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The Philippines announces 3rd digital entrepreneur assistance program

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), in partnership with the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-Go Negosyo, and Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, announced that they will launch the “Kapatid (which translates to brother or sister in Filipino) Mentor Me” (KMME) Online Batch 3 in Central Visayas region of the country early this year.

The “Kapatid Mentor Me” program aims to assist MSMEs to scale up and sustain their businesses through weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship. The program has already been launched in 15 regions and has assisted over 2,000 farmers and almost 500 associations and cooperatives since 2017.

As the Covid-19 pandemic forced most companies to tap the online space, going digital is now the most viable option for businessmen as they move forward post-pandemic as stated by the director of the DTI, inspiring the agency to launch KMME online. This is now the third installment of the agency’s virtual project.

The DTI said that the COVID-19 outbreak, which triggered months-long home quarantines and country-wide lockdowns, has accelerated the digital pivot of most businesses. As the shift to digital media was becoming more prominent as time goes by, entrepreneurs and businesses must keep up with the migration to digital. Not only did the quarantines and lockdowns triggered the abrupt rise in online businesses, nowadays, but even brick and mortar shops are also shifting to digital platforms to reach their markets as most people stayed home.

The DTI added that both digital natives and traditional entrepreneurs must adjust how they do business to survive and thrive in the ever-changing business world. Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) development have been at the forefront of our entrepreneurship advocacy of the department. The DTI believes that to achieve the inclusive growth that we all aspire for, they will need to equip our micro and small entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, training, and other means of mentorship in the form of using digital platforms to convey their messages and conduct pieces of training.

The agency further stressed the fact that accepting the shift from traditional techniques to digitalization is way better now than ever before. Businesses and individuals slowly embracing the fact that digitalization is the only way to go. They also believe that MSMEs are considered as the backbone of the Philippine economy, the government envisions the country filled with successful and continuously growing entrepreneurs. Through entrepreneurship, there will be more jobs generated, livelihoods created, and poverty will be alleviated.

KMME online will feature mentorship modules to be used to propel micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) to survive and thrive despite the unprecedented setbacks brought by the COVID-19 pandemic that now confront businesses of all types and sizes. KMME online is free but can accommodate only a total of 48 participants in the Central Visayan region.

The online modules provided by the Department of Trade Industry will cover entrepreneurial mind-setting and values formation, marketing mindset, business model canvas, operations management, digitalization, supply and value chain management, accounting and finance for small business, human resource management, market-driven innovation, good governance and ethics, government services and business improvement plan presentation.

The program sets out to produce confident entrepreneurs with the right mindset and basic management skills which will enable them to sustain their enterprises amid the challenges brought about by the pandemic. Special sessions will be done per quarter to include digitalization and business continuity plans to guide entrepreneurs on how they can better ride on the new normal business environment.

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