PHOTO CAPTION: Madame Honeylet Avanceña mentored Jeannette Maduay from Davao.
After the four successful launches in Luzon, we decided to bring our Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW) to President Duterte’s hometown, Davao City last July 28. We have had programs in Davao many times in the past, and we are always received with warmth by the Davaoeños.
We have gathered more than 1,000 aspiring and micro entrepreneur registrants and more than 100 mentors during the free one-on-one negosyo mentoring session. It was the biggest crowd to date for MMOW. Even bigger than our pilot launch in SM Mall of Asia.
We were joined by a roster of mentors including Tessie Sy-Coson (SM Investments Corp.), Michael Tan (LT Group Inc.), George Barcelon and Bing Limjoco (Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Rex Daryanani (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce Philippines Inc.), Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech Corp.), Feliciano Torres (Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Inc.), Rey Lapid (R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbecue), Chiqui Escareal-Go (Mansmith and Fielders Inc.), and Davao-based mentors Mary Ann Montemayor (Villa Margarita Corp.), and Samuel Uy (Davao Farms Inc. and DIMDI Center Inc.) They all enjoyed their sessions with their mentees and really advised them on what steps they need to take to be successful in their endeavors.
Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar also graced the event.
But what made it more special was the attendance of Cielito “Honeylet” Avanceña, who welcomed the attendees and mentors to Davao. She is an entrepreneur herself as she owns and manages several donut franchises, meat shops and a gas station. She shared that when she started, she had no one to consult regarding her business plans and strategies. That is why, she told the mentees, “You are so blessed and so lucky to have this kind of help desk, composed of the key players in the business sector.”
Despite all her struggles, she did not stop because she said, “Pag huminto ka, talo ka na.” (When you stop, you lose.)
One of the mentees was Jeannette Maduay who said that it was a great experience being mentored by Honeylet. Jeannette is into the production of herbal products such as oils and body creams. Honeylet told Jeanette she has to improve her packaging and labeling and also offered to have her products displayed in Honeylet’s outlets.
Even Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go graced our mentoring session. He shared the initiatives of the Duterte administration, including the recently signed Executive Order No. 50 and the Ease of Doing Business Act. “Mentor Me on Wheels’ first out-of-Luzon launch will make way for MSMEs to become more strategic, smart, and knowledgeable in many aspects of business,” he said.
I personally mentored Christian Dave Bradley, who is an aspiring car accessories business owner. Being only 21 years old, Christian still has a long way to go but I am glad that he already started his journey as a young entrepreneur. From the one-on-one session, I learned he is still in the process of registering his business, but he has already started selling his products to his friends. I advised him to create his own brand and promote the business in the digital world. As of now, Dave plans to look for a website developer so that his business will be fully digitally operational. He is also eyeing to open a brick-and-mortar store by next year.
I also got to sit down with siblings Joshua and Julian Franco Mejos, who I learned are only 18 and 19 years old, respectively. The Mejos brothers consulted me on how they can manage their clothing business of Barong Tagalog, gowns, and suits, and has been operating for 40 years now. They particularly asked how they can improve their leadership skills considering that they are still young. My advice to them is that they should develop their emotional quotient. Since they are still micro entrepreneurs, I also told them to focus on being competitive with the local market before introducing their products outside the Philippines. I was also glad that they brought the first Go Negosyo book with them during the mentoring session. I think that reading the entrepreneurial success stories from our book really inspired them to become better businessmen.
I am hopeful that all my business advice were deemed helpful by the young entrepreneurs so that their endeavors will be successful. Mentoring young adults from Davao only shows that the vision for an enterprising community in the Philippines has already started and will still continue for the years to come.
Apart from the successful MMOW, we also simultaneously launched our first-ever Mentor Me Online. Aspiring and micro entrepreneurs from all over the Philippines were able to seek advice from successful entrep-mentors through the recently launched Mentor Me Mobile Application. We generated more than 300 engagements between mentors and mentees.
Through this MMOW program of Go Negosyo, we are bringing mentorship closer to more Filipinos. By holding it in malls, we invite those who aspire or are still in the ideation stage of their entrepreneurial journey to seek guidance from our mentors. It is our promise to continue to link our MSMEs to programs on mentorship, money and market.
From Davao, we now head to Region 5. We are holding the 6th Mentor Me On Wheels at Ayala Malls Legazpi Aug. I invite all the MSMEs in the Bicol region to come and register to this mentorship program.
Special Assistant to the President Bong Go also graced the event and expressed the support of President Duterte to MSMEs