After the launching of the Kapatid Mentor ME Program in Batanes last March 31, 2017 and continuous mentoring sessions on the 10 entrepreneurial modules of the program, DTI – Batanes produces its first two batches of “Mentees” who graduated from the program – the first completers in the whole Region 02. The 1st Batch with 16 mentees graduated on June 15 while the 2nd Batch with 17 mentees was on June 16, 2017.

Prior to their graduation, these mentees presented their Business Improvement Plans (BIPs) to a panel of business and financial experts. The BIP presentation served as an avenue for the mentees to present on how they are going to maximize all the knowledge and entrepreneurial skills they have gained from the program in expanding their ventures to become more competitive in the market.

The panel was a four-member team composed of a DTI representative, accredited mentors from the mainland and from Batanes, and a representative from a financing institution.

The Honorable Governor Marilou H. Cayco, a successful businesswoman herself, graced the launching and their graduation. “During my time, I did not have a mentor to guide me so I have to work harder in knowing the different entrepreneurial skills. So you are lucky enough that DTI have provided a program that will enable you to learn from such mentors who are successful on their ventures,” the Local Chief Executive stressed. She further challenged the mentees, “After a year, I hope that the Sari-Sari Store will become a Grocery, the small time carinderia will become a restaurant and the home-made longganisa producer will become a competitive processing factory or center.”

DTI – RO2 OIC-Regional Director Ruben B. Diciano expressed his pure elation that the faces during the launching were the same faces that have completed the program. Director Diciano gave an assurance that the support of DTI will not end with the program. DTI will continuously guide the mentees until their objectives in their BIPs are realized. The agency will continuously provide the necessary guidance, skills, trainings and programs to help them in further developing and expanding their businesses.

The Province of Batanes has a total of 44 micro entrepreneurs enrolled in the program but only 40 were able to finish all the entrepreneurial modules, while 33 have successfully presented their Business Improvement Plans (BIPs) and have graduated. The remaining 7 mentees who have already completed the mentoring sessions will still have to present their BIPs before a panel to fully graduate from the program.

Despite the geographical setting and limitations of the province, DTI – Batanes was able to facilitate and graduate two (2) batches of mentees by going beyond the mile – ‘Yan ang Serbisyong Higit Pa Sa Inaasahan!