Ladies and gentlemen, magandang araw po sa inyong lahat!

Let me congratulate all of our young entrepreneurs present today for the Graduation and Awarding Ceremony of the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP!): In-School Entrepreneurs Academy (YEP!: iSEA) in Region 6. YEP! underlines our commitment at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) of empowering the Filipino youth through entrepreneurship. We laud this program for welcoming aspiring and current young entrepreneurs, and giving them the education and confidence to innovate and carve their own entrepreneurial path to success.

It was in 2019 when YEP! was introduced to DTI-Region 6. Since then, we have already conducted the Regional YEP! Forum and a series of one-on-one mentoring, tulad ng mga Mentor ME on Wheels in the region’s six provinces. This year, we shifted our focus and prioritized the in-school youths in the senior high school and tertiary levels; thus, we conceptualized and launched the YEP!: In-School Entrepreneurship Academy (iSEA), or also known as the YEP! Mentorship Academy.

Actually, maganda po itong program na ito, kasi sa aming pananaw at least habang nasa eskwelahan pa, ma-capture o maabot na po ang ating mga kabataan bago po sila magpunta sa iba’t-ibang kanilang mga career at mabigyan na po sila isang magandang entrepreneurship program and orientation.

The YEP! Mentorship Academy is in line with the national government’s growth agenda of doubling the number of entrepreneurs in the country by 2022. Through this program, we have successfully trained a total of 40 student mentees in Region 6, coming from the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Guimaras, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental. And at any minute after this message, these 40 students will be capping off their mentorship story and embarking on their own entrepreneurial journey.

The youth entrepreneurs of today play a vital role in reversing the impact of the current economic crisis faced by our country due to the ongoing pandemic. Also, based on a survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), the median age in the country is 24.3 years old, and the youth population will grow to 32 million in 2022 or 29% of our total population. 

Hence, we recognize and attribute the success of the YEP! Mentorship Academy to our partners in DTI-Region 6, who integrate youth entrepreneurship in the heart of its socio-economic programs for our local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). 

Again, congratulations to our graduates of the YEP Mentorship Academy in Region 6. We believe in your capacity to lead the country to greater heights through your entrepreneurial achievements and success. Together with your mentors and our development partners, we challenge all of you to be creative, innovative, and be the spark of change our country needs, as we all recover from this pandemic.

Aligned with the vision of our President Rodrigo Road Duterte, let’s work together to provide a more comfortable and greater quality of life for our people.

Maraming salamat po, at mabuhay tayong lahat!

Date of Release: 27 September 2021