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A total of 102 micro entrepreneurs from Davao Region are set to graduate in May and June this year from the mentoring sessions they have availed of through the Kapatid Mentor ME program.

The Kapatid Mentor ME program, or KMME, was launched on October 7, 2016 in the region, with President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Trade Secretary Ramon M. Lopez, and Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. It is one of the three components of the Department of Trade and Industry’s umbrella program Kapatid Angat Lahat. The other components are Adopt a Shared Service Facility (SSF) and Inclusive Business.

Initially implemented in Davao City after its launching, the program was eventually rolled out in other areas in March 2017.

Under the KMME’s design, the microenterprise owners, who are collectively referred to as mentees, get an opportunity to undergo a one-on-one weekly mentoring session by successful business owners and practitioners. These mentors provide the mentees a number of helpful tips on the different functional areas of entrepreneurship, such as Entrepreneurial Mind Setting and Values Formation, Marketing Management, Operations Management, Human Resource Management, Entrepreneurial Accounting and Financial Management, Taxation, and Business Law, among others.

After the weekly lectures and mentoring sessions, the mentees were then required to come up with their Business Improvement Plan (BIP) and presented it for critiquing. Following it is already the graduation rites, a milestone that somehow serves as a “shoutout” to the business community and financing institutions, informing them that these mentees are now ready to scale up.

Majority of these mentees, who have operated their business for at least a year, are engaged in processed food, manufacturing, agri-production and services sectors.

The graduation ceremony for the Davao City mentees will be on May 24 with 18 mentees to graduate, Comval on May 30 with 22 mentees, Davao Oriental on May 31 with 20 mentees, Davao del Sur on June 1 with 20 mentees, and Davao del Norte on June 2 with 22 mentees.

With this capacity building program for micro enterprises, DTI hopes to bring in improved productivity for enterprises, increased value-adding activities, and employment opportunities in the region.

“We are really optimistic about the outcome of the KMME. We are definitely having the second batch by July,” DTI-Davao Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said.

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