DAVAO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 11 is set to mentor 49 local entrepreneurs not later than the end of the first half of this year in a bid to improve them in the different aspects of business operations.
After launching the first batch of the 2022 Kapatid Mentor Micro Enterprises (KMME) Online program on April 6 through a virtual conference platform, the agency is now gearing up for the start of the mentorship interventions.
It can be recalled that the program started in 2016 with the goal of providing the micro entrepreneurs with the much-needed guidance and assistance. Several experts in various fields are tapped as mentors who will help the mentees in equipping themselves with the right mix of skills and knowledge.
The first batch of the 2022 KMME Online will have their online mentoring sessions for the 10 module from April 13 to May 25. In addition to the modules, a government forum shall be conducted as well to orient the mentees of the government agencies’ functions and services. This will help them know which agency to approach in case they need some assistance in advancing the level of their business operations.
DTI 11 Regional Director Maria Belenda Q. Ambi shared that the online batches started only in 2020 to respond to the call of a very limiting situation, which is the occurrence of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In 2020, we had to be quick in devising mechanisms in order to deliver our services continuously despite the uncertainty. Hence, we innovated and began implementing the online version of the program. As a public office, it is our commitment to do our best amid any circumstances. We have to be responsive to the needs of our clients, and this is what exactly happened to the KMME program, which used to be done face-to-face or in-person,” the local trade official said.
To complete the course, the mentees are required to prepare their respective business improvement plans (BIPs), which they will defend before a panel of industry experts from June 30until July 1.
“In preparing the BIPs, each of the mentees will be given a coach, who will guide them in making their outputs comprehensive and satisfactory. These coaches, just like the mentors during the module runs, are industry practitioners and successful entrepreneurs themselves,” Ambi explained.
Ambi added that the graduation of the KMME mentees does not mark yet the end of their journey with DTI’s mentorship program. They can expect to receive additional assistance in the forms of website development, webinars, trade fairs participation, and product development, among others.
Meanwhile, Mindanao Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council representative Mary Ann M. Montemayor noted that the program already produced 176 KMME Online graduates for the past two years. These are the owners of micro enterprises that completed the 10 well-designed modules and successfully defended their BIPs. This is aside from the previously conducted KMME face-to-face batches which produced 466 graduates. Since 2016 until last year, DTI 11 has already produced a total of 642 KMME graduates from all over the region. -END-