansmith and Fielders Inc. Marketing Guru Josiah Go, Bunny Pages of Pages Holdings Inc., Vicky Sandidge of Bohol Bee Farm, Cathy Delantar of Nature’s Legacy and Rey Calooy of RNC Marketing.

For more information on the Mentor Me Program, interested parties may contact Mark Cabagnot of DTI Cebu at telephone nos. 255-6971, 255-3926, 412-1944, 412-1945.

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