in photo: Screen capture of attendees of KMME-MME graduation.

50 CALABARZON cafe and carinderia owners graduated from the Department of Trade and Industry Region 4-A’s KAPATID Mentor ME-Money and Market Encounter (KMME-MME) Program on November 14, 2023 via Zoom. This program is in partnership with the Philippine Center for Entrerepeneurship-Go Negosyo that is designed to integrate MME into the regular KMME Program.

“It is with immense pride and joy that we extend our heartfelt congratulations to the 50 strong mentees for achieving this remarkable milestone. They have completed all the module sessions, actively participated in the government services forum, attended the coaching sessions, and presented their Business Improvement Plans. Now, they are ready to mark the final step of their journey. Today’s graduation does not signify a farewell or an end; instead, it marks the opening of a new door, a new chapter with promising opportunities for growth of your business,” said DTI 4-A SME Development Division Chief Marina V. Manalo in her welcome remarks.

In her congratulatory message, DTI Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila A. Lantayona mentioned that there are now more than 8,000 KMME mentee graduates in the country who aim to scale up their businesses under the continued mentorship of the program’s 800 accredited mentors. She encouraged the mentees to take advantage of this and maximize engagement with mentors and fellow mentees even after graduating from the program.

“Mentoring does not stop in gradutating. Learning should not stop from graduating. Continue to engage and keep learning. You will continue to keep in touch with your mentors and attend mentoring events, summits, and many other programs and activities by the DTI and Go Negosyo nationwide. Graduating from this program does not guarantee you a success, but we and our partmers are just here to guide you if you need us. I hope that this will be a one great ride to success,”  said Go Negosyo Founder Joey A. Concepcion.

The KMME-MME program provides a platform for existing and aspiring entrepreneurs to learn and be inspired from the entrepreneurial journey of the mentors online, be the channel for capacity building on an online platform using the KMME modules and canned lectures via webinar, provide an avenue for business mentorship of waitlisted micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs) across the regions and enhance their resiliency through crisis, and inspire the MSEs to adapt their business strategies in responding to the challenges of the “new normal” business environment.

The graduate-mentees completed the 10-module program: entrepreneurial mind-setting; marketing mindset; business model canvas; operations management; digitalization; supply and value chain; enterprise accounting/financial management; human resources/organization management; product development and marketing expansion and internationalization; and good governance & ethics.

“We started our business during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mabilis man ang paglago pero hindi maiiwasan ang mga pagsubok. When we shifted to the new normal, unti-unting humina ang aming benta, nagmamahal ang mga bilihin, at may mga empleyadong umalis. Fortunately, I was able to join in this KMME-MME program, and it opened many opportunities for us like radio guestings and bazaars. We thank the DTI for giving their 100 percent support to us. Salamat po sa inyong malasakit sa amin. To our mentors, our heartfelt gratitude for their valuable insights na magagamit namin sa aming negosyo,” said James Smith Colorado, owner of Apeng’s Ihawan in  Trece Martires, Cavite.

Another MSE from Alaminos, Laguna, Engr. Jonathan O. Bondad, owner of Owl Fab Cafe, expressed his gratitude to the DTI and Go Negosyo for the assistance and guidance in his business.

“I attended all the sessions with an open mind, and now I have come out with tons of knowledge from the KMME-MME Program. Our mentors have taught us the entrepreneurial mindset and values—that it is not just about business but about how you approach it. They gave us necessary tools to run our businesses more efficiently.” said Bondad. ♦

Date of Release: 27 October 2023