By Alfonso T. Ruda

DIPOLOG CITY, MARCH 20 (PIA)---The Department of Trade an Industry-9 recently launched the last leg of Project Kapatid Mentor Me Program in Dipolog City.

The forum held at Top Plaza Hotel last week was attended by more or less 300 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) throughout Zamboanga del Norte and those planning to get into business.

DTI- Regional Director Sitti Amina Jain said the project aims to scale up the business of the MSMEs through weekly coaching and mentoring by the local business owners who had been successful in their business. On the other hand, the private practitioners will help in different aspects of business operations like products design, quality improvement, marketing, and financial management among others.

The Mentor Me Program was previously handled by DTI but under the new approach, the local successful businessmen and practitioners volunteered to help the small entrepreneurs improve their business.

Pilot launching was done in Zamboanga City last year with Isabela City. Earlier, DTI also made similar activity in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay and Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur.

Mentor Me Program is the third pillar of Go Negosyo. The other two are inclusive business growth and Adopt Shared Service Facility. The program ensures connectivity between the big businesses and the micro, small and medium businesses through sustained supply and value chain.

Go Negosyo Center is provided under Republic Act 10644 which mandates DTI to establish Negosyo Center in all municipalities nationwide as a venue for small and medium entrepreneurs to access services from other government agencies like TESDA, DOLE, DA, and DOST.

Ten Negosyo Centers are targeted to be establish in Zamboanga del Norte this year.

DTI-Zamboanga del Norte OIC Provincial Director Maridel Dengal said DTI targets to establish 10 Negosyo Centers in province this year. Some of the target municipalities are Katipunan, Manukan, Sergio Osmeña, Gutalac, and Salug.

She also called upon local media practitioners to inform the SMEs in the province to visit the nearest Negosyo Center for any assistance.(ALT/ATR/PIA9-Zamboanga del Norte)