TO produce more successful small and medium entrepreneurs in the countryside, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 is now ready to replicate the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMM) program in three island provinces in Central Visayas.
In partnership with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), the program will be rolled out in Bohol, Negros Oriential and Siquijor in July, which has been tagged as SME Month.
DTI Cebu Provincial Director Ma. Elena Arbon said these provinces will make use of the Cebu KMM module. Cebu was the pilot province of the mentorship program launched last year. It produced 26 graduates.
While these provinces are preparing for their pool of mentees and mentors, Arbon said that DTI and CCCI will grow their mentor group by identifying local mentors among the CCCI’s chamber members in other provinces.
“The new mentors will also be prepared through orientation and observing an actual KMM session, among others. We will also standardize the contents of the modules so mentors will be imparting more or less the same set of information,” said Arbon.
The KMM program aims to help MSMEs scale up their businesses through weekly coaching (for 12 weeks) and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on the different functional areas of entrepreneurship. These will be held in the Negosyo Centers nationwide.
The program is done in two phases. Phase 1, which is good for two weeks, will cover modules on basic entrepreneurship such as entrepreneurial mind-setting and values foundation and marketing. Weeks 3 to 10 will cover more advanced business modules such as operations management, supply and value chain, human resource management, financial management, taxation, and business law.
The Cebu KMM batch two training will start on March 17.
Earlier, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said DTI will institutionalize the mentoring services in Negosyo Centers by getting experts in the locality in core four areas in business— entrepreneurship tools and product development, market branding, finance, and legal.
The agency, however, needs more volunteer mentors either from the business chambers or academe. In last year’s launch, DTI 7 Assistant Regional Director Nelia Navarro said it would be crucial for aspiring entrepreneurs to learn from the experiences of successful business owners.
Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) compose 99.7 percent of all registered businesses, according to the DTI.