Years back when Go Negosyo started, we called our first mentors as angelpreneurs who are “angel-entrepreneurs” to micro and small entrepreneurs. Go Negosyo is where it is today because many have joined to help the cause of bringing about greater inclusivity and giving our small entrepreneurs a chance to scale up. One of the entrepreneurs who joined the mission is Henry Lim Bon Liong, the president and CEO of SL Agritech Corp.

He is one of the staunch partners of Go Negosyo and has been recently elected as the new president of the Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII). Henry is at the forefront of promoting sustainable agriculture through the use of hybrid rice and is helping Go Negosyo in its agriculture programs. In partnership with Henry’s SL Agritech Corp., we were able to launch hybrid farms in Ramain and Bubong, Lanao del Sur, which helped communities in the area earn sustainable income and learn from agricultural training and seminars.

FFCCCII has also been a great supporter of Go Negosyo, being a member of the Pilipinas Angat Lahat Alliance, an effort under my office as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, together with 30 business organizations and associations and government partners to integrate and accelerate programs on micro, small, and medium enterprise development. They also donated more than 30 classrooms in Maimbung, Sulu as part of our mission to alleviate poverty through livelihood and humanitarian programs in poor provinces in the country. FFCCCII also supports the mentorship programs of Go Negosyo by providing their members who can mentor aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. With Henry at the helm of FFCCCII, I am sure that our partnership with the Filipino-Chinese chamber will be stronger than ever.

All these programs in Mindanao are being led by Go Negosyo adviser on agripreneurship Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar who was recently recognized as one of the Women of the Future (WOF) Awardees of South East Asia under the Mentor category. Women of the Future Awards showcases “inspiring regional emerging leaders, who are tomorrow’s game changers, disrupting stereotypes and driving positive impactful change.” She is, in fact, the first awardee under the mentor category which was just added this year. Ginggay bested other nominees from other countries and was the only Filipina who won an award. Indeed, she is worthy of the recognition as she leads all our humanitarian, livelihood, and agricultural projects in Sulu, Marawi, and other Mindanao provinces.

Ginggay shares the recognition with all Go Negosyo partners who continue to believe in the advocacy.  She said, “At the heart of our work are the principles of kindness, inclusivity, peace, compassion, and collaboration. Beyond borders of race, religion, politics or prejudice. Together, we can continue to help transform lives, to enable and empower others, so that they too may be a force of change and good in their communities.” Because of her involvement in the WOF Awards, it opened up opportunities for partnership with the British Embassy in Manila for our farms for peace programs in Lanao province.

But it is not only Henry and Ginggay who have helped Go Negosyo. More than 800 mentors from different organizations have also joined the mission of entrepreneurship education. Our government partners are continuously growing, including the Department of Trade and Industry led by Sec. Ramon Lopez who is one of the original angelpreneurs, together with his supportive and dedicated undersecretaries, assistant secretaries, and regional and provincial directors. The departments of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform are also strong partners in equipping the farmers and other agriculture stakeholders with entrepreneurship mindset. Even the digital community have also joined the Go Negosyo wagon. We appreciate as well the many companies who are partners and sponsors of our programs.

Of course, I cannot forget Go Negosyo advisers Merly Cruz and Jopin Romero who also help us in developing programs that would benefit our micro and small entrepreneurs. The Go Negosyo community is indeed growing and the list goes on and on. These new angelpreneurs are godsend to those who have the desire to be successful in life.

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A few weeks ago, I shared the value of having a Yes attitude, a positive attitude which propelled many to their success. It must be practiced by everyone who wants to achieve goals in their lives. But aside from having this winning attitude, an aspiring entrepreneur must also have creativity in his or her business models in order to stand out from the rest.

Many creative entrepreneurs are backed up by their passion in the arts. These creative-preneurs are in the different fields of arts including performing arts, visual arts, fashion and lifestyle, crafts, events, culinary, digital arts, and advertising and publishing. We wish to harness and empower more aspiring entrepreneurs from this field that is why we will have a special run of our free one-on-one negosyo mentorship, the Mentor Me on Wheels.

This coming April 8, we will help fuel passion and bring out creativity in our entrepreneurs. Together with entrepreneur-mentors from this industry, Go Negosyo, in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, will highlight creativity and innovation as an important factor for success.

This leg will present panel discussions on tips on building a successful brand, conquering the world through design and innovation, and turning creativity to a successful enterprise. The roster of panelists and mentors includes Bernie Liu, CEO and president of Golden ABC Inc.; Rajo Laurel, fashion designer and founder of House of Laurel; and Jay Jonathan Aldeguer, president of Island Souvenirs Group among others.

We look forward to igniting the passion of many aspiring entrepreneurs out there! For interested participants, register now at www.tinyurl.com/MMOWCreatives2019.