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Last Monday, together with other 41 newly appointed officials, I took an oath in Malacañang signifying my commitment to do the best that I can to fulfil my responsibility as a pro-bono Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship. Whether I was appointed or not, I would have continued what Go Negosyo has been doing for the past 11 years.
After hearing the 10-point economic agenda of the Duterte Administration, with one of the agenda focusing on micro and small entrepreneurs’ development, we know that there will be a boost in the entrepreneurship community since the President himself commits to focus on this area.
With this new task that I am given, I will synergize entrepreneurship efforts and programs being done by the different departments and agencies in the country most especially with Sec. Mon Lopez’s Department of Trade and Industry. Also, together with Sen. Miguel Zubiri’s Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, we will work closely with the Senate in developing bills that will support the needs of all entrepreneurs.
But the real focus of Go Negosyo is MSME development.
The partnership with DTI is, I can say, a tremendous force in helping micro and small receive their needed assistance. This is a chance for private companies to extend their hand to the smaller entrepreneurs.
Before Mon joined the government, we were already forming the program, Kapatid. Kapatid is focused on three areas: mentoring, shared service facilities, and inclusive business.
We all know that many entrepreneurs have been successful because they are mentored well by their parents, schools, or their fellow entrepreneurs. I, myself have been mentored by my parents. But some of our micro entrepreneurs did not receive proper mentorship. Most of them are hindered by their families to continue their business, or they came from schools that did not enhance their skills, or they were not exposed to inspirations and innovations. They are lucky if they are part of a strong micro-finance institution which can give basic business advices. That is why I think mentorship is important.
We rolled out our mentorship program in Negosyo Centers, in partnership with the office of Sen. Bam Aquino who is now the chairman of the Senate Committee on Education.
After our Kapatid Workshop with DTI regional directors and provincial directors last Monday and Tuesday, we have identified the role of 17 Big Mentors, one per region. They will be mentoring the region assigned to them and look into the business models available in their region and check the shared service facilities that can be used. Under Kapatid is the Adopt-an-SSF program which aims to develop DTI’s Shared Service Facilities in the country. SSF was launched 2 years ago with 2,015 beneficiaries. Although it was done very quickly, and that the success rate is not very high, it shows great potential. This program will enhance the productivity of cooperatives. The structural way of helping farmers, fishermen, and other micro entrepreneurs, is through cooperatives.
Lastly, Inclusive Business. This is by linking micro and small to medium and large corporations and making them part of the value chain. It is important for them to be sustainable. It is not about creating more micro and small entrepreneurs. It is more on making them earn more. And if we are to follow the President’s wish, this is the way forward.
I asked our company to look for micro entrepreneurs who can be one of our raw materials supplier. We understand that buying from micro entrepreneurs can be a hassle sometimes, but I think we can search for potential cooperatives who can supply the demand of many corporations. I believe everyone wants to buy local products and help farmers, and this is one way of helping them.
I have been talking to big corporations and asking them of their inclusive business models. We can get 100 Kapatid models out there which will then inspire more businesses to have their own Kapatid models. This is an inspiration campaign.
We call out to more corporations to adopt this Kapatid, Angat Lahat program. With your support, we can help micro and small entrepreneurs level up!