STUDENT MENTEES. Twelve Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Western Visayas sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Trade and Industry in a virtual ceremony for the implementation of the five-module Youth Entrepreneurship Program: In-School Entrepreneurs Academy (YEP:iSEA) on July 1, 2022. The program aims to gradually change the mindset of students to engage in business rather than look for employment after finishing school. (Photo courtesy of DTI VI)

ILOILO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry in Western Visayas will be giving coaching and mentoring program on entrepreneurship to gradually change the mindset of students to engage in business and become job providers rather than look for employment after finishing school.

Forty-three college mentees from 12 participating higher education institutions (HEIs) in the region are joining the five-module Youth Entrepreneurship Program: In-School Entrepreneurs Academy (YEP:iSEA) of the DTI patterned after its "Kapatid Mentor Me Program".

“They are still in school but we are already providing them the entrepreneurship module or track so that more or less they are better prepared to go into business even before graduation,” said DTI Assistant Regional Director Ermelinda Pollentes in an interview on Wednesday.

The mentoring program will address the low entrepreneurial awareness in the region, Pollentes added.

She said when these youths own a business, they are their own boss, manage their time, and later on employ other people and help fast-track the development in their area.

On July 1, 2022, the DTI entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with 12 HEIs in the region for the training of students with business preferences, with business ideas, or aspiring entrepreneurs.

The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, and Capiz have five students or mentees each, Negros Occidental has 10, and the rest are from Iloilo.

The mentoring, which started on July 4, will run until August 1.

“The output will be relevant and the students can really embark on a business that’s on their minds,” she said.

At the end of the training, DTI will pick three winners for the business pitch who will each receive PHP10,000 worth of start-up kits, cash or gift certificates, and two winners will be awarded PHP5,000 worth of start-up kits, cash or gift certificates.

Three other winners for video ads promo collaterals will each receive PHP5,000 worth of start-up kits, cash, or gift certificates.

“This is our second year and God-willing if we still have the funds we will continue to have this every year,” Pollentes added.

Among the participating HEIs are the Capiz State University, Filamer Christian University, and College of St. John from Capiz; University of Antique, Antique; Guimaras State University, Guimaras; Aklan State University and Northwestern Visayan Colleges Inc. from Aklan; University of the Philippines, University of San Agustin, Central Philippine University, and West Visayas State University from Iloilo; and University of St. La Salle from Negros Occidental. (PNA)