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“The beginning will always be the hardest part”, said Mr. Yves G. Crisologo, a co-owner of the 824 Space Rental located at Llanes St. Corner Querubin St., South Poblacion Bucay, Abra. Strategically located at the corner of two major commercial streets, the building was near big schools, a church, and a municipal compound.  As of the moment, the business stalls were fully occupied and apartment spaces are also available.

View of the rental spaces for business along Llanes Street

 View of the rental spaces for business along Llanes Street

Conceptualized as early as 2010 by Yves’ grandfather, Mr. Johnny Crisologo, the rental space only commenced with its execution and construction around 2013. It took another five years for the space to be operational in around 2018.

According to Mr. Yves, the increasing population within the central district of Bucay encouraged them to push through with the space rental business. With Bucay becoming one of the more developed municipalities in the province, it sees an increasing population annually because of schooling and work opportunities open for individuals from far-flung barangays.

Similar to other business owners, Mr. Yves’ goal is simple: yield enough income to support the family. This was his mindset until he was introduced to attend and participate in one of the capacity-building programs for entrepreneurs sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Abra Provincial Office, specifically, the Kapatid Mentor Me or KMME. The KMME is one of the mentoring programs of the agency which aims to train, capacitate, and educate entrepreneurs on the different pillars of business through modules and business planning presentation activities.

In photo is the space for Buon Cibo, one of the food stalls  at 824 Building.

In the photo is the space for Buon Cibo, one of the food stalls at 824 Building.

After almost three months of modular sessions under the KMME, Mr. Yves learned that doing a business should have proper and thorough planning and wise decision-making. It is not as simple as starting or opening a business and waiting for income to come in. It requires strategic planning and continuous development.

As a requirement for graduation under the program, each mentee must create their business development plans, incorporating their learnings from the modules they have completed.  During the days when Mr. Yves was crafting his presentation, he came to realize new perspectives and viewpoints when it comes to starting and managing a business. These realizations include the provision of lease agreements with his lessees and the need for monthly inspection of facilities. In terms of marketing and customer relations, Mr. Yves learned the importance of good customer relationships, openness to customer feedback and suggestions, and the usage of social media platforms to promote/advertise the business.

Photos of Stalls for Palawan Pawnshop and Ashton Jace Snack Hub

Photos of Stalls for Palawan Pawnshop and Ashton Jace Snack Hub

One by one, Mr. Yves slowly applied all of these realizations in the business. To date, the rental spaces for business are all occupied which led to the increase in income of the business.

Another DTI intervention availed by Mr. Yves is the RISE UP Turismo loan program of the Small Business Corporation (SBC). The SBC is an attached agency of the DTI, which offers loans to small businesses. The RISE UP Turismo assistance can help the business in their building improvement which is part of his structural plan.

 “My KMME journey opened a lot of opportunities to be applied in our business. This program greatly developed my entrepreneurial skills, which I can use to manage our business. The different topics gave me an idea that business is not a matter of deciding to do just to earn income but rather a business has many branches of knowledge and growth. It taught me that the success of a business is based on the determination and willingness to continue and enhance every step of the way”, said Mr. Yves.

Truly, some business owners are strangers to the business world—not all are gifted with that innate passion and talent to navigate the business industry. But with through the roadmaps and guidance provided by proper education and experiences, the gap between not knowing and knowing something can be drawn closer.

The DTI is committed to helping our kakailyans in their dreams of starting and owning their businesses. Regardless of your standing in life, we will ensure that no one gets left behind.


By: DTI Cordillera Administrative Region

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