Students to help micro-entrepreneurs

Local News Official
Local News OfficialSunStar File Photo

AT LEAST 40 Local Government Units (LGUs) have submitted nominations for potential micro-entrepreneurs who will be aided by the “Obra Negosyo Eskwela” program of the Cebu Provincial Government.

On Wednesday, March 6, 2024, Cebu Sixth District Provincial Board Member Glenn Soco said there are about 92 promising micro-enterprises joining the program.

Soco spoke during the Joint Council Meeting at the Capitol Social Hall attended by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and mayors of Cebu’s towns and cities.

The program seeks to help selected micro-entrepreneurs in the province improve their existing businesses through partnerships with the academic community, the business sector, and the provincial government.

Garcia on Sept. 8, 2023, announced the revival of the program which was first launched in 2010 but ended in 2013 after her first three terms as governor of the province.

During the meeting, Soco said the academe already submitted a list of 66 student teams, composed of five students and a student officer, to be deployed and immersed in various towns and cities.

The selected micro-traders and student teams will collaborate to grow their businesses. They will be mentored by the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).

92 enterprises

Garcia said she will meet again with the MCCI to finalize the selection process of these 92 enterprises, as some LGUs have submitted more than two nominations.

She said the selected enterprises will be assigned evenly to the 66 student teams, which will be announced in April 2024.

“We will first limit the Obra Negosyo Eskwela competition to the 40 LGUs that have submitted,” Garcia said.

Last Oct. 18, 2023, Garcia met with the administrators of the University of the Philippines–Cebu; Cebu Technological University – Main Campus; Cebu Normal University; University of San Carlos; University of San Jose Recoletos; Southwestern University–Phinma; University of the Visayas; University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue; and Benedicto College, as these are the schools that will participate in the program.

Soco said the program will be an opportunity for students to experience real-life situations while assisting small entrepreneurs in their chosen businesses.

Through the program, the local government unit is entrusted with helping the students with transportation, lodging, and food, along with help from the Cebu Provincial Government.

The program will also give P50,000 in financial assistance to the selected micro-entrepreneurs which will be used to improve their businesses after the student immersion and first round of mentorship.

The program will conclude with the selection of the best micro-enterprises and the best student teams after an exhibition.

“There will be competition for the enterprises and competition for student teams. So they have to outdo each other in their presentation and business plans,” Soco said in Cebuano.

“The business will be legitimized and registered with the LGUs and other national government agencies, and there will be an improvement in the product quality and packaging for proper labeling, production and processing,” he added. / EHP


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