25 micro bizmen complete DTI’s mentoring course

Johanna O. Bajenting

SEEING the onslaught of super typhoons and earthquakes in the Visayas and in the country, 34-year-old entrepreneur Patrick Pausanos of Work Essentials Trading saw the need for an innovative rescue item for every household.

Even if it’s still in the planning stage, Pausanos is bent on inventing the country’s first rescue bag that would help civilians during calamities and could be used at the same time for everyday activities.

“During the product development training, I realized we shouldn’t just trade, do retail and wholesale forever. I realized that we should manufacture our own product that can help our own people during calamities,” he said.

Pausanos started selling rescue items in 2012. Now he plans to make the business grow and manufacture his own products that are based on the Philippine standards.

Pausanos was one of the 25 mentees who completed the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMM) program of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) 7 on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.

Another entrepreneur, Don Marc Dondon, owner of After Shoot Photo and Video Studio, said the KMM program helped him manage his resources which allowed him to focus on other aspects of his business like future expansions.

His business, After Shoot, is a full-service digital media production company that offers creative corporate solutions services, social media marketing, family and barkada studio portraits, graphics design, events coverage, photo booth rentals and graduation studio portraits.

“Before, I was only soliciting ideas from my friends. When KMM happened, I came to know the foundations of the business to scale it up and meet necessary strategic partners,” said Dondon.

The KMM program has also helped Lemoneey and Tea owner Dave Bonachita handle market competition.

“Before this program, I was confused on where to start and where I would be and also my priorities. Right now, I have a goal, a structure to follow and I now have a business plan. With the help of the mentors I was able to present an improved business plan. At least there’s an affirmation that I’m on the right track and they are giving us wise business advice,” he said.

Total graduates

Since its launching in October 2016, DTI Cebu has implemented six runs of the program, producing a total of 160 graduates.

The sixth batch had 25 mentees who came from different business sectors: five were from processed food, four from services, two from construction, five from wearables and homestyle, six from trading and three from creatives.

KMM is a 12-week mentorship program which the DTI and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship-Go Negosyo implemented in cooperation with the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

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