BEAMS Project Implementation in Laguna

The Building Entrepreneurs thru Advisory and Mentoring Services (BEAMS) is currently a pilot business mentoring program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – CALABARZON. Its goal is to assist micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in improving their business operations through mentoring services of local Volunteer Mentors (VMs). In other words, BEAMS will be a resource of people who have extensive business experience and a willingness to share their time, skills and knowledge on volunteer basis with micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) needing assistance.

Mentoring and the BEAMS concept is deeply rooted in the “bayanihan” spirit of the Filipinos where neighbors in a community would help each other in performing a certain task. It also carries the big brother/sister spirit where an abled and experienced person would assist / guide a young and inexperienced person in achieving a certain goal. The keywords are ‘Volunteer’ and ‘Mentor’, which means that only people who are committed to provide their services for free would become members of the elite group of VMs of DTI – CALABARZON. Only intrinsic benefits would accrue to the VMs in the form of recognition and feeling of fulfillment in sharing their talents for local economic development. The VMs are from the public, private and academe sectors of the local community who are closely aligned with DTI’s goals of assisting MSMEs grow and flourish to encourage economic development & reduce poverty.

The Project grew out of the recommendation of Canadian Executive Service Organization (CESO) Volunteer Adviser (VA) Gerry O’ Connor to establish such after his rapid business diagnostic assessment of selected / representative Shared Service Facilities (SSFs) in the CALABARZON region. Prior to its institutionalization on 2017, pilot activities, patterned after the manual of operations composed by CESO Lead Volunteer Adviser Bruce McPherson, are now being carried out by the DTI-CALABARZON Provincial offices.

In Laguna, the first and foremost BEAMS activity was to organize the Provincial Partnership Advisory Committee (PPAC), its members being composed of DTI – Negosyo Center Project Staff and representatives from the academe, and the public and private sectors, whose main goal is to ensure the successful implementation, operation monitoring, and evaluation of a viable and sustainable Provincial BEAMS Program. The Committee provided direction in (1) the selection of VMs, and SSFs that needed assistance, and (2) the matching of the VMs and SSFs based on the former’s expertise and the latter’s needs.

Since then, the VMs have met and mentored with their respective SSFs. They have been capacitated through various trainings such as the Training on Business Mentoring and Workshop on Entrepreneurial Skills Development and Organizational Effectiveness conducted by CESO and DTI.

The BEAMS pilot project is still underway and the outputs of the mentoring sessions have yet to be consolidated and reported.