On May 23, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla and co-host Senator Bam Aquino was joined by The French Baker Founder and CEO Johnlu Koa, Philippine Marketing Association – Consumer Affairs Director Prof. Jerry Cocabo-Yao, and Yoli’s Homebaked Staple General Manager JB Estrada to share their experiences on the recently launched Mentor Me on Wheels.
Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW) is Go Negosyo’s latest initiative to bring mentorship closer to Filipinos. Attendees got to be in a one-on-one mentoring session with the big names in the business industry on entrepreneurial mind-setting and marketing. Its first leg was successfully introduced last May 11 at Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia which was attended by the mentors and mentee who participated in this episode.
It all started with JB asking Johnlu Koa “Sir, can I show you my bread?” and the rest is history. After being mentored by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion, JB was then introduced by Concepcion himself to Koa.
Mr. Johnlu tried the bread for the first time and gave his initial comments. He then asked JB about the basics of his bakery including its brand, logo, production space, and its legal aspects as well as the history of his business. JB recalled saying that he was wondering how would he turn his mother’s passion into business. And thus, Yoli’s Homebaked Staple was established.
JB’s mom tried out several attempts in order to get the right consistency of the bread she bakes. Without any knowledge in the food industry, JB also struggled how to market his products and attract more potential customers. He was also still deciding which of his breads would be the signature product he would feature.
From the mentoring session, JB was taught how to set realistic goals in order for his bakery to flourish. He was also able to gather helpful suggestions on improving his products. “Baking is [both a] science and [an] art. If you do not know [about it], you won’t go far,” Mr. Koa remarked. He also mentioned that budding entrepreneurs must appreciate the market opportunity.
Meanwhile, Prof. Jerry Cocabo-Yao reiterated the importance of knowing the customers’ needs and attitude. He also shared that the enterprise must not just focus on the money. “You do business not only for profit but with a purpose,” he said citing some social enterprises he was able to discover during his own mentoring session.
“Entrepreneurship is about selling an idea…everything starts and ends with the market,” Prof. Cocabo-Yao continued. He also said that passion is essential for a business to succeed.
Both Mr. Koa and Prof. Cocabo-Yao addressed questions from the listeners. They also cited some government initiatives that would help micro and small businesses to get financial assistance and tax exemptions. Additionally, they encouraged the listeners to “get [their] products out there,” by sharing them with their friends, family, and through social media.
MMOW will make its second pit stop at SM City Calamba, Laguna on June 2, 2018 at 10 AM. Interested mentees can pre-register at https://tinyurl.com/MMOWLAGUNA. Limited slots are also offered to walk-in guests.