DAVAO CITY – At least 690 microentrepreneurs have already graduated from the Kapatid Mentor ME (Micro Enterprises) program (KMM) since it was launched in 2016, the Department of Trade Industry in Davao Region (DTI-11) said.
DTI-11 Director Ma. Belen Ambi said Thursday the initiative has so far shown positive results in equipping new entrepreneurs not only to manage their businesses but sustain them throughout the pandemic.
“The Kapatid Mentor program has been among the agency’s viable strategies in developing local entrepreneurs. Hence, it has been appreciative of its partnership with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) for nurturing its clients through mentoring,” she said.
Early this month, Ambi said the DTI-11 and PCE facilitated the training and graduation of 48 microentrepreneurs from the region through online platform.
“With the successful initial implementation of the program in Davao City, it was immediately rolled out regionwide the following year. Since then, the KMME program has become a constant component of our SME development-related interventions,” she said.
From 2016 to 2019, the KMME was conducted as a regular in-person learning program in a classroom-type modality.
The agency, however, had to make the necessary shift to an online platform in 2020 due to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.
“With such a move, the KMME program has continued to help the mentees pivot their respective businesses and became resilient despite several businesses ceased operation. But evidently, Filipinos are very resilient and innovative by nature, many forms of businesses—the majority of them online—sprouted all over the region,” the DTI-11 official said.
For her part, DTI-Davao City Director Rachel Remitio described the KMME as one of the most comprehensive packages of interventions for MSMEs.
“We consider ourselves in DTI lucky for the strong partnership we have with the PCE. In the meantime, the mentees are luckier for qualifying for the program as they now belong to the elite group of KMME graduates nationwide,” she said.
Remitio said other trade and development support interventions from the agency are underway for starting small business enterprises. (PNA)