Archive for May, 2007

We Believe

Thursday, May 31st, 2007

Ateneo used WE BELIEVE as their slogan when they played against La Salle for the UAAP Championships. I am a La Sallite but I do have a lot of friends who are from Ateneo who claim to be the superior race. Ateneo won the championship that time against a highly favored La Salle team. The slogan “We Believe” was quite a powerful mantra for the Ateneo community during the championship games.

While in the Bay Area this summer, I was able to witness the Warriors get into the playoffs after 13 years, beating Dallas who is the number one team in the NBA with a superior record in the eliminations. I was able to watch most of the games live at the Oracle Stadium but what amazed me the most was the support of the fans coming in the same yellow T-shirts with “We Believe” written all over it. The Warriors was definitely the underdog in this league with a very small line up. The same mantra “We Believe” was used all over the Stadium and even when the team was down, the fans continued to cheer “We Believe”. They did beat Dallas and they were the first team to ever beat a number one team with that kind of record in the eliminations.

So what is the connection of “We Believe” to negosyo or to our country today? With elections now almost over we must remain focused on the most important thing which is our economy. If we look at the team of PGMA as a basketball team, then we must cheer the country on and believe that economic progress is really happening. WE BELIEVE is not blind faith at work and we must not resolve to the usual bahala na attitude. We BELIEVE can convert this pessimistic society into a nation filled with optimism. Let me say this again, the remaining 3 years of PGMA are crucial, it is the last 2 minutes as we say in basketball. We cannot allow the forces of those who want to hog the limelight cast doubt on the future of this country. We must all believe that what is happening is for real and that if we want to be part of this we all must do something such as investing in our country thru stocks, real estate or a negosyo. The power of “We Believe” will truly make us the darling of Asia for investment.

Let me share with you the answers from the question “Given that the economy is consistently getting better, do you think the country’s economic progress is for real?” Almost all of them believed it was real. Here are excerpts of their responses:

DON RODNEY JUNIO
I think our country has made a leap forward in terms of making a big segment of our population less marginalized and economically well-off…I guess our country’s economic progress is for real, the challenge now is for us to maintain whatever momentum we have and ultimately gather steam to push our country forward.

ALFREDO BARING
Yes, the country’s economic progress is for real…I suggest that the government will give more attention to livelihood loans for small farmers, pedicab/tricycle drivers, market fish vendors etc. at low interest rate. As private individual, I suggest that more one-stop shop centers be established by the city, provincials, municipals and government agencies to facilitate issuance of licenses, business permits especially at the BIR to minimize graft & corruption.

ERNESTO USON
The progress will be for real as long as economic policies set by the present administration are kept by the succeeding administration to ensure investor confidence is maintained. Competing political parties must learn to work together, terrorists and communists must be neutralized, infrastructure improvements are implemented, education is continuously upgraded and corruption is minimized if not eliminated.

ARNOLD HERRADURA
I think the government and the private sector should have the proper coordination in terms of sustaining the economic progress the country is now experiencing. The government should continue to support local investors in the SME categories because I believe they are the ones giving more employment to our urban as well as rural folk workers.

CARLOS AGUILAR
I would say that according to economic indicators like the stock market and exchange rate that the economy is indeed getting better. However, it is still to be felt by the rest of the population. For the country to sustain this, our government officials should think long term and look beyond their tenure.

EDGAR ALLAN MORTEL
I am one of those who believe that the economic progress is for real. Because, in spite of not a few “political” mistakes of GMA, she’s able to pursue correct/effective policies on the economic front. This can be attested by the 24 quarters of successive growth, as has been bruited about in the papers. For this alone, business persons will realize that this government is serious in trying to improve the economy of our country.

CATHERINE GAVILE
I hope it is for real, and that the winners stay true to their word, and keep their promises to the people. I am a graduate student in the biological sciences, and am set to leave in August to pursue my PhD abroad. I WANT to believe the progress is real for the sake of the family (my parents, and siblings) I am leaving behind.

CHIARA JULIE ANN SACDALAN
I am hoping that this economic progress is for real. The answer to real progress and solving our problem on poverty is to focus on the most basic need for good education. The government should focus on our government schools and hire only truly qualified teachers and make educational facilities of government schools updated and at par with our more prestigious private schools.

IRENEO N.PADRIGON
Yes, our economic progress is for real. This is highly evident in the good performances of our PHISEX and FOREX. After the elections, all elected officials should unite together and buckle down to work. Set aside partisan politics and start implementing/supporting the economic agenda of the government. They should paddle together in the right direction to push our economy further forward.

JONEL UY
Yes, with the stocks up, deficit and interest rates down among others, I believe the country’s economic progress is for real. The government can slowly reduce the EVAT over the next years. Private individuals can produce more actions and less of complains.

EUSEBIO YU
I believe the country’s economic progress is for real. Investor confidence is high especially with the peacefully concluded elections. The stock market is at an all-time high. Business is doing well. I suggest that the government continue to weed out graft and corruption because that destroys the country’s image and subsequently investor confidence. On the other hand, private individuals should continue to do their part in being productive citizens either through working or through starting their own businesses.

Go Negosyo Book Now a Bestseller

Thursday, May 24th, 2007

With just four months after its first date of publication, the Go Negosyo Book of Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories has reached the top spot of the Bestseller’s List (Non-Fiction Category) in National Bookstore. The Go Negosyo book even topped Donald Trump and Robert Kiyosaki’s “Why We Want You to Be Rich” which was also in the best-seller list. We are extremely happy of what this book has achieved and that it was able to gather a significant amount of following in just a short span of time. Some people have asked me what inspired me do this book. I guess the introduction in the book explains it all. As a child, I always dreamed of being the cape crusader Batman and in some strange ways the role I am doing in the Go Negosyo advocacy together with hundreds of entrepreneurs is to inspire people to take control of their destiny and rescue them from the villains of our society, THE PESSIMISTS.

This book is a collection of stories which will hopefully inspire Filipinos to believe in the power of determination to reach their entrepreneurial dreams. I personally hand-picked the entrepreneurs featured in the book with the hope that the readers will be inspired with their stories and realize their one big idea. Their stories not only talk about the triumphs but also the major obstacles the entreps had to overcome and the actions taken to reach the pinnacle of success. Aside from memorable quotes from the entreps, the book also features a foreword and useful business insights from entrep guru Andy Ferreria. The book also intended to create icons out of the featured entreps for the readers and young Filipinos to follow as role models.

Due to its increasing popularity, we have a series of book signing sessions all throughout the year to further promote the book, and a good number of entreps in the book make themselves present. We had the first book signing session at the National Bookstore Mall of Asia last March 3, in National Bookstore Megamall last March 15 and the most recent in PTTC during the Go Negosyo Go Gobyerno last May 2. All of them were very well-attended and it also served as a venue for the public to meet and greet their entrep idols whom I believe are the real superstars of this country. In addition, we will also have book signing sessions as part of our Go Negosyo sa Probinsya caravan in key cities all around the Philippines.

We are also in the process of creating the second edition of the book because we realize that there are still a lot of other successful entreps who have inspiring stories to tell. Aside from providing inspiration, we also want to equip Filipinos with the necessary information in running a business which is why we are also thinking of doing a basic “how-to” Go negosyo guide for entrepreneurs which we can hopefully sell at a very affordable rate.

On behalf of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, I would like to thank everyone who became a part of the book especially to the entreps who willingly shared their inspiring stories. We thank Prof. Andy Ferreria for providing the useful business insights, to Philip Cu-unjeng and his team for their interesting write-ups, and of course to our great Go Negosyo supporter and trustee Socorro Ramos for all the support that she and her National bookstore team, including Powerbooks, have extended to this book project. My heartfelt thanks to everyone who already purchased the book and for those who don’t have one yet, I highly encourage you to get a copy.

Let me share with you an email that was sent to me by an OFW. This is maybe the very reason why the super heroes, the entrepreneurs, should continue to grow in fold because of the countless OFWs who have to work overseas just to sustain their families in the Philippines.

Dear Joey,

I am an accountant working in Oman and a father of 2 kids. I read your Go Negosyo articles and really appreciate the mentors’ concern about us. It is also my ambition to have a small business so that I can stop working abroad and settle permanently with my family; who I missed so much for having so far from them for almost 5 years now and may even go further.

It is a terrible thing to think that when the first time I left (2002) our country, my 2 kids were so small and when I came back sometime in 2005 (2 months vacation) & 2006 (1 month vacation) I found them already grown up; sad to say that for the 5 years I am far, I saw them only for 3 months and to add, I have never been in those times they were growing up and never been a part of their formative years. My wife became a 2-person parent, a father and mother to them.

Your Go Negosyo team and your visions are very good and thought inspiring. I wish that you will succeed and be able to help people like us, OFWs to start a new life in the Philippines because it is the best place in the whole world; and I am proud to say that I would like to die in our place and not in a foreign land.

Educating our people and placing good people in government is the right thing to do. I support you in advocating these visions and it is true that we need people who are themselves pro-economy, pro-entrepreneur and pro-people oriented; in 3 words help the poor.

It is high time that we should support each other and elected politicians must be servants to people and not a lord over them.

Go ahead of your views and I should say and quite sure that OFWs will support you in your visions; because, never, as a lone OFW, felt this burning desire until I have read your articles and the others’ in Go Negosyo website.

Noel


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Congratulations also to MSME czar and PMS boss Cerge Remonde and his team for successfully mounting, in cooperation with PCE, the Go Negosyo Go Gobyerno last May 2 at the PTTC Manila, and last May 11 at the Cebu International Convention Center. Thanks to PTTC Executive Director Inton, Governor Gwen Garcia and the Marissa Nallana for providing the free venues. Tomorrow, Go Negosyo Go Gobyerno will be in Davao. Organized with the Philippine Government Employees Association headed by Espie Ocampo, this event aims to promote Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), to encourage government employees to develop an entrepreneurial mindset and to present to them business opportunities that their families can avail of.


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Here’s a question for our column readers:

Given that the economy is consistently getting better, do you think the country’s economic progress is for real? What else would you suggest the government and private individuals do to push this country forward?

Tell us what you think. Visit the Go Negosyo website at www.gonegosyo.net, click Joey Concepcion under the Ask-a-Mentor section and send me your answers along with your name address and contact number. THE FIRST 100 RESPONDENTS WILL RECEIVE A FREE COPY OF THE GO NEGOSYO BOOK.

Vote Go Negosyo

Thursday, May 10th, 2007

This May 14, Filipinos will again have the chance to choose their leaders in the Senate, Congress and in the local government. It is common to hear people saying that we must vote wisely but I really suggest we take that seriously because the kind of people we elect into office will affect our future.

After so many years since the return of democracy under the Cory government and into the Ramos era, we have seen an upturn in our economy and a much more optimistic Filipino living here or abroad. After the first three years of PGMA, much of it was quite tense with the coup rumors and coming back from the Asian crisis that hit the Ramos administration towards the end of his term and the massive devaluation that continued towards the Erap administration. But despite these setbacks, we are now starting to see a brighter future for the Philippines which is mostly due to the fact that people have started to have faith in this country again with all the positive economic indicators we now see.

I don’t mean you should vote for Go Negosyo as it is not running for any office. What I mean with this statement is that if we really want to see our country move forward, let’s vote for candidates that will be for creating an enterprising Filipino. Someone who is Pro-economy, Pro-optimism, Pro-Negosyo. Let’s vote for candidates who will help Filipinos to have a more optimistic view about our country. Those who will not destroy the only thing they have left which is hope. Let’s vote for government officials who will make it easier for people to start their own business without much red tape. We should vote for local government officials who will support microentrepreneurs and help them grow their business.

Let’s vote for congressmen and senators who will not grandstand and start working on bills that will develop greater support for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs and review the laws that mandate banks to allot money to lend towards MSME’s. Maybe they can even refine these laws by getting banks to lend aggressively to MFI’s and rural banks so that these can in turn lend more to micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

We know that not all will end up as entrepreneurs, but the fact of the matter as experienced even in other countries, is that an entrepreneurial nation with vibrant micro SME sector creates more jobs and more wealth for the people and the country.

What is important is the creation of an entrepreneurial mindset, not only as an entrepreneur but even as workers in companies, government or even as elected officials who would constantly look for innovative ways to serve what their target market needs.

For those unable to start their own business since they are professionals working in different organizations, the mere fact that we vote for pro-economy leaders who would foster the spirit of enterprise, is already a motivating factor as taxpayers because we know that our money is going towards the right leaders with the right motives and goals. If we will have leaders who will support the pro-economy programs of the government, then hopefully by the end of the term of PGMA we can say “now I see a bright future for our children and our children’s children”.


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Here are excerpts of some of the emails we receive from our OFW brothers that will show you that many of them want to have a bright future. Let’s start by choosing good leaders.

Dear Sir Joey,

I’m Atong Ting from Cebu City. I’m a regular cyber viewer of your program gonegosyo.org. In fact, I was really inspired the book that you have written entitled Go Negosyo 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories by Joey Concepcion. Sir, I am an overseas Filipino worker since 2002… I am a safety officer of dodsal oil and gas/refinery located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has a total land area of 85 000 sqm. Unfortunately, if accidents happen while you are working in the midst of 85 000 sqm. land, only a miracle can save you.

Sir Joey, I was planning to put up a pre-school and janitorial service. Because service businesses have a lifetime opportunity based from my perception. I also want to attend any seminars or training of pre-school and janitorial services. I’m more than willing to attend to have just a little knowledge about the business that I want to engage in.

I want to have a competent person or experienced person can run the business for me, even though I’m not around the business can run by itself. I’m planning to continue working abroad and at the same time doing business there in the Philippines. I know it is possible because we can monitor it every time we want to because we have a hi-technology available today in fact, you can see your people working via (VOIP).

And if possible, the business would prosper and need my presence I think that’s the time to stop working abroad because working abroad is tough and risky work because no one knows one day you might be woke up either in jail, hell or heaven.

Thank You Sir Joey, good day and God bless. And continue to reap the fruit of success and I pray for your advocacy in uplifting the poor through sharing your professional advice.

Atong Ting


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Hello Mr. Concepcion,

My name is Rose and I am a Filipino based in Toronto, ON Canada. I would like to thank you for initiating a website such as this to help us business-minded Filipinos start our own businesses. I franchised one of the newspapers from Manila and published here in Toronto. At this moment, I am already trying to publish the same paper in Winnipeg, MB.

I am passionate about the tourism industry in the Philippines. At this point, I always promote the Philippines as the best kept secret in Asia. I feed my friends and clients with positive news about the Philippines and try to persuade them to visit and invest in our country. I am wondering if we could replicate countries such as Thailand, or the Caribbean in offering a package vacation? It could be a 2 weeks vacation all inclusive, and it could be anywhere from Luzon down to Mindanao…

If our problem is marketing and promotions to the world, I am wondering if they could hire one of the bests in global marketing who is a Filipino. He is based in Toronto and he has received an award from GMA. I am also preparing a business plan myself and conduct a study to see if I could conquer Canada in promoting our country to the Canadians and how we could do that…It really looks like this is a gigantic task but I really believe it could be done. As you said, if you are passionate and believe in something, it will be done.

Should I pursue this? Or maybe someone in the Philippines will do the talking to the resorts/airlines/hotels and I will be the marketing and promotions person in Canada?

Please send me your advice. It will be greatly appreciated coming from you. I truly value your advice.

Very truly yours,
Rose

Go Negosyo, Go Gobyerno

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

For more than a year now, we are happy that in our own little way, our Go Negosyo advocacy has reached a number of sectors in terms of promoting an entrepreneurial mindset. Through different formats such as TV show (RPN 9 at 10:30pm), website, book, magazines, forums and expos and this article, we were able to somehow reach out to our kababayans, and more importantly allowed them to have easier access to free advice from the Go Negosyo entrepreneur mentors. We have mounted well-attended forums and expos, from the Entrepreneurship Summit last February 2006, to having Micronegosyo, Teen Edition (with DepEd), Marikina, Techno Negosyo, for Gawad Kalinga communities, OFW and Balikbayans to Tourism Negosyo last month.

Feedback has been encouraging and so we are now poised to do the Go Negosyo forums and expos in the provinces, based on invitations we are getting. We shall start in June with Cebu and then Bacolod and Baguio in July and Cagayan de Oro in August and San Fernando Pampanga thereafter.

But before we go to the different provinces by June, we just conducted yesterday the Go Negosyo Go Gobyerno forum at the PTTC. We thought it best to conduct a Go Negosyo forum for the government sector, to bring to their families the entrepreneurship mindset, or probably strengthen further the entrepreneurial inclinations that they may already have. “Teaching their families how to fish” is I guess the least we can do to help those in government service.

Yesterday’s forum was organized jointly by PCE and the Presidential Management Staff, headed by its Director-General Cerge Remonde. I would say that he can be referred to as the “chief entrepreneurship advocate in government” as he actively heads the Micro SME Council that is composed of over 30 agencies that directly provide services and assistance to the micro SME sector. Principal line agencies like DTI, DA, DOST, DSWD, DEPED, DOT, DOLE, NLSF and their attached agencies are all active members of the Council.

The forum was graced by no less than President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, who has been a strong supporter of entrepreneurship development in the country as she attended almost all Go Negosyo forums and expos whenever she is in the country. Â Other government officials were present such as DTI Secretary Peter Favila, Edgar Generoso of People’s Credit and Finance Corporation, Rey David of Development Bank of the Philippines, Gilda Pico of Landbank and Benel Lagua of Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corporation. The Go Negosyo mentors were also there such as Johnlu Koa of French Baker, Ray Gapuz of R.A. Gapuz Review Center, Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 Senen Bacani, PCE Trustee Carla Limcaoco, Doyee Tumpalan of First Vita Plus and Gaita Fores of Cibo.

The sessions hoped to inspire and give advice to the families of government employees with respect to entrepreneurship. There’s a session as well for government employees regarding INtrapreneurship or how can a government employee adopt an entrepreneurial mindset or attitude while working as professionals or technocrats. This mindset equates to being pro-active, innovative and creative in developing programs that are more meaningful to target beneficiaries of government service.

To be able to create an enterprising culture among Filipinos, we cannot just focus on creating that culture within the private sector. To a certain extent, a number of private companies have started to push for a more enterprising culture within their organization to be able to fight it out with competition, and one can get sanctioned or even fired if he fails vis-a-vis competing brands or if he consistently missed out on several opportunities.

Quite often, we hear criticisms on the government bureaucracy which I think is inherently a trait of a big organization. But there are efforts to re-energize the organization and I believe that integrating an entrepreneurial culture is one way to help achieve that. A research can be done by an independent outfit on how else we can motivate government employees, who we know are somehow protected by their security of tenure.

This is why after the continuing partnership with Gawad Kalinga and the Go Negosyo for OFWs and Balikbayans and tourism, we felt it was equally important to support the government’s efforts in wanting to create an enterprising culture among its employees which will also help augment the income of government employees by helping their families get into business.

Hopefully this effort will be the start of many other activities that will expose government employees to an enterprising culture. One good example is Ernst and Young Master Entrepreneur 2006 Mr. Senen Bacani. He was a former government official having served as the Secretary of Agriculture under the Ramos administration. He left government and started his own agri-business called La Frutera Inc. which is now one of the top 10 banana exporters. Mr. Bacani is a living example of a government employee with an entrepreneurial mindset. And now conversely, even as an entrepreneur, he continues to possess the key traits of a government employee by promoting peace and national unity thru his plantation in Mindanao which is known to employ both Christians and Muslims in the area. This is why we have invited Mr. Bacani to be one of the key forum panelists in Go Negosyo, Go Gobyerno.

This is only the start of a series of Go Negosyo, Go Gobyerno forums as there will also be follow-thru forums in Cebu on May 11 and in Davao on May 25.

Creating a culture of entrepreneurship within the government will not be an easy journey. Some people will even say that it is hopeless and a waste of time. But rather than criticize the efforts that it won’t work, we should remain optimistic and simply channel our efforts to start that journey. This is the process we have to go through in teaching a nation how to fish- teaching the families of government personnel on how to fish will help augment their income and in the process also develop the government’s intrapreneurial mindset. Go Negosyo, Go Gobyerno!