Twenty Cavite micro and small enterprises (MSEs) graduates from the KAPATID Mentor ME Program of the Department of Trade and Industry Region IV-A in partnership with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc.- Go Negosyo on 15 November 2018 in General Trias City, Cavite.

KMME is a coaching and mentoring program that brings together experts and industry leaders who provide a series of free mentoring sessions to assist small players scale up their businesses and contribute to economic growth and address issues of unemployment, job mismatched, and migration. The lecture components subjected the mentees with the modules’ technical concepts, equipping them with the basic jargons and protocols in running a business. Materials were simplified for effective digestion, and actual examples relatable to the mentees were used for effective illustration of the subject matter.

“I always emphasize that the world is our market because I want our micro, small, and medium enterprises to realize that opportunities for them are everywhere. Through KMME, we want to take our MSMEs to a whole new level of success and grab these opportunities as we envision them to be globally competitive,” said DTI CALABARZON Director Marilou Q. Toledo during her keynote speech.

Part of the program is the preparation and presentation of the Business Improvement Plan (BIP) to build the mentees’ confidence. It aims to provide the mentees an avenue to showcase their planned improvement strategies entirely banked on their Business Model Canvas. A panel was present to assess if the mentees have gained the competencies and evaluate their action plans. Each mentee presented his/her BIP to the panelists from the government, academe, and private sector such as DTI, Provincial Cooperative, Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development Office (PCLEDO) Cavite, VCargo Worldwide, Inter-Asia Bank, Windel Woodcraft, Delfa’s Food Product, Tokyo Tempura, Café Amadeo Development Cooperative, and the De La Salle-Dasmarinas.

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—the mindset and values of a successful entrepreneur, product development, marketing, operations management, accounting, taxation, finance, obligations and contracts, human resource management, supply and value chain, succession planning, and business plan development.

During the program, Em Cruz of Take-away Sisig and Bea Belardo of Belardo Coffee Enterprise were chosen as Kalye Negosyo scholars by Tokyo Tempura President Jorge Wieneke III. Kalye Negosyo is the mentoring advocacy, which helps micro-entrepreneurs at the grassroots level become bigger and better entrepreneurs. On the other hand, Teresa Fernandez of El Rimms Food Products was given a special award as the Most Disruptive MSE (a promising MSE that would likely become successful in business) by Paulo Tibig, President of VCargo Worldwide and an EntreChamp.

“KMME taught me the value of knowing and loving my product. I learned that it is important to have continuous research and development to improve the product, to make sure to document everything that happens in your business, and to be open to critics and suggestions regarding your business,” said Lea Resa Panganiban of David’s Faith Fruit Wine Manufacturing.

Panganiban started her business in 2014, producing David’s Faith Insulin Wine, which is made from all-natural ingredients like the Insulin plant (Costus igneus Nak) from the fertile soil of Tagaytay City, Cavite.

Being a single mom entrepreneur, Delia “Dhel” Gambol of Dhelightful Creations ventured into bead jewelry-making by using upcycled materials like tahong shells, river stones, mahogany fruit, and fish scales. While her son was growing up, Dhel explored various earning opportunities in sales, marketing, and tutoring while working full-time as an employee to earn sufficiently enough for their needs. Having gone through rigid, monotonous, and routinely trade and profession, Dhel finds bead jewelry making as her outlet for creative expression. Her fascination into tinkering small things to create crafty pieces becomes a passion.

“By attending several seminars from DTI like the Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED), One Town, One Product (OTOP), and SME Roving Academy (SMERA), I became a big supporter of the “Go Green” campaign by converting upcycled and indigenous materials into unique bead components. This is my way of adopting an environment-friendly, climate-smart, and inclusive strategies and measures,” said Dhel.

In the future, Dhel, through the help of KMME, envisions her business to become a social enterprise with a corporate social responsibility for the ecology and to provide income and employment to the community.♦

Date of release: 20 November 2018