Forty-three (43) exceptional micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) from the provinces of Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan (MIMAROPA) completed the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) Kapatid Mentor ME-Money Market Encounter (KMME-MME) Online Mentorship Program. 

The virtual graduation, which signaled the culmination and completion of the participating MSMEs of the ten-week long mentorship program, took place on 9 July via the Zoom application. 

Among the 43 small business owners who successfully finished the mentorship course, eight (8) mentees from Occidental Mindoro, ten (10) from Oriental Mindoro, nine (9) from Marinduque, seven (7) from Romblon, and nine (9) from Palawan.

Group shot of DTI-MIMAROPA's Batch 1 of KMME-MME Online Mentorship Program
Class picture of the graduates of DTI-MIMAROPA’s Batch 1 of the KMME-MME Online Program

After undergoing intensive business development sessions, the mentees were required to prepare a Business Improvement Plan (BIP) for their respective businesses to present to a panel for evaluation and critique. 

DTI-MIMAROPA Regional Director (RD) Joel B. Valera underscored in his message that building back the economy from the impact of the pandemic starts with mentorship, especially for small businesses as they recover. With MSMEs contributing to a significant portion of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), RD Valera reminds the KMME-MME online graduates that assistance is available from DTI, in all facets of business development. It may be on mentorship, market access, technology, livelihood, etc. 

Emerging as the top mentee for Batch 1 of this year’s KMME-MME Online Program after the BIP panel deliberation is Kareeza Tullo, owner of JK Events and Advertising from Palawan. Constant po talaga yung pag-suporta ng DTI. Isa sa mga pinaka-magandang naibigay po nito sa amin bilang mga negosyante is ‘yung aming entrepreneurial confidence kasi due to this pandemic, marami po sa atin ang mga nawalan na ng pag-asa sa negosyo, o kaya ay pinanghinaan na ng loob,” said Ms. Tullo in her testimonial message. 

The virtual graduation ceremony was also graced by DTI Secretary Ramon M. Lopez and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, Go! Negosyo Founder Jose Ma. “Joey” A. Concepcion III, through recorded video messages of greetings for the graduates of the mentorship program. Also present are the DTI-MIMAROPA provincial directors, regional and provincial KMME coordinators, and representatives from Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE)-Go Negosyo. 

Closing the virtual event is DTI-MIMAROPA Assistant Regional Director (ARD) Rodolfo J. Mariposque who highlighted that the mentoring sessions attended by the mentees were value-adding as reflected in their BIP presentations. 

The 2021 run of the KMME-MME Online Program focused on entrepreneurial mind-setting and values formation, marketing mindset, business model canvas, operations management, digitalization, supply and value chain management, accounting and finance for small businesses, human resource management, market-driven innovation on product development, and market expansion and internationalization, and good governance and ethics. 

Batch 2 of the 2021 KMME-MME Online for MSMEs in the tourism sector will start in August. ♦

Date of Release: 21 July 2021