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I cannot stress enough that mentorship is key in helping our micro and small entrepreneurs. In fact, when I was starting as an entrepreneur, I was mentored well by my father, that is why I strongly believe that bringing our mentors close to the people will help our budding business owners to embrace the entrepreneurial culture.
Last May 11, Go Negosyo launched the first leg of the Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW) at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall together with Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, mentors Johnlu Koa, and Josiah Go, and other dedicated mentors from different areas of entrepreneurship expertise. It was a free one-on-one mentorship session from a pool of successful entrepreneur-mentors. This first and biggest mentoring session is just one of many MMOW launches we plan to hold in partnership with the different malls nationwide.
We shared our knowledge on entrepreneurial mind-setting and marketing to aspiring and start-up business owners from all over the country. JB Estrada was one of the mentees to whom I personally shared my experiences and business tips on becoming an entrepreneur. I learned that JB’s mom really loves serving breakfast every morning for her family. She usually posts them online, so friends took notice of the bread she bakes. Because of the response, they decided to start the business at home.
He talked about how they struggled with running the business, especially his mom as she cooks everything from scratch. He also asked for help in developing the branding of his business and attracting potential customers. He also mentioned about their closed trucking business previously operated by his father. I asked my assistant to link him with our company, RFM Corp., to explore breads and pastries development and the possibility of a business venture for their trucking.
I also asked him to meet with Johnlu Koa, who is behind the successful French Baker, to gain more knowledge about the baking industry. I am certain that he learned a lot from Johnlu as they both share the same passion for baking.
Lorenzo Llera, one of the attendees, was in luck as he was also able to gain new concepts from our experienced mentors. He also started a baking business to have an alternative source of income and be self-sufficient. He owns and bakes his own Filipino food products like monay, loaf bread, pandesal and ensaymada. Johnlu also gave him advice on how to market his own brand and make a name for it so more people would know about his business.
Sec. Lopez mentored Claverene Ramos on how to run her computer and gadgets shop. I am certain she gained new ideas because she is now conceptualizing her business plan. I hope Sec. Lopez’s advice on being passionate in everything you do will eventually bear fruit as her business flourishes.
Around 500 pre-registered aspiring and start-up entrepreneurs signed up as mentees during the launch of the Mentor Me On Wheels.
Ma. Anjellica San Miguel sought advice from Josiah Go on how to sustain her cafe. She learned how to be more disciplined in handling her employees and, at the same time, gained some helpful ideas on how to market her business.
Butz Bartolome, one of our pioneer mentors for the past 13 years, dedicated his time to mentor during this launch. He shared that gone are the days that we do not get to actually interact with our stakeholders. Seeing their smiling faces after our one-on-one mentorship sessions is really an indicator that we are really filling the gap between us and these budding entrepreneurs. Through MMOW, according to him, we walk the journey with them.
I salute Toto Barcelona, one of our mentors in our Kapatid Agri Mentor ME Program, as he personally attended to the needs of our mentees in the agriculture sector. He said this opportunity was a great avenue in concretizing their business plans. One-on-one sessions help in making the approach more personal to our mentees.
Delby Bragais said that there is really more to mentoring than making money. She said that the business landscape is changing fast and we need to embrace the technologies available to help micro and small enterprises scale up. I hope that the launch of our mobile application will further expand our reach to those who cannot go to the malls and other venues for Go Negosyo’s programs like Kapatid Mentor Me and Kapatid Agri Mentor Me.
I agree with what Sec. Mon said that MMOW is really a testament to a stronger public-private partnership. I want to thank our mentors for sharing their time, effort and expertise on how to become successful entrepreneurs. Participating in one-on-one mentoring sessions is not only rewarding, but also a memorable experience for me and all the dedicated and patient mentors.
I wish success to everyone who attended the event. May you take the lessons with you as you plan your own enterprises. I hope the next MMOW launch will be welcomed by many aspiring entrepreneurs so we can help them scale up their lives.