GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 October) — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Region 12 has chosen 20 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) here as pilot beneficiaries of its “Mentor Me” program.
Vannesa Clainre Pleña, DTI-12 information officer, said the beneficiaries were among the hundreds of MSMEs in the region that have signified to take part in the innovative program, which was formally launched by the agency here late last month.
She said they tapped the agency-led Negosyo Center here as the program’s main implementer.
“We decided to concentrate first at the Negosyo Center here to ensure its more focused implementation and prevent possible casualties from among the beneficiaries,” she said in a press conference.
Under the program, Pleña said the 20 selected MSMEs will undergo a series of trainings and mentoring sessions through volunteer professional organizations, academe and established entrepreneurs.
She said the trainings, which will cover 11 modules, covers basic to advanced entrepreneurial courses or subjects that will run for nine weeks.
It includes the development of entrepreneurial mindset, marketing, financial accounting for business and taxation, she said.
Pleña said the beneficiaries will be assessed or evaluated on a regular basis to ensure that they properly benefit from the program.
“Once the program succeeds, we will cascade its implementation to other areas in Region 12 that have existing Negosyo Centers,” she said.
DTI-12 has already established nine Negosyo Centers and two more are expected to open before the end of the year.
The existing Negosyo Centers are located in this city, Koronadal City, Cotabato City, Tacurong City, Kidapawan City, Alabel town in Sarangani, Surallah in South Cotabato, Midsayap in North Cotabato, and Isulan in Sultan Kudarat.
Pleña said among those who volunteered to serve as mentors for the MSMEs are local members of the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the General Santos City Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc.; business experts from the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University; and, executives of local companies and business consulting firms.
DTI-12 earlier launched the program in partnership with the Go Negosyo’s Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship.
Ibrahim Guiamadel, DTI-12 director, said the “Mentor Me” program is the first of the three components of the agency’s Negosyo Kapatid “Angat Lahat” Program.
He said it aims to help MSMEs scale up their businesses through weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship.
“By the end of this program, we hope to produce more confident entrepreneurs with the right mindset and business-know-how in sustaining and scaling up their enterprises,” he said. (MindaNews)