Group picture of MSME Boot Camp 2023 Attendees.

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA – The Department of Trade and Industry – Laguna Provincial Office (DTI Laguna), through the One Town, One Program Next Generation (OTOP Next Gen) Program and in partnership with the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) and UPLB Alumni Association, successfully conducted the MSME Boot Camp 2023: Entrepreneurship and Packaging Design Mentorship Program for the Suppliers of OTOP Hub UPLB last 4 and 5 May 2023 at UP Los Baños.

The 2-day activity aimed to empower the MSMEs assisted by DTI Laguna, UPLB, and UPLBAA which included manufacturers of different food and non-food products and the products which were developed and innovated by the Income Generating programs (IGPs) of UPLB. The participants were also the suppliers of the products showcased in OTOP Hub UPLB located at the UPLB Technology Hub and One Stop Shop (THOSS). The MSME Boot Camp focused on improving and strengthening the branding, marketing, and packaging of OTOP and UPLB products which are showcased in the OTOP Hub.

A short program was held in lieu of the opening of the 2-day activity. On behalf of UPLB, Dr. Jennifer Marie Amparo, Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for Administration and Director of the UPLB Business Affairs Office (BAO), welcomed the participants and gave a brief overview of how this activity was conceptualized. She also shared the humble beginnings of the partnership of DTI Laguna, UPLB, and UPLBAA in the establishment and launch of the OTOP Hub UPLB, the first OTOP Hub established in partnership with a higher education institution (HEI). Captain Mauro Barradas, President of the UPLB Alumni Association, also welcomed the participants and expressed that the UPLBAA will always provide the necessary support to UPLB, its alumni, and to the MSMEs who are diligently and courageously bouncing back despite the pandemic. Afterwards, Mr. Christian Ted Tungohan, OIC-Provincial Director of DTI Laguna, welcomed the participants and expressed gratitude and appreciation to the partners and mentors of the MSME Boot Camp. The activity was also graced and supported by Dr. Eileen Mamino, UPLB Assistant to the Chancellor, and Dr. Resty Collado, Vice President of the UPLBAA.

The first day of the MSME Boot Camp 2023 was dedicated on building up the entrepreneurial mindset and skills of the participants. The first lecture,

Entrepreneurial Mindset and Innovation, was given by Go Negosyo mentor and creative serial entrepreneur, Mr. Jorge Wieneke. He emphasized the importance of having the right mindset so that the MSMEs will be enabled to overcome challenges, exercise sound judgement, and accept responsibility when it comes to business decisions. Afterwards, Ms. Jenny Wieneke, also a Go Negosyo mentor and advertising expert, gave a talk about Marketing Mindset and How to Market your Brand. She discussed about the 4Ps of marketing, product, place, price, and promotion. She also shared her own 4Ps of Life, pag-ibig, passion, positivity, and prayer, as a guide for MSMEs through their entrepreneurial journey.

After the first two lectures, Mr. Erlito “Lilit” Reyes, an advertising creative and movie scriptwriter, shared his insights about branding and packaging trends. He engaged the participants in an activity wherein the group was asked to enumerate the ABCs of products. The participants actively joined the activity and was able to complete the alphabet of products in five (5) minutes. After the activity, he discussed about how branding will affect the identity, impression, and perception of consumers about their products and their business. To further guide the participants in complying with the regulatory requirements, Go Negosyo mentor and homegrown Laguna OTOPreneur, Mr. Clarke Nebrao, gave an in-depth talk and discussion about the Mandatory Label and Packaging. Mr. Nebrao gave a comprehensive explanation about each of the eleven (11) mandatory labelling requirements required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as declared in their Administrative Order No. 2014-0030.

The 2nd day of the MSME Boot Camp 2023 was devoted to the one-on-one mentorship and consultation with the DDB Group Philippines and Tribal Worldwide Ph, one of the world’s largest and most influential advertising and marketing networks. In support to the participants, a team of creative and art directors from DDB Group Philippines and Tribal Worldwide Ph sat down with each of the participants to impart their knowledge and inputs for the overall look of the logo and packaging. They also provided a consultancy with the UPLB Income Generating Programs (IGPs) in support to their efforts in harmonizing the UPLB brand and in levelling up their branding and packaging. Also present to provide consultancy were mentors Mr. Jorge Wieneke, Ms. Jenny Wieneke, and Mr. Lilit Reyes. The participants were given tips and pointers on how to strengthen their businesses, innovate their products, and take advantage of the different social media platforms to expand their market reach.

Over-all, the MSME Boot Camp was able to assist fifteen (15) MSMEs from the different sectors including processed fruits and nuts, wearables, homestyle, gifts, decors, coffee, Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiaries, and six (6) UPLB IGPs for their developed products ranging from dairy products, bee products, seeds, fertilizers, juices, and wines. This activity is part of the

collaborative efforts of DTI Laguna and DTI CALABARZON under the leadership of OIC-Regional Director Marissa Argente and OIC-Provincial Director Christian Ted Tungohan to provide assistances to MSMEs for them to level up their products and sustain their enterprises.

Date of Release: 10 May 2023