DTI ‘Mentor ME’ program to support more small firms in Palawan

The Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI) second round of “Kapatid Mentor ME” (KMME) program aims to support more small business owners here in partnership with the Office of the 3rd Palawan District and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-Go Negosyo (PCE-GN).

Jointly launched here on Friday, the Kapatid Mentor Micro Entrepreneurs (ME) or KMME program welcomed in the event 150 micro- and small-enterprises (MSEs) from the 3rd Palawan District represented in the Lower House by Rep. Gil Acosta, and two other districts of the province .

The initiative is to help the country’s MSEs through coaching and mentoring approach, where they are tutored by large corporations on the different aspects of business operations; adopt-a-SSF (shared service facility) by providing them access to SSFs in their community; and inclusive business (IB) business model where they are linked to large companies’ value chains.

Like the first KMME in the province, DTI-Palawan Provincial Director Rosenda Fortunado hopes the program would be able to provide the MSEs with additional information and training in order to level up their ventures may they be new or have been engaged in their businesses for a long time.

“This is open to individuals who are dreaming to have their own businesses, or those that have been engaged in the businesses they do but want to expand them,” Fortunado said.

Fortunado said the second “Kapatid Mentor ME” initially wanted to only target participants from the 3rd Palawan District because of Rep. Acosta, but due to the clamor, the congressman agreed to also open the opportunity to others in the first and second districts.

Agnes Acosta-Magdaug of the Office of the 3rd Palawan District said the interest in jointly implementing the second batch took off in one of the meetings of the Committee on Business and Entrepreneurship Development, where congressmen were encouraged to bring the program to their districts.

“From there, the congressmen were invited to bring the Kapatid Mentor ME to their districts for their constituents to benefit. In our district, there are associations of small entrepreneurs we are helping and they will be screened by the DTI to see if they can join in the program and be mentored,” Magdaug said.

Rep. Acosta, in a Saturday morning Kapihan, said the KMME is a program to  help small business owners reach their full potential.

“With the Kapatid Mentor ME program, small businesses in Palawan can stay up to date with topics and interests to them; can access exclusive contents on how to manage their businesses to eventually expand them; and connect to other business owners to see what powers their growth,” Acosta said.

He added that the government is pressing its agencies, like DTI, to step up support to the MSEs to provide them strong property rights, streamline business registration, and to remove associations of shame or disgrace from failure.

Ten modules will be used to mentor around 20 MSEs qualifiers on three levels, and these are Inspirational Mentors, explanation of Technical Expert Mentors, and Business Mentors.

The third level will discuss technical, human and conceptual skills; business leadership; strategic management; financial management; and operations management.

Before the mentees graduate in two months, they are going to be required to present business plans, implement product launching, and do a mini trade fair to display the improvements of their products.

Fatima Valdestamon, one of the participants of the first Kapatid Mentor ME, and owner of Fatz Delicacies that sell pastillas and other cashew nuts derivatives, said the mentoring program made a huge impact on her small business in terms of branding, diversifying on cashew products, and financial and operations management.

“I used to just do this business aimlessly, or like I’m only guessing how much profit I will make. If I earn income, I’m happy even if it was small. Through KMME, I learned about proper operational management, human resource management, taxation, accounting, and many others that made me do my small business with a well-defined direction,” Valdestamon said.

Fatima Valdestamon, one of the participants of the first Kapatid Mentor ME, and owner of Fatz Delicacies that sell pastillas and other cashew nuts derivatives, said the mentoring program made a huge impact on her small business in terms of branding, diversifying on cashew products, and financial and operations management.

“I used to just do this business aimlessly, or like I’m only guessing how much profit I will make. If I earn income, I’m happy even if it was small. Through KMME, I learned about proper operational management, human resource management, taxation, accounting, and many others that made me do my small business with a well-defined direction,” Valdestamon said.

Source: http://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1006821

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