Ladies and gentlemen, maayong hapon sa inyong tanan! 

We offer our warmest welcome to everyone attending the 1st GenSan Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp. We would also like to congratulate the City Government of General Santos as you hold the biggest and longest youth festival in Mindanao, the GenSan Summer Youth Festival, of which the Boot Camp is one of the main events.  

With the launch of today’s Boot Camp and through the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP), we will empower you—our young people, our young kababayans—as a fundamental force in nation-building. As the inheritors of the future of our nation, you will gain the needed skills and training under this program to become more productive citizens. Moreover, we hope you will help our country build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Fortunately, you are in one of the Most Competitive Highly-Urbanized Cities in Mindanao. Aside from being 16th among the 32 highly urbanized cities in the region¹ cited in the 2020 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index (CMCI), General Santos City also registered more than 11,400 businesses in 2019². Likewise, the number of young people in GenSan engaging in business is increasing even during this time of pandemic.  

It’s inspiring to note that in GenSan, 40% of Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are youth-owned, and are involved in online business, app development, food service and processing, and handicraft-making. It’s not surprising that these young entrepreneurs—who are playing a big part in sustaining the economic activities of your city—are into online business and app development. After all, young people are quite tech-savvy, and this innovative mindset goes well when it comes to doing business. 

Ang Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) ay nakatuon sa pagtulong sa ating MSMEs dahil naniniwala po tayo na ang entrepreneurship ay magbibigay ng mas komportable at dekalidad na buhay para sa ating mga mamamayan. Ang ating Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte ay patuloy din pong sumusuporta sa development ng ating MSME at sa pagbibigay ng isang conducive business environment para po sa inyo. Kung kaya’t sa ilalim ng Republic Act (RA) No. 10679, o ang Youth Entrepreneurship Act, ang DTI po ay kumakalinga sa mga kabataan sa larangan ng entrepreneurship nang maging handa sila para sa kanilang kinabukasan. 

To assist you on your entrepreneurial journey, DTI created the 7Ms Framework for Successful Entrepreneurship, which is composed of the following: Mindset Change; Mastery; Mentoring; Money; Machines; Market Access; and Models of Business. Many of our programs under this Framework have been adjusted to help our MSMEs cope with the economic challenges of the pandemic. These include providing them access to microfinance, yan po ang Money sa 7Ms, and helping them transition digitally so that they can benefit from the growing e-commerce market, ‘yan naman po ang Mastery na isa rin sa 7Ms. 

Viewed through this framework, YEP can give current and aspiring young entrepreneurs the right mindset and know-how to become smarter and successful entrepreneurs. Hindi po enough na makapagbukas lang tayo ng negosyokailangan din po maging smarter entrepreneurs na properly trained at naturuan din sa mga mahahalagang bagay sa pagnenegosyo katulad ng nabanggit sa 7Ms. Under our month-long Boot Camp, we hope to develop and assist around 300 of you young entrepreneurs today.  

Ang ating DTI office po sa GenSan ay handa ring mag-abot ng tulong sa inyo. Sa kasalukuyan, tayo po ay mayroong dalawang Negosyo Centers na naglilingkod sa MSMEs sa GenSan, na ang isa ay unang itinatag sa Region 12. Mula 2016, ang Negosyo Centers sa GenSan ay tumulong na po sa mahigit 40,000 clients. Kabilang po sa mga natulungan ay mahigit 5,000 potential and exisiting youth MSMEs sa siyudad mula 2018 hanggang 2021 sa pamamagitan ng ating initatives katulad ng Kapatid Mentor ME (o KMME) Program. Ito po ay isa sa mga training para lumakas ang Mastery na isa sa 7Ms. 

Some of the young GenSan entrepreneurs that have graduated from our KMME program you may have heard of already. These include: Jeziel Herceda of RJH Food Products; Bengie Antido of Kayamanan Ni Juan; Marvin Anggot of MMB Printamax; Paula Romero of Paninda Ni Totep; and Joyce Mondejar of JKN Frozen Food Products. Iilan laamang po sila sa mga u-ma-attend sa mga DTI programs katulad ng KMME. 

Furthermore, GenSan has a total of 15 SSFs helping MSMEs, of which nine have already been turned over to cooperators. These SSFs improve MSME competitiveness by providing machinery, equipment, tools, skills, and knowledge under a shared system. Likewise, our DTI office has established partnerships with the Mindanao State University and the Notre Dame Dadiangas University Business Colleges to help MSMEs in business plan development, social media marketing, and product development activities. 

To conclude, we would like to thank the local government of General Santos City, our partners in the academe, and other stakeholders that made this event possible. Salamat din sa ating DTI team, ang mga masisipag na kasama natin sa DTI family. And to the young people here, we hope that you will take this opportunity to become smarter and successful entrepreneurs so that you can provide our people decent jobs and employment. As former US President John F. Kenedy once said, “The future promise of any nation can be directly measured by the present prospects of its youth.” Kaya po makinig tayo sa ating special guest entrepreneur, si Mr. Cecilio Pedro. Siya po ay isang idol ng bayan pagdating sa entrepreneurship at social entrepreneurship. Siya na po ang magpapaliwanag nito at sigurado pong ma-i-inspire po kayo na maging matagumpay na young entrepreneurs. Let us work together to create a more inclusive and hopeful post-pandemic future for our country at para sa ating mga kabataan. 

Daghang salamat po at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 21 April 2021