April 21, 2024

More micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Cordillera benefitted from the Kapatid Mentor Micro Entrepreneurs (KMME) Program of the Department of Trade and Industry and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurs (PCE).

The DTI-Cordillera-led virtual graduation for the102 Kapatid Mentor Me completers who finished the 10-module training program for batch 1 and 2 last Sept. 6 and 7, respectively.

Kalinga has the most mentee graduates with 18, followed by Baguio City and Benguet with 16 each, Mountain Province with 14, Abra and Ifugao with 13 each, and Apayao with 12.

The MSMEs are into the business/trades of food manufacturing; food processing; wearables (clothing, fashion and accessories); ICT services; retail (food and non-food); Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing; homestyle (furniture, decors, gifts, housewares); beauty/health products; and tourism.

Iloisa Diga, a mentee from of La Trinidad, Benguet said the program is a big help for entrepreneurs like her as it gave them opportunity to expand their linkages and target markets.

Diga owns the Session Groceries, an online market, which with its virtual apps has been crucial in the delivery of highland vegetable products to Metro Manila buyers during the height of the Covid-19.

Diga won the Best in Business Improvement Plan award at the provincial and regional level of the 2022 KMME Batch 2.

DTI-Cordillera Assistant Regional Director Samuel Gallardo said the KMME is a coaching and mentoring program that aims to help MSMEs improve their businesses through engagement with key business industry players and interaction with fellow entrepreneurs, as well as by introducing to them relevant government services.

The KMME program has produced 793 mentee graduates in the Cordillera since 2016.

One remarkable KMME mentee graduate in the Cordillera is Shawnie Dale Bitso, owner of Oyster Mushroom Sanagi Farm in Tuba, Benguet.

He was awarded as one of the most outstanding MSMEs during the National MSME Summit on Aug. 26.
Bitso belongs to the 2021 KMME. His Sanagi Farm benefitted from the P650,000 assistance from the Department of Agriculture; cash assistance from the city government of Baguio; and P8,000 livelihood kit from DTI. – Carlito Dar