Davao City – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11’s mentorship program has added 96 more micro-entrepreneurs who graduated from its rigid ten-module training.

Following what it started five years ago, the Kapatid Mentor Micro Enterprise – Money Market Encounter (KMME-MME) continues to assist local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) scale up their businesses through coaching and mentoring. Successful business owners and experts in different fields guide and prepare them further as they embark on innovative and applicable interventions.

Screenshot of the participants of the KMME program

With the global health crisis affecting the economy, as well as, the conduct of important activities, DTI made some adjustments to ensure that the mentorship program continues to provide the qualified beneficiaries with the technical assistance they need. Thus, the agency conducted the KMME program through the online platform since last year.

DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi said they have to adapt to the changing times, and make the necessary shift just not to impede the implementation of the program.

She added that the KMME-MME program’s goal is really to capacitate MSMEs in terms of learning and adapting ways of doing business better, allowing them to navigate and recover from the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first batch of mentee-graduates were 46 MSMEs involved in different businesses, such as food manufacturing, wearables and homestyle (W&H), information and communications technology (ICT), and online sellers.

Meanwhile, the second batch for this year had 50 mentee-graduates under the tourism sector.

“We at DTI recognize this sector as one of the major contributors to the regional economy, and it was growing rapidly pre-COVID era. However, with the pandemic, it is one of the hardest-hit sectors,” Ambi shared.

The 96 mentees successfully completed the 10 relevant modules that can help them scale up their business, especially in the midst of the pandemic. They also had one-on-one coaching sessions with their expert mentors. As part of the requirements for the KMME-MME graduation, they presented their respective Business Improvement Plans (BIP) to a set of panelists, consisting of Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) certified mentors and financial institutions who helped them with their business and financial plans.

The KMME-MME online is a fusion of the KMME and MME programs of DTI, which is currently implemented and delivered with considerations of the new normal set-up. This addresses the need for continued access to money, market, and mentorship (3Ms) without compromising the safety of the participants.

“DTI, together with other government agencies tasked to support our MSMEs, will make available all other relevant programs and interventions as you continue with your recovery journey,” Ambi said addressing the MSMEs.

This year, DTI 11 was able to achieve its target to have 96 mentee-graduates following the 80 KMME graduates in 2020. Since 2016, the region has already produced a total of 642 graduates. ♦

Date of Release: 17 November 2021