CENTRAL VISAYAS – At least nineteen (19) local creatives in the region have successfully completed DTI’s revived Digital Services Entrepreneurs Advancement Mentorship (DREAM) program.

This initiative, dedicated to advancing local entrepreneurs in the digital arena, has demonstrated remarkable growth and impact since its inception in 2021.

Originally launched in response to the challenges posed by the pandemic, the DREAM Program has evolved into the Creative Konnect initiative, a subsector program focused on identifying and mapping the creative sector in Central Visayas. This evolution culminated in the FiestaKucha Cebu celebration in September 2023.

In 2024, DTI Region 7 Central Visayas partnered with Dual Story and The Company Cebu to revive this free mentoring program. The 2024 revival of the DREAM Program saw 19 talented mentee graduates hailing from various regions: 10 from Cebu, 5 from Bohol, 3 from Negros Oriental, and 1 from Siquijor. These graduates, all from the creative services sector, underscore the importance of nurturing innovation and entrepreneurial spirit within the region.

The program’s comprehensive curriculum covered essential topics, including: Entrepreneurial Mindset; Reading and Writing Contracts; Managing Your Financial Wealth; Legalizing Your Business; Dealing With Clients; Project Management; Reading Market Demand; Developing Your Product and Brand; Pitch Perfect; and Scaling from a Team of One to One Team.

“As we embark on this collective endeavor, let us embrace the spirit of the Philippine Creative Industries Development Act, championing the promotion and fortification of our creative industries,” said DTI Region 7 Director Maria Elena C. Arbon.

Director Arbon also announced that more programs and activities will be conducted for the local creative industry in September 2024, celebrating the Philippine Creative Industries Month (PCIM).

DREAM Program

Originally launched in 2021, the DREAM Program emerged as an online training course tailored specifically for digital services entrepreneurs and freelancers. Its inception was a response to the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to equip businesses of all sizes with the resilience and adaptability needed to thrive in challenging times.

In collaboration with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the program’s core was to produce confident local entrepreneurs with the right mindset and basic management skills, enabling them to sustain their enterprises amidst the challenges of the pandemic and new normal conditions.

In 2022, DTI 7 launched the Creative Konnect, a subsector program focused on identifying and mapping the creative sector in Central Visayas. This program aims to understand and harness the potential of the different creative subsectors in using creativity as a tool for socioeconomic development.

Following the successful completion of Phase 1, which entailed the comprehensive collection of quantitative data from the island provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, and Negros Oriental in December 2021, and the subsequent formal launch in April 2022, Phase 2 commenced on July 28, 2022.

This phase unfolded through a series of ten enriching stakeholders’ conversations, uniting key stakeholders from ten (10) prominent creative fields across Region 7, namely: New Media: Digitized Content and Software, New Media: Animation and Game Development, Performing Arts, Visual Arts, Creative Services: Placemaking, Creative Services: Imagemaking, Functional Design, Audio Visuals, Cultural Expressions, and Printing and Publishing.

Some of the main issues cited across the creative subsectors included concerns about creation, distribution, production, and consumption, highlighting the minimal support for emerging creatives; lack of industry mentors and champions; and skills transfer and capacity building.

In September 2023, DTI7 unveiled ‘FiestaKucha Cebu’, a festive regional initiative in celebration of the Philippine Creative Industries Month (PCIM). This provided local creatives a platform and exposure to their creative outputs through a month-long series of events. This celebration concluded with a conference, gathering creative industry stakeholders, players, and ecosystem to elevate their awareness about the sector.

For the comeback of the DREAM program in 2024, DTI 7 collaborated with local creatives, The Company CEBU and Dual Story. (DTI 7/PR) ♦

Date of release: 27 May 2024