The Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) will provide members to mentor budding micro-entrepreneurs and those seeking to revive their businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The commitment was expressed in a meeting Tuesday, September 8, by its president Steven Yu and its past president Stanley Go who is now with the Board of Directors (BOD) in support to the micro-business assistance program of the Cebu Provincial Government.
The program gears to provide livelihood opportunities to displaced workers like Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and individuals in the lowest 20 percent income group as certified by the Municipal or City Social Welfare Development Office.
The assurance excited Governor Gwendolyn Garcia who already worked with MCCI in the “Obra Negosyo Eskwela” program in 2011 that honed the entrepreneurial skills of students.
Garcia championed the concept on countryside enterprise business upliftment in partnership with MCCI in 2011. “Obra Negosyo Eskwela” encouraged food product developers and manufacturers among university students.
Through the said program, participating students came up with innovations of salted black beans (taosio), camote cookies, pickled mixed vegetables, kalamay (glutinous rice flour with muscovado sugar and coconut cream usually held in polished coconut shell), salted fish paste, and coco palm sugar, to name some. Other products were charcoal briquettes and mud crab fattening agent.
Student teams competed in the preparation of business plans after doing an immersion in their respective enterprises. They were partnered with seasoned businessmen from the MCCI as they proposed interventions on how to uplift enterprises assigned to them.
Garcia said the seasoned MCCI members can partner with the Provincial Board and the Office of the Vice Governor in handling the applications and share their knowledge to the program beneficiaries.
They will also guide program recipients and transmit to them their know-how in turning in a high chance for the business to succeed.
The micro-business assistance program mulls at providing P50,000 to recipients applying for a business reboot, P20,000 to those in manufacturing industry, and P10,000 for recipients engaged in trading and services.
“Himuon sad ni natong contest. Mag-contest ang atong mga Provincial Board members. Parehason ni nato sa SUGBUsog nga mag-contest sa district level, unya ang winners will vie in the provincial level,” the governor told the officers of MCCI.
SUGBUsog or “Sugbuanong Busog, Luwas ug Himsog” is a vegetable gardening program which encourages productivity amid the lockdown last March imposed by the government in response to Covid-19.
The Provincial Agriculturist’s Office provided free vegetable seeds to encourage self-sufficiency among households. The program has a contest component to it in the purok, district, municipal, and provincial levels for backyard and containerized garden categories.
Go recommended of a business template, a so-called pro-forma, just like the business model observed by the franchising sector.
“Mas dali ma-gauge ang level of success if there is one business model observed, or templated siya. It guarantees highest chance of success,” he opined.
Go, vice president for sales and marketing of Virginia Foods Inc., vowed to join the partner-suppliers of Capitol to this program.
“It’s a matter of starting. Importante gyud nga makasugod na ta ani nga program,” stated Garcia.
She disclosed that the Cebu CFI Community Cooperative, with the chairmanship of Atty. Winston Garcia, is also committed to provide operating capital through collateral-free loans.
Earlier, Philippine Veterans Bank also assured of collateral-free loans worth P300,000 to back the recipients.
Garcia and the MCCI will meet again on Friday, September 11 for the mentoring guidelines and other concerns. (Eleanor Valeros)