YEP Youth Entrepreneurship: Nurturing Tomorrow’s Innovators | DTI


YEP Youth Entrepreneurship: Nurturing Tomorrow's Innovators | DTI

YEP Youth Entrepreneurship 2023

Unlocking YEP Youth Entrepreneurship:  A Journey with DTI’s YEP Program

For the past two years, I’ve been a coach and mentor in the Youth Entrepreneurship Program (YEP) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). This journey has been inspiring, witnessing our youth’s incredible potential and innovation. In this article, I’ll take you through my personal experiences and the positive impact of the YEP program.

Bea Tan 2021 YEP Champion 


2022 YEP Winners: Arnel Calatrava – Champion; Anna de Leon, 1st Runner -up and Joel Paltriguera, 3rd Runner Up

USLS Dominates – Years 1 and 2  | Region 6 YEP Youth Entrepreneurship

In the inaugural year, Bea Tan from the University of St. La Salle (USLS) emerged as the regional champion. Her business, focusing on plus-size clothing, was a success and a testament to the creativity and determination of young entrepreneurs like her. It was a proud moment for us all.

USLS continued to shine the following year, nearly sweeping all the trophies and major awards. Arnel claimed the first-place spot, with Anna securing second place and Joel Paltriguera taking fourth. These achievements showcased the depth of talent and dedication within our youth.

This 2023  Negros Occidental will be represented in Region 6 by the students from the University of St La Salle and the University of Negros Occidental- Recoletos.

“with my fellow judges: Mary Anne  Colmanares and Arlene Infante. Disclaimer: I just came from a blogger’s event, and I don’t have time to change outfit, hence my short pants”

Judging the Provincial Level | YEP Youth Entrepreneurship

This year, I was honored to be invited as one of the judges at the provincial level alongside esteemed entrepreneurs in Negros, Arlene Infante, and Mary Ann Colmenares. It was an incredible experience to witness the next generation of entrepreneurs in action.

YEP Youth Entrepreneurship: Nurturing Tomorrow's Innovators | DTI

“Students from the University of St. La Salle ( 1. Mykah Marie Tacsagon 2. Lemarj Fhran Nualda 3. Hannah Gallo 4. Karla Marie Diocares 5. Denrick Dilag )and yours truly.

YEP Youth Entrepreneurship: Mission and Focus  | Capacity Building Workshops

The YEP program is a platform that aims to empower youth to become entrepreneurs, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurial mindset, networking, and market matching. It’s about equipping our youth with the skills and knowledge to turn their innovative ideas into successful businesses.

YEP engages young entrepreneurs in a four-day capacity-building workshop where they learn about various aspects of business operations, resources, and finance. It’s a hands-on experience that provides them with practical insights and valuable skills.

“STI West Negros University students ( 1. Christian Mari Tan 2. Abcedie Ocillada 3. Vladimir Cajucom 4. Ma. Vera Baliwag 5. Bea Garganera) shining with the judges and mentors. | YEP Youth Entrepreneurship

Diverse Participants

The program is not limited to university students; it’s open to youth organizations, students, indigenous people, and youth with disabilities. Each province has the flexibility to choose the sector of youth they aim to empower. In Negros Occidental, we focused on in-school youth from three prominent universities: the University of St. La Salle, STI West Negros University, and the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos.

 2023 YEP Mentors Mark Barioga and Gabb Advincula 

Mentoring and Training | YEP Youth Entrepreneurship

Before selecting winners, students undergo intensive training under the mentorship of DTI staff, such as Gabb Advincula and Mark Barioga. These dedicated mentors under the unit of Engr. Engiemar Tupas plays a crucial role in honing the skills and ideas of the students. The program’s first two years were under the direction of Honey Mae Osimco in Region 6, but this year, it is being led by Daniel Agan.”

DTI Negros Occidental Provincial Director  Lynna Cardinal and Engeimar Tupas | YEP Youth Entrepreneurship

 Format Changes and Challenges  – A Learning Opportunity

This year, the YEP program introduced some format changes that brought advantages and challenges. While these changes aimed to enhance the overall experience, they also presented valuable lessons for participants and program implementers.

  • Advantages of the New Format

The shift in format encouraged teamwork among the students. They collaborated to form teams and collectively presented one business idea. This promoted cooperation and the exchange of diverse ideas within the groups. It was heartening to witness students working together passionately, pooling their strengths and creativity to develop a single business concept.

  • Challenges Faced

However, like any change, the new format had its challenges. One notable drawback was the potential difficulty of implementing the winning ideas. Since the students presented their business concepts as teams, implementing these ideas could complicate post-competition. Coordinating group efforts, decision-making, and resource allocation might pose practical challenges as they transition from concept to reality.

  • A Lesson in Real-World Business

While the YEP Youth Entrepreneurship provides an excellent academic exercise, translating these ideas into actual businesses is a distinct challenge. This format change served as a reminder that in entrepreneurship, executing a business plan requires a solid concept and effective implementation strategies. It’s a valuable lesson for aspiring entrepreneurs on translating ideas into practical actions.

YEP Youth Entrepreneurship: Nurturing Tomorrow's Innovators | DTI

“Capturing the moment: University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos students ( 1. Honey Jeremae Sy 2. Jose Candazo, Jr. 3. Troy Angelo De Arroz 4. Mealyn Bullag 5. Maessie Manilingan )  with the judges and mentors”

YEP Youth Entrepreneurship | Criteria for Success

As judges, we evaluated the participants based on specific criteria, including pitching and presentation skills, research/business content, market feasibility and profitability, teamwork, and business structure. These criteria ensured the winning ideas were innovative, practical, and potentially successful.

Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs

My journey with DTI’s YEP Youth Entrepreneurship has been a remarkable one. It’s heartening to witness the enthusiasm and potential of our youth in entrepreneurship. While there were some format changes this year, I believe that the program’s core mission – to inspire and equip young entrepreneurs – remains unchanged. I look forward to seeing more young innovators rise to the occasion, turning their brilliant ideas into thriving businesses and contributing to the growth of our nation. Cheers to the winners, and may DTI’s YEP program continue to be a beacon of hope for aspiring young entrepreneurs.

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