THE Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), through its Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP), is pushing for a strong community of young entrepreneurs in Negros Occidental.
Engiemar Tupas, officer-in-charge chief of the Industry Development Division of DTI-Negros Occidental, said the program is an offshoot of the Young Entrepreneurship Act.
Tupas said the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development (MSMED) Council and the DTI are tasked to promote youth entrepreneurship by integrating it in the programs and policies.
“After it was launched at the regional office in Iloilo City last September, the program is now being implemented in the province level including Negros Occidental,” he added.
The agency carries the tagline “Harnessing Our Own Resources for the Advancement of the Youth” for the program.
Under the law, other strategies to promote youth entrepreneurship included facilitating national programs as part of a broader strategy to promote the viability and growth of enterprises in the country; identifying funding mechanisms to support young entrepreneurs in the incubation and start-up of enterprise projects; and including youth representative in the MSMED Council.
These strategies are translated into the different components of YEP such as Youth Start, Youth Net, and Youth Match.
Youth Start aims to stir the entrepreneurial interest and encourage the youth to start their business ventures.
Under the Youth Net component, youth entrepreneurs shall be connected with the right networks that will support them to overcome startup challenges and exchange of innovative ideas.
While, Youth Match provides for collaboration as an essential tool that enables youth entrepreneurs’ access to new resources which will bolster their business.
For Negros Occidental, the DTI has already conducted a coaching and mentoring session for 38 participants mostly young entrepreneurs in the province at the Negros First Negosyo Center in Bacolod City last week.
Among other participants are students of Riverside College and University of Saint La Salle - Bacolod taking Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurship.
Tupas said they invited two young entrepreneurs, who gave testimonies on their experiences since they started operating their businesses and the assistance they availed from the DTI.
Prior to coaching and mentoring, six mentors from different sectors like garments, food and handicrafts, among others, also shared their experiences.
Tupas said the agency will continue the efforts to capacitate local young entrepreneurs.
“Our end goal is eventually make them successful like our adult entrepreneurs,” he said, adding that “while they are still young, there is already a shift in mindset to have their own businesses rather than just being employees.”
The DTI official pointed out that with more number of entrepreneurs in the countryside, more employment can also be generated.
Tupas said once people are employed, they will have money that they can use for their living and pay taxes to the government.
These taxes can be used for socio-economic activities that would eventually redown to upliftment of economic status of the community, Tupas said.
“More businesses spur economic growth. Through this program, youth are also taught of valuing finances by putting it to business,” he added.