On display at the trade expo are various baked goods, local delicacies, furniture, jars and decorative items made of clay and ceramic, souvenir items, and processed goods. These were made by some beneficiaries of the Sugbo Negosyo identified as finalists in the Sugbo Negosyo Season 2.
An initiative of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, the Sugbo Negosyo program started as a livelihood assistance program during the pandemic. The program was implemented in cooperation with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI).
Speaking at the opening of the exhibit, Governor Garcia explained that the Sugbo Negosyo’s first season aimed to extend help to the beneficiaries who were affected by the pandemic.
“I’m so encouraged at how Sugbo Negosyo continues to transform people’s lives,” the governor said, adding that it will continue to evolve and incorporate learnings from the previous seasons.
In a video presentation shown during the opening of the expo, the Top Six winners of the Sugbo Negosyo 1st Season cited the various benefits and improvements in their lifestyle resulting from the assistance given to them by the Cebu provincial government.
For Sugbo Negosyo’s Season 2, a technical working group composed of representatives from the Cebu Provincial government, DTI, and MCCI visited the different districts to identify the finalists.
“To be honest, we’re very, very surprised at the quality of the products. We’re surprised that up north in Bantayan and way down south in Santander, we would have these small stalls providing very good quality products,” said MCCI President Kelie Ko in an interview. Ko is one of the members of the technical working group who screened and identified the 35 finalists.
“They could be part of the tourism map of the island of Cebu. It’s a chance for them to learn that there is more to their business than just being there; and number two, for them to gain confidence,” Ko added.
Mark Anthony Ynoc, MCCI trustee and chair of the Mandaue Business Month 2023, explained the criteria for the selection of the 35 beneficiaries.
“It’s really the entrepreneurial spirit, the potential of the product and the governor wanted them to make their shops really presentable. Whoever will be chosen as Top 10 will have mentors from MCCI,” Ynoc said.
The Cebu provincial government, in cooperation with DTI and MCCI, then chose 35 finalists who were able to meet this requirement.
The 35 finalists are given the opportunity to showcase their products at the ongoing 3-day Sugbo Negosyo Expo to create awareness in the market.
Based on the criteria, the Top 10 finalists will be chosen, and then this will be cut further to the Top 5. The top winners are expected to receive monetary prizes contained in QR-coded cards from the Provincial Government which will be an added capital for the winning entrepreneurs.