DTI’s YEP:iSEA empowers more youth entreps and startups in Region 6

Department of Trade and Industry-Region Rebecca Rascon joins the representatives from partner schools and universities (left) as they hold the signed MOU as part of their commitment in the implementation of the YEP:iSEA and the mentees (right) as they start their youth entrepreneurship program journey

The Department of Trade and Industry-Region 6 (DTI-R6) virtually launched the Youth Entrepreneurship Program: In-School Entrepreneurs Academy (YEP: iSEA) on July 1, now in its second year, with 43 In-School Youth (ISY) participating in the program.

The YEP: iSEA, as it is known, intends to help budding ISY start-ups turn their ideas into a minimum viable product and mentor young entrepreneurs in running their businesses successfully.

DTI-6 Regional Director Rebecca M. Rascon in her message during the virtual launching, said that this is a milestone for DTI R6 as it continues to implement the YEP:iSEA after impressive results last year when the program was launched. Last year’s mentees were able to participate in a trade fair and were immersed into actual selling and client generation.

The YEP: ISEA was created to fill in certain gaps in educating budding entrepreneurs about practical application through modules that are not covered in an academic setting. The program provides an extensive package of interventions and learning opportunities to equip the ISY with the skills they need to launch and run their business successfully, as well as later connect them with the appropriate network and partners. It further promotes entrepreneurship as a viable career option to consider after graduation or even while studying.

As part of the launching, 12 participating schools and universities in the region inked their partnership with DTI R6 through a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. 43 students enrolled from Aklan State University (ASU), North Western Visayan Colleges (NVC), University of Antique (UA), Capiz State University (CapSU), Filamer Christian University, College of St. John (CSJ), Guimaras State University (GSU), University of San Agustin (USA), West Visayas State University (WVSU), University of the Philippines- Visayas (UPV), Central Philippine University and the University of St. La Salle (USLS) joined the program as mentees.

Each province in the region was given 5 slots for their ISY mentees except the Province of Iloilo with 13 and Negros Occidental with 10 slots.

The DTI Provincial Offices has been assisting ISY in their area for several years since the launching of the YEP Program in 2019. They have conducted entrepreneurship and marketing seminars in participating schools as part of DTI’s advocacy on youth entrepreneurship.  The program was later on improved and incorporated a 5-module mentorship program, coaching, pitching and on-line course.

The five-module course which will cover the whole month of July will tackle entrepreneurial mind-setting and business planning, business model canvas, marketing management with digital planning, financial and operational management and how to prepare a powerful business elevator pitch.

Following the pitching session in August, the top winners will be given start-up kits, cash, and gift certificates to help them start and scale up their businesses, which will be announced before the end of August.

RD Rascon hopes that the mentees will give their full commitment to finish the program and make use of the opportunities given to them.

The program is in line with the implementation of the Youth Entrepreneurship Act (Republic Act No. 10679) which mandates the Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMEDC) through the DTI to implement a national program to promote youth entrepreneurship development.