For a region brimming with impressive economic progress and growth, the COVID-19 pandemic has put the tourism industry at a nearly complete standstill. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) commits to contribute to the restart of the industry knowing how badly the tourism sector has already been hit, especially for a region like MIMAROPA, which is home to a diverse array of tourist destinations.

After a successful run of the Kapatid Mentor ME: Money and Market Encounter (KMME-MME) Online Batch 1–multi-sector, DTI-MIMAROPA commenced another batch of the intensive mentorship program, focusing on micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the tourism industry. The launching and orientation program took place via Zoom on 4 August 2021.

The second batch of the KMME-MME Online Program is a mix of mentees coming from the different provinces in MIMAROPA and Region 6. With a total of 32 mentees, five (5) mentees are from Occidental Mindoro, five (5) from Oriental Mindoro, five (5) from Marinduque, seven (7) from Romblon, six (6) from Palawan, and six (6) from the different provinces of Region 6. The mentees operate accommodations, travel services, events and conferences, and agri-tourism facilities, among others.

KMME-MME Online aims to provide a platform for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs to learn and be inspired from the entrepreneurial journey of the mentors, to be the channel for capacity building on an online platform using the KMME modules and canned lectures via webinar, and more importantly, inspire MSMEs to adopt smart business strategies. Such strategies rebuild and repurpose the entrepreneurs’ game plan in responding to the challenges of the “new normal” business environment.

Moreover, this program reflects the unyielding cooperation between the government and private sectors in the revival of the tourism industry amidst the pandemic.

Virtual group photo during the launching and orientation program of DTI MIMAROPA’s KMME-MME Online Batch 2 (Tourism Sector).
Virtual group photo during the launching and orientation program of DTI MIMAROPA’s KMME-MME Online Batch 2 (Tourism Sector).

DTI-MIMAROPA Regional Director (RD) Joel B. Valera zeroed in on the fundamental objective of this activity. “Ang number one goal natin after the module sessions is to help the industry sector towards sustainability and inclusivity. So that they will be responsive sa new normal.”

Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona of the DTI-Regional Operations Group (ROG) graced the launching program and highlighted the different supplementing programs and projects of the Department alongside the KMME-MME Online.

On behalf of Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) GoNegosyo, Joey Concepcion, Engr. Merely M. Cruz, GoNegosyo’s Senior Adviser for MSME Development provided the mentees a walkthrough of the KMME-MME Online process. According to Engr. Cruz, the pool of mentors for this batch has expanded, coming from all over the country.

Batch 2 of the 2021 KMME-MME Online run follows two (2) phases, Phase 1 focuses on developing good business sense, and Phase 2 centers on the key areas of entrepreneurship. To enable the mentees to gradually progress through the course, Phase 1 is composed of the ff.: Module 1 – Entrepreneurial Mind-setting and Values Formation and Module 2 – Marketing Mindset. Phase 2, on the other hand, has the following modules: Modules 3A & 3B – Business Model Canvas, Module 4 – Operations Management, Module 5 – Digitalization, Module 6 – Supply and Value Chain Management, Module 7 – Accounting and Finance for Small Businesses, Module 8 – Human Resource Management, Module 9A – Market-Driven Innovation I: Product Development, Module 9B – Market-Driven Innovation II: Market Expansion and Internationalization, and Module 10 – Good Governance & Ethics.

Closing the program is DTI-MIMAROPA Assistant RD Rodolfo J. Mariposque, who, in his message, reminded the participants that life is dynamic and should not be static. Referring to how businesses must respond to the pandemic by being creative and innovative.

The module sessions will start on 6 August 2021, and will run for 10 weeks. Following the same format of the KMME-MME Online Batch 1, each mentee is expected to complete all module sessions, prepare a business improvement plan (BIP) and defend it to receive a passing rate for their BIP presentation before graduating.

KMME-MME Online is a joint project of DTI and PCE GoNegosyo. It now has over 9,000 graduates since its inception. ♦

Date of Release: 5 Aug 2021