Mentor ME Philippines

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion together with the mentees and mentors of the Kapatid Mentor Me Program in Antipolo City last May 17, 2019. Also in are Rizal Vice Governor Jun Rey San Juan Jr. DTI Region 4A RD Marilou Toledo, DTI Rizal PD Mercedes Parreño, and mentors PJ Lanot and Jorge Wieneke.

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) development has been at the forefront of our entrepreneurship advocacy. We believe that in order to achieve the inclusive growth that we all aspire for, we need to equip our micro and small entrepreneurs with entrepreneurship education, training, and other means of mentorship.

For the past three years of President Duterte’s administration, my office as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship has been supportive of the mission of prosperity for all – meaning no one will be left behind. That is why, through Go Negosyo and its legion of public and private sector partners, we are all working hand-in-hand to make this mission become reality.

Mentorship has been at the core of these programs as we believe that with guidance of expert mentors, micro and small entrepreneurs will be able to propel their businesses to success and development. Our programs have gathered support from more than 700 mentors nationwide and partners from business and government sector such as the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA), and Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), among others who are providing entrepreneurship education to our MSMEs.

Mentees and mentors of the Kapatid Mentor Me Program joined PA Joey Concepcion for a photo opportunity during their launch last May 21, 2019 in San Pablo City, Laguna. Also in photo are DTI Region 4A RD Marilou Toledo, DTI Laguna PD Susan Palo and mentors Clarke Nebrao, Sherill Quintana, Jenny Wieneke, and Jorge Wieneke.

One of our successful programs is the Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) program in partnership with DTI. This program aims to help MSMEs scale up their business through a 10-module program done by weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship.

In the recently concluded National MSME Summit of DTI and the MSMED Council, it was reported that 5,393 mentees have graduated from the program and have been equipped with additional knowledge and skills on how to improve their businesses.

Bernadette Salcedo, owner of Fun Cake Delights and Catering Services from Baguio City, shared, “With the help of KMME, I was able to acquire additional knowledge and training. Currently, I am now helping those aspiring MSMEs to be successful also. The program has helped my business more than I expected.”

Another success story of KMME is Charito Eudela, owner of Isay Dried Fish Dealer from Roxas City. She said, “Through KMME, I transformed our business from wholesaling to retailing wherein we penetrated pasalubong centers, trade fairs and most especially, we also got the chance to display our products in a mall in Roxas City. The program helped us in organizing our business.”

These are just some of the success stories we have gathered throughout the three years. Some were even interviewed and featured by different media outlets and it is our pride and joy to see them succeed.

Another program that has reached all regions in the country is the Kapatid Agri Mentor ME Program which we do in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. We aim to help agri-entrepreneurs through agri-based associations and cooperatives by capacitating them in various areas of business.  Since its launch in 2017, KAMMP was able to bring the program in all 16 regions, successfully train more than 2,500 farmers, and produce graduates in close to 1,000 agri-based cooperatives and farmer associations.

Marlita Basilonia, manager of Kababaihan ng Dasmariñas sa Bagong Milenyo – Barangay Food Terminal from Region 4A shared, “Malaki po ang naitulong sa amin ng KAMMP dahil po na-enhance po ang knowledge namin tungkol sa pagnenegosyo. Yung mga bagay na hindi namin alam natutunan namin talaga at na-inspire po kami na bumangon talaga sa kinalalagyan namin.”

Aside from these, we also have the Money and Market Encounter which gathers KMME graduates of the region for a whole-day session organized to give them first-hand information on financial services, market, and digital platforms that they can tap to further grow their business.

Our free one-on-one mentorship program in malls has been rolled out in more than 20 locations and has benefitted more than 7,000 participants.

Every year, Go Negosyo organizes summits to provide large-scale mentorship which assists more than 50, 000 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs, academe and government enablers. We have prioritized themes on women economic empowerment and development, opportunities for our overseas Filipino workers, agribusiness, technopreneurship/digitalization, and recently, tourism development.

On top of offline mentorship sessions, we also have online mentoring using our Mentor Me app which provides guidance to our MSMEs anywhere, anytime.

These are just some of the programs that are available to help our MSMEs scale up. Since our MSMEs are considered as the backbone of our economy, we envision our country filled with successful and continuously growing entrepreneurs. Through entrepreneurship, there will be more jobs generated, livelihoods created, and poverty will be alleviated. We look forward to the success of these programs in the next three years of President Duterte.



In the rise of today’s digital era, it is important for our micro, small, and medium enterprises to adapt and benefit from these digital technologies and developments. Digitalization creates a great impact on the lives of many Filipinos today. Through digital platforms that provide access to money and market reach, more and more Filipinos have turned into self-earning entrepreneurs. This digital transformation that we are experiencing not only helps our entrepreneurs but also contributes to the goal of the government on inclusive growth.

This led us to create an alliance composed of more than 50 digital platforms called “Angat Lahat sa Digital Alliance,” which committed to influence and educate more Filipinos about digitalization and its impact, especially on microentrepreneurs. These digital platforms such as Grab, Angkas, Lazada, Shopee,, Lalamove, Paymaya, and Mynt, among others, create opportunities for micro and small entrepreneurs such as the sari-sari store and carinderia owners, habal-habal drivers, masahistas, other professionals and small enterprises related to tourism, and all the entrepreneurs in the informal economy.

The goal is to make about 70 to 80 million Filipinos part of the growing digital economy. The alliance will also help boost the government’s efforts in coming up with a digitalization road map for enterprise development and adoption by all Filipinos in general.

We would like to empower more people to be part of this great digital transformation. Let me share with you some of the many successful digital testimonies from the different digital platforms in the country.


Negosyo for Peace

Harvest Festival of Marawi-Baloi Farms, one of the successful model farms which benefitted more than 200 local farmers and their families.


President Duterte has been serving our country for half of his term now and we have seen many improvements, most especially in economy, infrastructure development, and tourism, among others.

It was recently reported that the administration, through the Department of Transportation and other agencies, has completed 17 airport projects within the last three years. There are also other infrastructure projects under the Build Build Build program that are in the works to provide us with better connectivity and mobility throughout the country.

But aside from these, the administration is also persistent in alleviating poverty through livelihood and micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) development. The government has been supportive of all the initiatives for our micro and small entrepreneurs including the programs of Go Negosyo and my office as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship. We are one with the government in providing additional knowledge and skills to better equip our entrepreneurs toward their success and development.

Additionally, we are also working on programs supporting the vision of the President of lasting peace for Mindanao through development programs for low-income and conflict-ridden communities. The communities are in the provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). Through the help of the government, big brother companies and other stakeholders, various initiatives for peacebuilding, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development have been implemented.

These programs started in December 2016 when we launched the Negosyo for Peace in Malacanang. Fast forward to today, we are pleased to share some of our achievements in this area of our advocacy.

Sulu is one of the first pilot areas for our sustainable economic development projects. Through our partners such as Wilcon, Manny O, Uratex, MVP Group, Indian Chamber of Commerce and others, we have completed and turned over five Kapatid Villages located in Jolo, Talipao, Patikul, Maimbung, and Kalinggan-Calauang. We are still building homes in Pata and Siasi.

Classrooms, school supplies, chairs and tables, and other educational support were also provided by our partners – the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, National Bookstore, Uratex, Advance Paper, Funtastic, ATISCO and the Malvar family. Our Education for Peace and Employment was also supported by NCST, the Sulu Provincial Local Government, and Indian Chamber. We also had inclusive business programs such as the farm training, seaweed training, poultry farm, and fishing boats supported by SM Foundation, Harbest, W Group and Bounty Fresh.

The provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur, including the city of Marawi are also beneficiaries for our Negosyo for Peace projects. These provinces are rich in agricultural land, thus, we have provided several agri projects including the establishment of nine model farms that provides mentorship and agri-technology training for communities. These farms are supported by Convergys, CDO Foodsphere, Century Pacific Group, Vita Coco, Marcventures, Bo’s Coffee, SEIPI, Rotary Club 3860, Philippine Military Academy Sinagtala Class 86, UK Embassy, ISOC and Udenna Foundation.

Our partners SL Agritech, Aboitiz, Pilmico, Jardine, and Kennemer Foods also provided training and farm support for hybrid rice, yellow corn production, and cacao, respectively. A tractor and truck were also donated by French Baker and United Auctioneers to support  these farms in production and logistical requirements of transporting their crops. Aside from our farmers, fishermen of Ditsaan Ramain Association also received fishing gear from the Indian Chamber and Speedo. The Philippine Franchise Association also held a comprehensive discussion on franchising.

One of our most recent projects is with the group of Commander Bravo of MILF who I met personally in Manila last February. Our partners have supported them with construction materials and other necessities for their Masjid. Our partner Agua Vida provided them also with a water-refilling station.

Sacks of yellow corn seeds were distributed in Upi, Maguindanao.

Recently, we were featured in Gina Lopez’s show G Diaries for our project in Upi, Maguindanao. This project is supported by I LOVE Foundation and Jardine.

Our partners Philippine Airlines, LBC, 2Go, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) also provided the logistical support in moving all the donations from our partners to the communities in Mindanao.

These initiatives are on top of our mentoring programs Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) Program with the Department of Trade and Industry, and the Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program (KAMMP) with the Department of Agriculture.

Going back, since its launching, these humanitarian and livelihood projects are now valued at more than P135 million. These programs have transformed communities into productive members of the society. To date, the model farms have benefitted 2,448 farmers, and their families have enjoyed the fruits of their labor.

We extend our utmost gratitude to all our partners. The Negosyo for Peace, led by our adviser Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, is a testament of two things: First, that public and private sector can work together in providing development for all. And second, that prosperity, through entrepreneurship and livelihood, can results in peace in our communities.


Opportunities in Digitalization for Jeepney Drivers

Transportation is vital in all countries. In the Philippines, our transportation system is a very close issue to millions of Filipinos. It affects everyone from all walks of life, most especially the lower class. Currently, our government is working on a modern and efficient mass transport system to address traffic and congestion in the metro. But while we are trying to achieve that, we need to consider all players in the transportation ecosystem.

In the recent push for a modern transportation systems, jeepney drivers are a vulnerable group. Go Negosyo, however, can provide an opportunity to address some of their woes. Through the Go Negosyo’s Angat Lahat sa Digital Alliance, a network of digital players such as Grab and Angkas, we can find alternatives for stakeholders as we address the country’s transport concerns.

In my column last June 20, I shared the story of how the Ateneo de Manila University 2019 Class valedictorian Reycel Hyacenth Bendaña captured the hearts of people in most social media platforms through her speech. My goal was initially to let more people learn about her story and to draw inspiration from it. It turned out, however, she also gained inspiration from us.

She is actively working on some plans to help out the community where her dad belongs. Go Negosyo gave her the affirmation that she is not alone in her advocacy and that groups like us are open and willing to help a visionary and an advocate like her. Given the right channel and access to different kinds of resources, we both believe that we can work together towards affecting change in their community.

Bendaña is setting out to become a youth leader who will eventually get other youth involved in solving poverty in our country. Members of the youth like her and their vision will help to end poverty during their lifetime. After surpassing challenges in her life, I told her that she can now give back by starting her own social enterprise. She has to earn money so she can do more. That is why I took the initiative to arrange meetings with Angkas and Grab to start the conceptualization of Bendaña’s social enterprise.

As a follow through, Go Negosyo, represented by Jopin Romero and Mina Akram led the meeting that linked Bendaña to digital platforms Grab and Angkas, which both operate within the transport industry. It also served as a venue for digital platform leaders to hold initial talks with Bendaña. The meeting revolved mainly on the livelihood opportunities for jeepney drivers in the digital transformation.

(L-R) Mina Akram (Go Negosyo), Jopin Romero (ASEAN BAC Philippines), Brian Cu (Grab Philippines), Hya Bendana, Anton Bautista (Grab Philippines) and Laurence Bahia (Grab Philippines).


Brian Cu, the president of Grab Philippines, expressed his intent to help reduce traffic in Metro Manila by providing alternative transportation solutions. He also shared that traffic is anti-poor because it reduces the ability of people to get from one place to another, which also leads to lost opportunities. According to Cu, “Traffic is caused by disorderly transportation and disorderly road planning. We support moves toward consolidation. But I think the first thing that we want to get on the same page on our debate is consolidation and rationalization, which is good for the country.”

Go Negosyo led by ASEAN BAC PH Senior Adviser Jopin Romero and Mina Akram links Ateneo Valedictorian Hya Bendaña Angeline Tham and George Royeca of Angkas.


During the meeting with Bendaña, leaders of the digital platforms offered to work with her and explore the creation of a pro-poor program targeting those who are directly affected by the modernization program. In the course of their exchange, Angeline Tham and George Royeca of Angkas also gained insights on the daily lives of jeepney drivers and a better understanding of how their transportation model works. Angkas also pledged to assist in training displaced jeepney drivers and integrate them as members of Angkas.  They will then be driving motorcycles which cost less compared to modern jeepneys.

Through these meetings, Go Negosyo, Angkas, Grab, and Bendaña are set to work together to propose solutions for the affected drivers of the jeepney modernization program.  These drivers need help in securing sustainable sources of income.  Their inability to access new units of jeepneys to comply with the rules should not mean a total loss of income for them.  It should, instead, pave the way for new income opportunities to come their way. Thankfully, digitalization can come to the rescue.

In this day of modern businesses, building a network is important. Aside from being a storyteller of inspiring stories, Go Negosyo also plays a vital role in linking advocacies and businesses.  I believe that with these linkages and through digitalization, anyone including jeepney drivers, can earn a sustainable income by maximizing opportunities offered by different platforms such as Grab, Angkas, Lalamove, Ninjavan, etc.


Mobilizing the 3M’s Nationwide

FREE 1-ON-1 MENTORSHIP TRAVELS TO ILOILO. Go Negosyo and the Department of Trade and Industry’s Mentor ME on Wheels traveled to Iloilo last June 21, 2019, to bring free mentorship for micro and small entrepreneurs. Held in Northpoint Event Centre of SM City Iloilo, the mentorship session catered to more than 400 mentees and gathered more than 50 mentors.


Our goal for our 3M’s of entrepreneurship: Mentorship, Money, and Market is to bring it closer to all micro and small entrepreneurs nationwide. We believe that the right mentorship is an important factor in the success of many entrepreneurs. It must be then coupled with the exposure to market and ease of access to financial institutions. With mentors, MSMEs will be guided from the inception, implementation, and achievement of their business’ success.

Last month, we brought our mentorship programs Mentor Me On Wheels and Money Market Encounter to three cities: Cagayan de Oro, Iloilo and Baguio City. These programs are organized in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry. Through these consecutive rollouts, we have served over 1,200 mentees and gathered hundreds of mentors who volunteered their time to provide guidance to our MSMEs.

This is just one way of mobilizing mentorship here in the Philippines. I hope all the ideas shared between mentors and mentees will boost their businesses forward.

More than 40 mentors shared their time and knowledge on entrepreneurial mind-setting and marketing during the 18th rollout of Go Negosyo’s Mentor ME On Wheels at the Event Center of SM Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier last May 30.


Go Negosyo brings its free 1-on-1 mentorship to Cagayan de Oro City! A total of 400 participants were mentored by our esteemed Go Negosyo mentors last May 30, 2019, at the Event Center of SM Cagayan de Oro Downtown Premier.


Group picture of our Go Negosyo mentors!


Successful launch of Money Market Encounter of the Department of Trade and Industry and Go Negosyo at Iloilo City.


Money Market Encounter CAR. Money forum on getting financial help from the banks and MFIs and financing the micro and small entrepreneurs. Panelists were One Network Bank, SB Corporation, Bank of Makati, Land Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank.


Go Negosyo mentor, and the President & CEO of The French Baker Johnlu Koa helped a mentee develop a new product by innovating her current peanut butter business. He also represented PA Joey Concepcion in the consecutive events in Baguio City.


Mentor Mercedes Pelaez-Mejia, CEO of SLERS Inc. with her mentee.


Dean Virgilio “Nonoy” Espeleta joined the mentoring session and imparted his business ideas to his mentee.


Rey Lapid, President & Founder of R. Lapid’s Chicharon & Barbecue during the mentoring session at the Northpoint Event Centre of SM City Iloilo last June 21.


Go Negosyo mentor, host and Mercato Centrale founder RJ Ledesma.


A group mentoring session during the leg of Go Negosyo’s Mentor ME On Wheels at SM City Iloilo.


OIC-RD Rebecca Rascon and her mentee.


Ilonggo entrepreneur Edgar “Injap” Sia III, Founder of Mang Inasal and President of Double Dragon, shared about his humble beginnings and message for his co-Ilocanos during his interview with Go Negosyo mentor RJ Ledesma.


Go Negosyo mentor Jerry Yao with his mentees from Baguio.


Money Market Encounter Region 6. Money forum on getting financial help from the banks and MFIs and financing the micro and small entrepreneurs. Panelists were One Network Bank, SB Corporation, Bank of Makati, Land Bank of the Philippines and Security Bank.



Apart from the plenary sessions, there was a simultaneous business matching between service providers and KMME graduates of Iloilo City.


Dir. Myrna P. Pablo, Regional Director of CAR – DTI.


Adelaida Lim, President of HABI & The Philippine Textile Council Inc., empowers the creatives community of Baguio through mentorship.


DTI Regional Director Linda Boniao welcomed the mentees of the afternoon session of Mentor Me on Wheels Cagayan De Oro.

Building Capacities in ASEAN

The ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) was launched last November 2017 with President Rodrigo Duterte, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion and the pioneer mentors of AMEN during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit.


I am enjoying a vacation with my family after celebrating my birthday last Sunday. Close to 50 members of the family, including my mom, my siblings, and their families, have joined us in this vacation. Unfortunately, my father can no longer join us as this trip will be physically challenging for him.

For my birthday, I would like to thank everyone who has been part of the Go Negosyo advocacy for the past 14 years. When we started, we only had a small number of entrepreneurs as of the mission of poverty alleviation through entrepreneurs. Today, we have more than 700 mentors and the number is still growing.

Our goal has always been about bringing greater prosperity to the Filipino people. The key to this endeavor is having a good mentor to guide aspiring entrepreneur on how to access money and market. It may sound simple, but teaching them the right mindset and diskarte (strategy) is the most important. So I thank our mentors for being part of Go Negosyo and more importantly, for being a blessing to others.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines member Michael Tan joined the ASEAN BAC Interface with the ASEAN Leaders in Bangkok, Thailand.


Because of my family obligations, I was not able to attend the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) meeting in Bangkok, Thailand led by our chairman Arin Jira. Aside from meetings with dialogue partners, ASEAN BAC also had a special interaction with the ASEAN leaders. LT Group Inc. president and COO and now ASEAN Business Advisory Council member Michael Tan also joined the interface as a representative of the Philippines.

During the interface, President Duterte mentioned the council’s legacy project, the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which was launched in November 2017 during the Philippine chairmanship. “AMEN can build the capacities of MSMEs as (engines) of the growth of our economies. Sustained mentorship can help MSMEs transform into more globally competitive entities, generating more quality jobs for their communities,” said President Duterte.

He also called on the ASEAN BAC to help upgrade the skills of the workforce in ASEAN. During his speech, he said, “With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we need your support in upskilling the ASEAN workforce.” With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, a disruption in the system through technology and digitalization which affects all industries, micro, small, and medium enterprises must be equipped with knowledge and skills in order to adapt to this rapid change.

President Duterte also commended the council “for ensuring the dynamic private sector participation in regional economic cooperation and development initiatives.”

Through mentorship, we aim to improve the business know-how and technical skill set of every ASEAN entrepreneur. That is why for the past 14 years, we have crafted a number of mentorship programs for entrepreneurs. Currently, through our government partners (Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Agriculture) and their attached agencies, we have rolled out successful programs such as Kapatid Mentor ME Program, Kapatid Agri Mentor ME Program, and the Mentor Me On Wheels —  which have mentored thousands of aspiring and existing entrepreneurs nationwide.

We thank President Duterte for continuously supporting our program. AMEN, which was launched not just in the Philippines but also in other countries, has grown tremendously over the past two years. It was launched in Australia, South Korea, Thailand, and Singapore. Recently, we have been granted support from the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund which will be used for AMEN-related programs moving forward.

With the President’s support, we assure our micro, small and medium enterprises, and the members of the ASEAN Community that we will uphold our mission of bringing prosperity to all through mentorship.