On August 1, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Senator Bam Aquino was joined by guest hosts Faith Salaver and Afficionado President & CEO Joel Cruz as well as Higantes Food Products Founder Merycel Morales, Shoe Room Founder Isabelle Medina, and Anduchili Food Enterprise Founder Maria Olivia Reyes to discuss how the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) program helps micro and small businesses.
Kapatid Mentor Micro Enterprise Program is a joint initiative of Go Negosyo and the Department of Trade and Industry wherein existing micro and small entrepreneurs undergo a 10-week module and mentoring program from business owners and practitioners in order to scale up.
Since its launch, around 35,000 aspiring entrepreneurs have attended the program. KMME has also produced more than 3,600 graduates nationwide.
Merycel Morales, a graduate of KMME Rizal, considered graduating from Mentor Me as similar to getting a master’s degree on business management. She also shared that she was challenged by the modules on finance and accounting. Joel Cruz suggested that those who are still starting must not focus on the profit. “Prioritize on the product instead. Yung money, to follow na lang ‘yan,” he suggested.
Merycel shared that with KMME, she was able to come up with new flavors for her rellenong bangus. Higantes Food Products has also improved its packaging which, in turn, increased its sales. Cruz added that the packaging label must also be catchy and readable to increase the products’ value and attract potential customers.
Isabelle “Abby” Medina attended KMME so she could gain new knowledge about managing her shoe business which has been running for more than six years. “When you do business, learning should be continuous. When you stop learning, you cannot have any room for improvement and you cannot be globally competitive,” she highlighted.
Maria Olivia “Liv” Reyes recounted how she and her husband were able to come up with the perfect chili sauce that “tastes like home” and would satisfy his taste buds. Their friends asked her to package the chili sauce so they could take it home. Liv shared that KMME greatly contributed in changing her entrepreneurial mindset, improving her marketing strategy, and developing her products.
Joel Cruz advised that the entrepreneurs must give themselves a portion of their earnings as their salary. He also recommended that when expanding a business, one must strategically plan on what the target market is as well as the consumers’ buying behavior.
Cruz highlighted that aspiring entrepreneurs should be original, artistic, and passionate. They should also register their businesses so that everything is bound by law. He proudly shared that Afficionado has reached more than 25 countries because he was ambitious and confident in himself as well as his products. “If the passion is there, you enjoy and love what you do so you don’t feel like you are working at all — that’s very important in any profession,” he concluded.
Catch the next episode of Go Negosyo sa Radyo next Wednesday at 2:00 PM on DZRH 666 kHz and Radyo Natin FM!