BOHOL – “I was filled with passion, eagerness, and love for baking, but I realized that something was missing. I needed help to grow my craft,” Tracy Mae Indoyon, 23 years old, shared in an interview when she began turning her dream pastry business into reality. The Department of Trade and Industry accompanied her when she expressed her desire for the needed support as a self-starter and young entrepreneur in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

Tracy’s journey started with her passion for baking, as financial challenges in her family prevented her from completing college. Instead of wasting her time doing nothing, she honed her baking crafts, and stepped farther to get a national certification for free from the TESDA Online Program on Bread and Pastry Production during the post-COVID 19 period in 2022. She then participated in the training and activities of the Opportunity 2.0 Program, a USAID-funded project designed to help out-of-school youth transition from seeking jobs to becoming self-employed.

Motivated by the interventions she received, Tracy decided to grow her business by establishing an online store. She baked and delivered cakes, cookies, and other pastry products by herself. It was tough at first when she faced difficulties in managing finances yet she didn’t stop. She decided to join the Bohol GentrepZ (Generation Z Entrepreneurship), a youth entrepreneurship program developed by DTI Bohol in October 2022.

The Bohol Gentrep Z is a 10-day intensive program supporting out-of-school youth with a platform to equip them with essential tools, knowledge, and support through business incubation, networking, and financial support. Youth participants are able to gain valuable insights into business fundamentals and marketing strategies. Experienced trainers and mentors from the Youth Development Alliance of Tagbilaran City guided them to receive the necessary support.

Despite facing challenges in financial management and marketing, Tracy remained undeterred. Through her mentor’s guidance and the GentrepZ program’s continuing assistance, she learned effective bookkeeping skills and packaging her products for online sales.

Today, Tracy’s online store on Facebook has become a growing go-to cake and pastry delivery shop in Tagbilaran City. Through DTI and partners in the Youth Development Alliance of Tagbilaran City, she was able to purchase baking equipment and tools and it afforded her to buy her own motorcycle too for quick deliveries. She now earns from Php 3,000 to Php 4,000 a day.

Tracy’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of education, mentorship, and her unwavering determination. She is an inspiration of what can be achieved when passion meets opportunities, even as an out-of-school youth. Tracy concludes with her statement to her peers, “If I can succeed as a young entrepreneur, imagine what can you do more as a fellow youth. I challenge you to go beyond the usual. Be a Gen Z Entrepreneur!”

Tracy commits to improving her craft and keeping an eye on the future of her business. She is a testament that hard work, dedication, and the right support are sure ingredients to entrepreneurial success.

Interested customers may reach Tracy via her Facebook page: Tracy’s Home-baking – Baked with Love. For more information on local products and produce proudly made from Bohol, visit DTI Bohol Facebook page. (Success Story/DTI Region 7 Central Visayas)

Photos: USAID Opportunity 2.0