More than 180 participants attended the second batch of the Kapatid Mentor Me roll-out in General Santos City at the Amethyst Hall, Phela Grande Hotel, Magsaysay Avenue, General Santos City last April 11, 2017. It was attended by local business owners, local government officials, DTI representatives, aspiring entrepreneurs. Financing institutions were also present such as PNB, BPI, Landbank, and Small Business Corporation.

DTI Assistant Secretary and KMME National Coordinator Blesila Lantayona said, “We are targeting a total of 89 KMME runs all over the country and over 1,700 mentee graduates this year. Other provinces will also have their KMME roll-out.”

DTI Asec. Lantayona gave a background on the program, “DTI in partnership with Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE)- Go Negosyo launched KMME which is a 10-module program that will be undergone by 20 pre-selected MSMEs. There will be mentors who will coach and guide them throughout this crash course on entrepreneurship. ”

Scenes from the Kapatid Mentor ME Program Launch in GenSan.

Explaining how the KMME came about, Advisor on MSME Development and PCE Representative, Merly Cruz, said “We want to instill that there is money in business. We launched KMME to change the mindset of Filipinos, generate jobs, and scale up MSMEs.”

The first module of the KMME program is Entrepreneurial Mind-setting and Values Formation which was tackled by Henry Tenedero, the President of Education for All Development Center and PCE mentor.

Tenedero motivated and inspired the participants, saying “Don’t just go cruising through life. Live and not just merely exist.” Furthermore, he also shared marketing tips. “What makes your product different? You have to be the product of your product. Learn how to project and smile to your customers,” said Tenedero.

Furthermore, the President/CEO of Soliventures Philippines Inc and PCE Kapatid Mentor, Pocholo Soliven, discussed Module 2 which focused on Marketing. He gave tips and strategies on sales and marketing for entrepreneurs.

After the lectures, local business owners inspired the participants by sharing their entrepreneurial journey.

Rem Herceda of RJH Foods shared his story on transitioning from being an employee to an entrepreneur.

On the other hand, Fely Into of Elynne’s Tuna Chicharon, shared how thankful she is of DTI’s assistance which helped her business to grow. “You should attend seminars in the Negosyo Centers as I did before,” said Fely who encouraged her fellow entrepreneurs to avail of free seminars given by the Negosyo Centers in their locality.

Bengie Antido of Kayamanan ni Juan shared how they started out with only a meager amount of P1,000 in their pocket to scaling up their business.

Asked what is the most important value that entrepreneurs, Fely said, “Resilience; no matter what hardship you are going through; keep moving forward.”

For her part, Jeah La Guardia, the National Program Coordinator of PCE, said “Not all of us will become entrepreneurs, but we can all benefit from having an entrepreneurial mindset.” La Guardia discussed the requirements to become a KMME mentee such as owning a business which has been operating for at least a year, among others.