AS part of its initiative to strengthen mentorship to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Cebu is slated to open a “negosyo clinic” in the second quarter of this year.

Maria Elena Arbon, DTI Cebu director, said the negosyo clinic will invite established local business owners, tax, labor, marketing and finance experts to stay for a specified number of hours in the DTI Cebu Negosyo Center.

These experts will be available for consultation for potential or existing entrepreneurs, either through appointment or walk-in, where they can consult or seek professional advice.

Arbon said the Negosyo Clinic in DTI Cebu could start within April or May this year.

Under the leadership of Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, the local trade chief said they hope to build an entrepreneurial culture in Cebu through mentorship programs and capacity-building, the newest addition being the still-to- be launched MSME Development Plan 2017-2022.

DTI said it will keep the Aquino administration’s MSME Development Plan 2011-2016 four priorities, which are a business enabling environment, access to financing, access to market, and enhanced production and efficiency, but with the addition of capacity-building or training.

Trade Assistant Secretary Blesila Lantayona, in her visit to Cebu in October, said DTI intends to mentor 5,400 MSMEs in 270 batches all over the country.

The first mentorship program launched by DTI last year was the Kapatid Mentor Me program. The first batch of graduates in Cebu reached 26.

On March 17, DTI Cebu, in partnership with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), is expected to welcome 30 MSMEs for the second batch.