IT’S been two years since the Guio-ang Agrarian Reform Community Beneficiary Cooperative in Bohol was established. It sells ginger salabat, yema and candies.
Until now, it struggles to hasten production and encounters issues on production and management.
Board director Elisa Daca said she wants the business cooperative to improve, so she enrolled herself in the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI).
The program aims to help micro, small and medium enterprises enterprises (MSMEs) develop the needed skill sets for an entrepreneur.
The sixth batch of participants began their training on Thursday, May 16, at the Azia Hotel and Residences in Cebu City. For the first phase, participants of the program were taught about entrepreneurial mindsetting, values deepening and marketing.
Ma. Elena Arbon, DTI 7 assistant regional director, said the KMME program can help MSMEs grow their business so they can compete with the bigger ones.
KMME is also a way that entrepreneurs can collaborate and establish their business with other entrepreneurs, said Arbon.
GT Cosmetics Manufacturing Inc. founder Leonora Salvane, Kevlo Skinceuticals chief executive officer Mark Philip Geniston, and Salt and Light Ventures Inc. co-founder Eduardo Roberto will be mentoring the participants for the first phase.
Salvane encouraged participants to never bring their competitors down. Instead, entrepreneurs should work together to strengthen the business community in Cebu.
“Don’t bump your competitor just to get to the finish line quickly,” advised Salvane.
The sixth batch of KMME is expected to have 25 participants.
“I envision that after this program, we will improve because I really want to be good enough that we can display our products in the malls,” said Daca.
Most of the participants of the sixth batch of KMME are from the food industry, health and wellness, creative and construction services, e-commerce and tourism services.
To enroll in the program, the entrepreneur needs to submit legal requirements to the DTI. There will also be an interview of the entrepreneurs.
KMME started in 2016 under the initiative of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.
There are 16 regions covered by the KMME, with 2,358 graduates nationwide since 2016. In Cebu, DTI has produced 135 graduates since it started in October 2016.
CCCI president Virgilio Espeleta, in his speech during the launching, said he was glad to see the enthusiasm that the entrepreneurs were showing.
“I am elated to be given the opportunity to spread this knowledge to you,” Espeleta told participants.