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Aspiring Entrepreneurs (Business Idea) Category:

Rachel was an active student leader back in college and held a lot of leadership positions and events.  She is a platform engineer from Manila and people who know her best would describe her as outgoing, creative and ambitious. She has always believed that there are many ways to make the world better, but for her, it is through the integration of technology and design. She wants to help enrich the lives of people around her by doing what she loves to do and give back to the community. She is proactive in looking for ways on how to help other people through joining and winning hackathons and ideation programs and volunteering in various social projects and helping various causes.

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What is the problem that your business is trying to solve?
The Philippines still struggles with its agricultural sector. The government admits this problem as the agricultural sector has been neglected for two decades. The identified root cause of this agricultural problem is the lack of funding and low productivity for our local farmers which Cropital is able to solve.

What is the best and worst part of being a young entrepreneur?
The worst part is you can’t do it all by yourself and the best part is that you don’t have to. There are a lot of people who are willing to support you, mentor you, give you funding, everything that you can think of. All you have to do is take that step and take the risk. In the end, I believe it’s all worth it.

How did YEDW help improve your business model?
The YEDW program gave way to a lot of opportunities and fast-tracked my business idea to where it is now. We have won numerous competitions like the National Startup Summit, was able to attend fully-funded bootcamp in Amsterdam, Netherlands and personally, I have been included as one of the finalists in the Rice Bowl Startup Awards in ASEAN for the Women in Business Startup award.

From just an idea last July, we have already launched Cropital (beta) last Oct 31 onboarded with farmers from Laguna and we have now gained a significant traction. YEDW introduced me to such great mentors. I have kept in touch with them and they are all very supportive in our social enterprise.

Aside from the skills and learnings I got from YEDW which are all valuable and has greatly contributed to Cropital, for me, the people in YEDW believed and trusted my idea and they knew that it can really improve other people’s lives. YEDW is actually my first workshop on entrepreneurship. They gave me that confidence boost and inspired me to keep moving forward and hustle every day that’s why we were able to launch in just 4 months.

What is your biggest dream for your business?
We want to create a world where farmers are dignified and empowered and no longer living in debt. We aim to give them the life they have always deserved. We aim to scale Cropital such that we can already influence the traditional agricultural practices that can help improve lives of more local farmers. We aim to establish Cropital as a means for scientists to bridge/transfer new researches/technology to the local farmers. We aim to reduce the dependency of farmers to private debt lenders issuing high interest charges.

What do you do for fun?
I travel a lot. I love to meet new people and go to places I’ve never been to. I feel happy when I’m gaining new experiences and insights, and challenging my boundaries. Being in foreign lands, it also continuously forces me to step out of my comfort zone – a great confidence-builder.

What’s the next step for you?
Right now, Cropital beta run is ongoing and we’re working very hard to create a solid pilot run for our pioneers investors and farmers. We’re on boarding more farms in the next few weeks and brewing partnerships with organisations. We’re also raising significant amount of money to be used to scale up operations to meet the growing market demand and tap more local farmers to produce crops with demands from contract growers. We’re also looking for more community of farmers to support, more connections to agricultural trainings and experts, buyers of produce and partnerships that will be helpful to our enterprise and our farmers.

For more information on Cropital, visit: https://www.cropital.com and https://www.facebook.com/cropital

 



Practicing Entrepreneurs (Existing Business) Category:

Kaye is the Little Miss CEO of SAM Holdings Inc., a company managing 4 brands of beauty and wellness products and services, Macho Mucho Salon For Men, Snoe Beauty Inc (partner operator), Crown and Glory Hairgrower line, and Get Lucky Fragrances. She is a certified industrial engineer and people who know her best would describe her as an obsessive compulsive entrepreneur who finds joy in finding structure out of chaos. She believes that a business is a big picture composed of puzzle pieces where beauty is enhanced when puzzle pieces fit each other. She’s also outgoing and naturally drawn to the outdoors that she surfs once in a while in Mati. She’s an advocate of women empowerment and strives to be an epitome of young women succeeding in business.

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What is the problem that your business is trying to solve?
Macho Mucho Salon For Men is a hybrid barbershop salon concept based on an insight that men of today belong in a place where they truly feel comfortable, not in old style barbershop that lacked innovations and not in a unisex salon which lacks elements that affirms a man’s manhood.

We can be flexible to whichever our clients prefer, Barber for the traditional clean cut and Salon for men looking for hairstyles that are modern and edgy. Our shop is designed to be a man’s cave where they can truly feel at home and where wives can leave their husbands. We made it easier for our clients to communicate the cuts they want through our Style Guide. At an affordable pricing point, we’re giving back or clients’ money’s worth with superb service delivery and perks for the Boss such as wifi and free coffee. The shop is curated with classy and industrial, organic design elements that looks more of a place to hang than a salon. More than these, we put customer service on top of our priorities, that they get the cut they’re looking for and the pampering that a man deserves.

We believe these elements orchestrate a sense of connection, a sense of belongingship among our wide target market in the male segment, from little kids to teenagers to adult men.

What is the best and worst part of being a young entrepreneur?
The best part is the autonomy of making decisions, when the direction of your company as the leader is in your terms. We’re young but we call the shots which really gives me and my brother the freedom to express our creativity and decision-making skills. One advantage of a young entrepreneur is a higher regard of the present market’s need and wants since we can relate to the market ourselves. We try our best to be creative, empathic, and authentic in communicating to our target market. And this is the best part, we communicate, market and sell accordingly with so much heart.

Worst part is we had to accept the brutal truth of the numbers, profitability and return of investments. Most people think that entrepreneurs live a colorful, exciting life especially when you’re a young entrepreneur. But with power lies responsibility. We had to do tough decisions even it pains us ourselves. We had to let go of some of the plans that are tempting like disapproving a plan for expansion of a promising location or delaying product development in favor of what’s essential. We’ve learned that holding, delaying and rejecting some plans is also growth. It’s a balance of these things that we’re trying to muster, of managing risks and still being optimistic for the future.

How did YEDW help improve your business model?
YEDW and its mentors guided me to an appreciation of how a business model should adapt to the requirements of the customers and what it should deliver without sacrificing the essence of the idea. A good idea can only be as good based on how it is executed. When you’re young, you’re too idealistic but falls short in action. The mentors asked us the hard questions, questions we ourselves were afraid to ask and find an answer. Concepts were tested and challenged again and again to ensure its viability and sustainability. We got mentors from different industries all with different perspectives which shed interesting ideas on how we can improve and scale our respective businesses. We were challenged to Dream Big, Start Small and Scale Fast!

What is your biggest dream for your business?
One advice our dad told us is that job generation is one essential metric of success. How many lives we’ve touched by giving them employment. Our biggest dream is for a Mindanao brand like ours to go global, to raise our standards so high that it also demands an increase of number of people we’ve given livelihood, directly or indirectly. When we put this human element of job creation as one of our core purpose of being an entrepreneur, we give humanity to what we do. It’s not all about making money, it’s about creating a better world, helping more people because of our talents and skills.

What do you do for fun?
I work. [laughs]I’m practically a boring person. Once a month, I try my best to visit Mati to surf. When you’re having too much fun working, you tend to find it hard to separate work and fun.

What’s the next step for you?
We’re currently finalizing the concept to scale and expand to more areas nationally through franchising. We’re increasing brand awareness that it creates a following of its own which will make it easier for future franchisees.

For more information on Macho Mucho, visit: https://www.facebook.com/machomucho