Seven entrepreneurs from Catanduanes were among the 47 who comprised the first batch of graduates of the Kapatid Mentor ME-Money Market Encounter (KMME-MME) Online Program for 2022 in the Bicol region.
The finishers of the free but tough 10-module program are: Erlinda Borbe of 7 Sibs Diner, Moonwalk, San Isidro Village, Virac; Mary Antonette Camano of Tawny’s Processed Food Production, Paraiso, San Miguel; Mary Jane Santos of Winlhabine Kuping Products of Suchan, Bagamanoc; Ardy Traqueña of Ardy Events and Design, Palnab del Norte, Virac; Maria Pilaw Manlangit of BUHAICO, Hawan Ilaya, Virac; Nancy Vallespin of Nancy Food Product, Suchan, Bagamanoc; Mark Andres Cano of Pap’s Food Processing, Suchan, Bagamanoc; and, Teresa Zafe of Marz Pet Shop Virac.
Camano, who was the top performer in Catanduanes, placed fourth among the region’s six provinces.
Zafe and Cano placed 2nd and 3rd among local entrepreneurs whose Business Improvement Plans were evaluated by a panel of experts and mentors.
An initiative of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE), KMME optimizes weekly face-to-face interactions between the mentors and the mentees with the key goal of boosting the entrepreneurial capacity through improved access to Mentorship, Money & Market (the 3Ms).
DTI Catanduanes provincial director Ma. Belma Escueta thanked the seven graduates for their perseverance and commitment to the KMME program, which has produced a total of 106 graduates since it was implemented in the province in 2017.
DTI Regional Director Rodrigo Aguilar lauded the 47 graduates from the Bicol Region for completing the 10 sessions imparted with practical experiences of their mentors, which he said is not an easy thing to do.
Saying that the government cannot do it along in its effort to provide employment, he said that micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) need to be strengthened to help solve the problem and create new businesses for inclusive growth.
Then DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, on the other hand, commended the KMME graduates’ effort to reboot their businesses as the course gave them the mindset and the knowledge to be successful entrepreneurs and to sustain and scale up their businesses.
He disclosed that the Philippines is the top 10 in the world in e-commerce and the fastest growing in Asia as far as online business is concerned.
Speaking on behalf of Joey Concepcion, PCE Director Thermina Akram said that it was not easy for entrepreneurs to do things digitally but they made it happen.
She promised the support of the PCE as the graduates begin their entrepreneurial journey.
Meanwhile, eight exhibitors from Catanduanes participated in last week’s Orgullo Kan Bikol (OKB) trade fair at Shangri-La Plaza in Mandaluyong City, Metro Manila.
The local food processors and producers who sold native products at the mall last July 6-10, 2022 were Belen’s Pinahamis na Pili (Evelyn Bonifacio), Sto. Nino, Virac; Nelia’s Food Products (Airen Giray) of San Isidro Village, Virac; Alimer’s Food Products (Irene Torrente) of Ibong Sapa, Virac; Nild’s Special Pilinut Candy (Nilda Solsona) of Calatagan Proper, Virac; Dove’s Special Delicacies (Salvacion Avila) of San Vicente, Virac; Mamita’s Homemade Food Products (Emmaruth Tugano) of Cavinitan, Virac; Ody’s HomeCrafts (Melody Sebastian) of Valencia, Virac; and Apanti Agri-Industrial Products and Development (of Rebecca Joy Apanti) of Paniquihan, Baras.
Among those who showed their support for Catandunganon’s MSMEs who showcased their products were
Congressman Eulogio Rodriguez, Ms. Nancy Cua, Atty. Santiago Gabionza Jr., Atty. Ramil Tamayo, Atty. Sinforoso Sarmiento, and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) Virac chapter president Frank Boñales.