21 successful mentees graduated from the Department of Trade and Industry’s KAPATID Mentor Me Program (KMME) in Tayabas City, Quezon on 16 July 2018 after almost three months of training. They are the third batch of graduates since 2017 and the first batch to graduate this year.

“In essence, undergoing the KMME Program is like taking up a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship but for free and with the same quality of education from experts, consultants, executives, and owners of corporations. Not only will this help our micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) increase their income but will also help spur economic activity and generate employment opportunities,” said DTI CALABARZON Director Marilou Q. Toledo.

KMME is an initiative of the DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) to help the country’s micro and small enterprises, bringing experts and industry leaders who will provide a series of free mentoring sessions on product development, marketing, operations management, accounting, taxation, finance, obligations and contracts, human resource management, supply and value chain, succession planning, and business plan development.

DTI Quezon Officer-in-Charge Julieta L. Tadiosa said that the materials were simplified to help MSMEs digest the information effectively and relate to actual examples.

“While designing the KMME program, we came up with the three Cs—consciousness, competency, and confidence,” said PCE Angelpreneur Victor N. Madlangbayan.

According to Madlangbayan, it is very important for a businessperson to change his/her consciousness into an entrepreneurial mindset, to enhance his/her competency in managing the business, and to show confidence in dealing with clients and business partners.

Before graduation, each mentee presented his/her Business Improvement Plan (BIP) to the panelists from the DTI, PCE, Southern Luzon State University, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Bank of Makati, Quezon Capital Rural Bank, Greenlife, Caltan Training and Consultancy, Small Business Corporation, St. Jude Cooperative, and GenMae General Merchandise.

The mentees were graded based on the effectiveness of their presentation such as the organization, flow, time, and effectiveness to response to audience questions and comments, including their application of learning from the modules such as market opportunity, competitive advantage, management capability, financial understanding, and innovation.

“The KMME Program is very helpful because I was able to create my own business plan that serves as my guide—where to go and what actions to take. Our business has finally found its direction as our mission and vision became clearer for us,” said Mayumi M. Delos Reyes, owner of DMY Bakeshoppe from Candelaria.

Delos Reyes and her husband are both OFW who started their cakes and pastries business in 2015. Their bestsellers are yema and chocolate cakes, yema tarts, yema spread, and recently, sinantolan or ginataang santol –a Filipino dish made of grated santol meat cooked in shrimp paste and coconut cream.

“We are grateful to DTI for helping small businesses to grow and succeed. After the KMME, I became more analytical and inspired to expand my business because I am now armed with sufficient knowledge and competency in entrepreneurship,” said Elizabeth S. Cometa, owner of John, Renz, and Kent Food Products.

Cometa’s popular product is her cacao wine. She has three hectares planted with cacao trees and helps local growers and farmers by sourcing cacao from them.♦

Date of release: 19 July 2018