Archive for November, 2007

Social Entrepreneurs in Action

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

What urged me to write about social entreps in action is a letter sent to me from an OFW in Nigeria. Let me share it with you his letter:

Dear Joey,

I’m Jason Javier, an OFW working here in Lagos, Nigeria. I’ve been constantly following your advocacy on entrepreneurship. Your effort on spearheading the GO NEGOSYO battlecry of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship is truly commendable.

I bought your book NeGOsyo: Inspiring Stories of 50 Successful Filipino Entrepreneurs at National Bookstore last May 2007. I read and digest it thoroughly. The success stories are inspiring and worthy of emulation. Every aspiring entrepreneur should have a copy of this book.

Your weekly article on the Philippine Star is worth reading. Your article on “Creative Entrepreneurship” gave me the idea to adopt it for the students in Olongapo City.

It’s now on the planning stage and will kick-off in the next three months. This project will be known as “Creative Entrepreneurship for Students”. I believe that thru this project, we can develop at this early, a mindset of optimism and a culture of creating opportunities among our future entrepreneurs.

I doff my hat to you and to all our Go Negosyo advocates.

Let’s kill poverty now. GO NEGOSYO NA!


Jason Javier (Nigeria)

Upon reading his letter, I am reminded that negosyo isn’t always about making money. Having the power to create wealth while you help underprivileged groups or address certain social problems along the way is a doubly rewarding experience. There’s a growing number of entrepreneurs who consciously pursue their business objectives, making certain sectors or having a social dimension as an integral part of their business model. These social entrepreneurs are the emerging breeds that are adding up to the hundreds of successful companies that have adopted corporate social responsibility as part of their mission. Those with CSR’s share the fruits of their labor to fund developmental and community projects, be it on education, health, poor and other marginalized sectors in our society.

Just recently, I received a book from Hernando M. Vitas, also known as the “Puka King”. His book tells his entrepreneurial journey which started very early in life from earning extra income as a newspaper boy, and venturing into different kinds of business ventures later in life. His major break came when upon visiting Barrio Yapak (now known as Pucca Beach) in Aklan, where he first found one of the biggest sources of pucca shells. He started to export jewelry made of pucca shells which later became a fashion craze in the global market. What is most notable about this story is how Mr. Vitas mobilized and provided a source of income to poor sea communities not just in Aklan but in other parts of the Philippines as well. He also provided employment to poor squatter areas in Manila to process the shells before shipping them off to Honolulu and New York.

In a way, this story reminds us of how businesses should always have a social dimension. Other examples of entrepreneurs who help others help themselves and who made social activities form part of their business models include Chit Juan of Figaro who helped and networked with cooperatives and communities in Batangas and Cavite that produce kapeng Barako and made other blends for the full-bodied Figaro coffee. There’s her nephew Rommel Juan of the food joint Binalot who has Dangal at Hanapbuhay Para sa Nayon (DAHON) as part of the company’s corporate social responsibility program. Binalot buys the banana leaves directly from farmers and even trains them on how to cut and sanitize the leaves properly according to the company’s specifications.

Some companies that address community problems are those who became finalists of this year’s DHL Young Entrepreneurs for Sustainability (YES) Awards. The first prize was Illac Diaz of Pier One Seafarers Dormitory who is also a staunch supporter of the Go Negosyo advocacy. Aside from providing a clean, safe and affordable transient housing for Manila seafarers, Illac’s Pier One Dormitory also offers placement assistance, temporary employment while processing their papers. The other finalist Dexter Briones of Power Memory Franchising Inc. developed a program to help students learn faster and gain confidence by improving their memory skills. Another example is Emerson Atanacio who founded the National College of Science and Technology (NCST) in Cavite, a school that provides industry-specific training to young people from low-income households. These are just some examples of notable entreps who made their business grow while at the same time extending a helping hand in making sure that the less than fortunate others are also able to live a comfortable life.

Incidentally, I have also been invited by Alfredo and Jim Ayala to a special presentation by the Ashoka Trust, a global association of leading Social Entrepreneurs with system-changing solutions to the world’s most urgent social problems. This is an excellent opportunity to hear what this organization does and how they can promote and nurture social entrepreneurship in the Philippines.

Whether it be adapting a corporate social responsibility program or by pursuing a field in social entrepreneurship, entreps should always carry that sense of civil duty to help others especially those who are less fortunate. In the end, the success of a business cannot just be measured by monetary rewards but ultimately thru its positive social impact in improving the lives of others.

It's not Aptitude but ATTITUDE

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Go Negosyo ended its caravan series for this year last Tuesday with PWD’s (People with Disabilities) Can Go Negosyo! at the DLS College of St. Benilde. In spite of the very short notice, several Go Negosyo entrepreneurs gladly came with the hope of inspiring the PWD’s. But instead, we all came out the ones who got inspired. We were very inspired that in all the sharing, the word “inspired” always got mentioned. Go Negosyo for PWDs can be considered the best among all the caravans we have done so far. CSB President Brother Vic Franco said it all when he addressed the participants that “It is not a matter of Aptitude but ATTITUDE that will determine your Altitude”. This is also what Go Negosyo has been advocating for, as we go around the country thru our caravans and events with different schools and with the various speaking engagements we attend to. In many of my talks, I always say that I was not gifted with superb aptitude having failed Grade 3 and barely making it thru college but maybe I have been blessed with the right optimistic entrepreneurial attitude, the same mindset change that Go Negosyo has been advocating for.

The five PWD entrepreneurs that we awarded last Tuesday also possess the right attitude. They have taken control of their lives and despite their disabilities, they overcome their physical challenges and came out having dignity, being productive, inspiring others and contributing well to the Philippine economy. PMS Head Cerge Remonde and Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar and other entrepreneurs were very emotional as the 5 inspiring PWD entrepreneurs were being awarded.

The inspired entrepreneurs were Dra. Vicky Belo, Cecilio Pedro of Lamoiyan Corp., Carla Limcaoco of Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc., Chit Juan of Figaro, Maoui Arroyo of Hybridigm Consulting, Les Reyes of Reyes Haircutters, Victor Tan of Bobson Jeans, Paulo Tibig of V Cargo, Chris Tan of Ideal Minds and Edmund del Rosario of 3M Pizza. We were also happy to see Jajo Quintos of IBM and known Australian business consultant Peter Wallace who came to witness the awarding of Antonio Llanes Jr. of ATRIEV, as one of our five Most Inspiring PWD Entrepreneurs. I was glad to see Peter Wallace in a Go Negosyo event and outside his usual economic briefings, as I found out that he is active in his own advocacy of mentoring ATRIEVE school for the visually-impaired, as its Chairman. Very encouraging indeed.

For those who were not able to attend the awarding ceremonies, let me share with you their inspiring stories:

Dennis Rhoniel Balan has been running his studio, DRCB Photography Services, for more than 11 years. Despite initially losing four clients due to miscommunication, he persevered and is now rendering his services to an average of three to four weddings a month. He was also a bronze medalist in the 2003 International Abilympics (photography category) held in India, and is an active member of the Wedding and Portrait Photographers of the Philippines. He also teaches photography to his fellow Deaf in the College of St. Benilde and employs them for his shoots.

Another awardee, Jocelyn Garcia, is the Chief Operating Officer of Tahanang Walang Hagdanan (TWH), a non-profit organization that has been providing programs and trainings on livelihood and basic education for persons with disabilities. TWH has also been an active advocate of PWD concerns such as job placement, mobility aid assistance, sports and recreational development, and community-based rehabilitation. Believing that their products can compete in the international market, Jocelyn Garcia also helped establish the TWH Business Center, a venue where PWDs can showcase their products and services in order to facilitate access to local and international markets.

Antonio Llanes Jr. on the other hand founded the Adaptive Technology for Rehabilitation, Integration, and Empowerment of the Visually Impaired or ATRIEV, the first and only non-government organization in the country to institutionalize information technology access for the blind and visually-impaired. Antonio remains steadfast in revolutionizing ATRIEV and its services, especially its core project, the Adaptive Technology Training, Resource, & Access Center (ATTRAC), which revolves around computer training for the visually impaired, supported by social marketing, technical support, and related projects and activities.

Another awardee, Juan Benedicto “Dickoy” Magdaraog, is a magazine writer, industrial design expert and the Creative Director of a small start-up called Sparkplug Studios. Aside from his business endeavors, he is also a staunch advocating for the increased awareness of Pompe Disease, a rare and recessive genetic disorder which has not stopped him from becoming one of the notable figures in the PWD business sphere. He puts importance to his work not for money but for his sense of dignity and contributions to society.

Our final awardee, Ma. Gilda Quintua, directs traffic for MGLQ Deaf Tour Assistance, an agency which is managed by travel enthusiasts and dynamic young deaf Filipinos and is engaged in tour-related assistance. MGLQ has assisted PWD tourists from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, and the USA. Since 2004, MGLQ has been providing deaf tourists with services like reservations and bookings for international and domestic flights, hotel accommodations, and tour management within the Philippines. As head tour guide and CEO of the agency, Gilda is very much exposed to the traveling industry, frequenting historic places to better know them for the benefit of her clients. She strongly believes that she can help deaf tourists from all over the world know each other’s cultures and traditions.

These stories have been truly inspiring for everyone who attended the event and we will be featuring our awardees again in the Christmas Special of the Go Negosyo Bigtime TV Show on December 24.

* * * * *

Below is a heartwarming letter I received from one of our awardees, Mr. Dickoy Magdaraog:

Dear Mr. Concepcion,

I’m writing to thank you and the Go Negosyo group for the award. I am truly honored to have been chosen as a recipient of the award.

I am a firm believer as well that in order for our country to prevail over poverty we must encourage and inspire more people to be entrepreneurs. My being an entrepreneur was not planned. It was by circumstance that I started a business of my own. However I am thankful that God has granted me an opportunity to be one.

My path as an successful entrepreneur still has a long way to go. My business is very small. I am however inspired and encouraged once again, having experienced the GoNegosyo event this morning. The other awardees as well as successful entrepreneurs such as Mr. Cecilio Pedro inspire me to keep pushing forward. Business and social-responsibility can co-exist.

I honor you and the whole Go Negosyo group for the job you’re doing. I pray that God grant you the resources to be successful in inspiring more of our countrymen to be entrepreneurs and help improve the lives of Filipinos.

Once again, I thank you for the award. It means a lot.


Juan “Dickoy” Magdaraog

Let's Kill Poverty

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Despite yesterday’s bombing at the Batasan Complex, the market still went up and the Philippine peso continued to appreciate. While we condemn what happened, the market reaction shows that people are not letting themselves be affected by the grim happenings in the country and are continuing with their “business as usual” mode.

Just last week, a newspaper carried poverty in the headlines in a depressing news article of a 12-year-old girl committing suicide because her father refused to give her a hundred pesos for a school project. A child who commits suicide because of poverty is certainly a depressing thought but many other factors can be attributed to why this happened. What makes it more depressing is that this girl lost hope in such an early age. Because of her story, many of us became aware of how Filipinos have different ways of coping up with poverty. Some treat it as the end of the line while others use it as a means to succeed in life.

For instance, it’s hard to find a Filipino that goes hungry in other parts of the world. In the Philippines, the possibility does exist especially if they continue to seek refuge in the metropolitan areas versus living in the provinces that has potential in agriculture. It’s hard to imagine how a person from Mindanao would grow hungry especially when the rich and arable land around him allows one the opportunity to plant what he needs to eat. The level of poverty is quite high and if we are to find a solution to poverty, one can say that the solution is to depopulate the metropolitan areas and relocate them to provinces that have good potential for agriculture. This is easier said than done. Poverty can also be best eradicated by creating more jobs. This can be created by having more negosyos.

During the awarding last Tuesday of the 5th Citi’s Microentrepreneur of the Year (MOTY), I sat beside Tessie Sy-Coson of SM and she observed that most of the winners were women and in a way their mother nature comes out naturally in the form of being a negosyante, or her entrepreneurial ability for the family to survive and rise above poverty. The awardees truly have inspiring stories as they are able to surmount life’s toughest challenges while continuing to grow the business. For some, life’s challenges serve as their motivation to persevere in growing the business. Take for example Cecilia Salarda, an MOTY Special awardee who owns a balut business. Her toughest challenge came when her husband got hooked up in vices which put a huge dent in the financial status of the business. Her “blessing-in-disguise” came when their son became seriously ill as Cecilia prayed to God to spare her son and to make her husband a changed man. Miraculously, her prayers were answered as her husband realized his wrongdoings and lived a clean and righteous life from then on. Since then, they were able to recover whatever they lost during those dark times and now business has been doing well. Another awardee with an inspiring story is Maricel Quiap, a furniture maker from Baler, Quezon. Aside from managing the business with her husband, she is also continuing her education in Baler Institute for self-improvement and to be able to help her children in their homework. She does not mind being ridiculed by others since she continued her education so late in life because she believes this will also help in growing their business. There is also the story of Dolores Dorado, the Masikap National Awardee who started her business raising ducks. Dolores allowed her ducks to roam around and eat snails that ravage rice farms so that farmers will allow her ducks to eat the leftover palay in their fields.

These are only examples of inspiring stories of our fellow Filipino who did not let poverty become an end but a means and motivation instead to succeed in life. These people took control of their own destiny and did everything that they can to get out of poverty by being an entrepreneur. I am glad that we have a newspaper like Philippine Star that continues to project the rags-to-riches stories. It’s all a mindset change of positive attitude that clearly shows how these microentrepreneurs succeeded. The significant growth in the number of entrepreneurs basically shows more and more people want to move away from poverty. Let us not wait for God to solve our poverty level, let us not wait for the government to do it for us. God helps those who help themselves. Clearly, the solution to poverty is to gain a positive and entrepreneurial mindset to deal with life. Let’s focus more on negosyo.

Go Negosyo, together with Citi, was able to present the 2007 MOTY winners to President Arroyo yesterday at Malacanan, to give importance to the achievements of these awardees who made it through rough times, who didn’t lose hope and instead succeeded in life. The President’s message to the microentrepreneur community present that morning further inspired each one to pursue this path toward entrepreneurial development, as the way to address poverty. On a lighter note, the President even called someone “Mr. Negosyo”, probably due to “Negosyo” having a top-of mind recall nowadays.

In pursuing the Negosyo environment, we see Go Negosyo advocates such as Chit Juan of Figaro who continues to help the coffee farmers, Tessie Sy-Coson who has helped a lot of microentrepreneurs such as Jenilyn Antonio who now sells Ehje’s Peanut Butter in SM branches, Les Reyes of Reyes Haircutters who also offers free training services from hairstyling to actual operations of a salon business. The big brother – small brother approach is another way how big corporations mentor aspiring entrepreneurs which follows the concept of creating negosyo opportunities for the market you cater to.

Poverty can be overcome but it depends on the attitude of each individual. We will always have the political noise and destabilization plots. The love of politics and gossips will definitely not solve poverty but the change in mindset which we see in those who have started a negosyo and even contributed to jobs generation will spell the difference in addressing the poverty incidence in the country.

* * * * *

Here’s more feedback on the impact of Go Negosyo to people living outside the country:

Hello Joey. I am now in Kuwait after coming from Jeddah and Riyadh. I am pleasantly surprised to see your Go Negosyo book being read by OFWs. I was surprised to see someone from Arab News carrying it during breakfast and the CFO of Skyfreight bringing the book around as well. He said he bought it from National when he went home. The organization is offering to sell the books in Riyadh. We purchased from PCE some books and we are using it as the Philippine Delegation’s official gift to the various Arabian Chamber Officials we visited. Also send it as a gift to Amb. Endaya of Kuwait who immediately read it in his car. The Philippine organization and embassy is also requesting to bring Go Negosyo to Saudi.


Spreading the Wealth

Thursday, November 8th, 2007

Over the long weekend, I had the chance to go with my family to Sydney and took the new Singapore 380 Airbus, though not on its maiden flight as I could not afford paying those ridiculous prices for the tickets. I have always been a Singapore Airlines loyalist because of the ultimate service of their stewardess and the facilities of the plane. This plane is really close to riding your own jet. Anyway, Singapore Airlines should owe me a ticket for promoting them in this column!

On a more serious note, the Filipinos are also known for our exceptional service and hospitality. That is why we are the most favored overseas workers especially in healthcare services such as nurses, care givers (Filipinos control most of the care-giving facilities in the US) even as nannies and domestic helpers. Every hotel, cruise ship and hospital I have been to overseas would say Filipinos give the best care. This inevitably creates greater demand for Filipino workers abroad. This to some extent depopulates the country and balances off the high population growth and brings in the dollars that contribute to our GDP, our real estate boom and hopefully as capital to fund more small negosyos for families of OFWs.

On the downside, the dollar weakness due to the problems that plague America because of the sub-prime and real estate oversupply is still a haunting nightmare. America’s fortunes are turning against them due to the huge trade and budget deficits. This has caused the dollar to weaken against all currencies and not just the peso. How does the strengthening of the peso help the ordinary Filipino? At least now the peso has more value than the dollar and I would not convert my pesos at these levels as this can still strengthen depending how bad the US economy gets, and I see the peso going back to the 30s.

In a way, the peso of the Filipinos will be less but those who bought real estate stocks have made good profit by now. The stronger Peso has also definitely tempered the impact of global prices of oil and other imported commodities like beef, milk, corn, sugar and wheat, which have increased over 100pct. Oil which was around $38 per barrel not too long ago is now close to $100. Milk from $2,500 per metric ton is now close to $5,000. This is partly due to the huge demand that China has created. Imagine if the peso were still at 56, we would be experiencing hyper inflation which will lead our central banks to increase interest rates. This is not happening now since inflation is under control despite the huge commodity price increases.

In a way, the misfortunes of America have brought us some good things. With high oil prices, this has allowed Middle East countries to expand so more construction workers are needed there which then benefits more Filipinos. Even Arch. Jun Palafox is busy doing a lot of work as the demand for construction services goes higher in these areas. As misfortunes are created elsewhere, good fortunes come to our countrymen. As they say, problems are merely opportunities in disguise.

While having dinner in a restaurant in Sydney, a couple of Filipinos called out to me and said “That’s Mr. Negosyo”. That’s a name I hope I don’t develop but in a way it felt good knowing that even as far as Sydney, Filipinos see and read the good news brought about by the Go Negosyo advocacy and the other good fortunes that are starting to come to our micro and small entrepreneurs. And as I told them, our time has come to see our fortunes change for those who want it. One cannot be a mere observer, they must have the passion and determination to partake in the good times that are happening. The Philippines will be part of a new emerging Asia and the good fortunes in China, Hongkong and other Asian countries will rub on the Philippines. Don’t just watch, join in, spread the wealth and invest in your own country.

* * * * *

Let me share with you some encouraging comments from readers

Mr. Concepcion:

My name is Nancy and I live in San Francisco, I migrated to the United States, 25 years ago. I am a product of a U.S. Government program that trained Women for career opportunities. The training helped me acquire the skills I needed to increase my employability. There are decisions you make to survive and there are decisions you make due to lack of wisdom to take the best course. I fell in the category of the former.

Like the song goes Manila, Manila simply ain’t no place like Manila, Manila I’m coming home—Pampanga is my home. It is my goal to give back to our community by sharing my knowledge and experience to help others grow into their potential.

I currently serve as a Sr. Manager at Oracle USA Inc in Redwood Shores, CA. As a Manager, I am responsible in interviewing and hiring candidates that will fit our organization. My responsibility also includes the training and coaching of the Contracts Staff. I am very passionate about what I do…

Armed with my knowledge and experience it is my goal to teach the next generation of professionals who will not only fuel the growth of our country’s sunshine industry, but also the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to compete globally.

I dream of opening Excel Institute of Professional Development “EIPD”. The objective is to provide training to the next generation of business professionals who will not only fuel the growth of our country’s sunshine industry, but also provide the opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to compete globally. We aim to produce graduates of distinction, regarded as the “best of the best” globally.

I am in the process of doing a Tarzan maneuver, I plan to ask for a 3 months leave in the middle of 2008 and start my dream. I value your opinion and thank you in advance.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Best Regards, Nancy Coquioco

* * * * *

Hi Sir Joey,

Thanks so much for educating us on entrepreneurship and giving us updates on business developments all over the country thru your highly successful Go Negosyo caravans. Your column in the Phil. Star as well as your GoNegosyo book also inspire us and a lot of existing and would-be entreps. I am a branch head/cluster head of Plantersbank which is quite active in assisting SMEs and I find your articles and caravans very inspiring in the light of all the negative news now in the papers. Praying to God to give you strength to sustain all these and achieve your noble vision. God bless.

From: Mel Anes (Plantersbank-Angeles Branch)

* * * * *

Dear Sir Joey,

I have read your Go Negosyo book and it really inspired me a lot!!

My mom read it first and when I was about to get my book from her, she insisted of having a copy. I bought another copy and gave up my original book which has all the signatures of CEO from different companies during signing at LKKS CDO-atrium last October 19. I hope to read another set, another volume, of inspiring entrepreneurs someday. Thanks so much for the inspiration!


Partners in Nation Building

Thursday, November 1st, 2007

As partners, Go Negosyo and Gawad Kalinga jointly recognized inspiring entrepreneurial GK communities during the GK’s anniversary last Saturday at the SM Mall of Asia grounds. I would like to thank PGMA for attending the GK Go Negosyo awarding despite the short notice, with the help of Sec. Cerge Remonde and Usec. Marilou Frostrom. Her presence meant a lot to the fifty thousand people who were present that day, including the awardees of the 3 most inspiring entrepreneurial communities and the young high school students who participated in the ESA’s Teenpreneur challenge.

During my talk, I mentioned what both Gawad Kalinga and Go Negosyo offer to the Filipino people, which is HOPE. It is through a change into an optimistic and entrepreneurial attitude that we can move up in life as an individual and as a nation. The GK – Go Negosyo slogan placed together is kabahayan as in building homes and kabuhayan as in building livelihood. I cited as an example how Congresswoman Cynthia Villar helped GK Sunshine Village transform water lilies, which are common problems in our rivers, into raw materials for handicrafts. This project has become a sustainable source of livelihood for that community. Even PGMA was surprised to see that the basket I showed to the crowd during my talk was made out of water lilies. GK Sunshineville was one of our most inspiring entrepreneurial community awardees, along with Selecta Village for their urban farm and Freedomville for their candle-making business.

Gawad Kalinga, despite the departure of Frank Padilla who has decided to focus more on spiritual mission works, has become stronger with Joe Tale as the Chairman and Luis Oquiñena as Executive Director. Of course the driving spirit behind all these is GK founder and 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee Tony Meloto.

The Entrepreneurs School of Asia also had the final judging of the 2007 Teenpreneur challenge that day and the winners for Best Product Improvement were San Beda College (1st Place), Kostka School (2nd place) and Makati Hope Christian School (3rd Place). For the Best Selling category, winners were Manila Waldorf School (1st Place), Kostka School (2nd Place) and St. Paul QC (3rd Place). It was inspiring to see young students passionately presenting their creative outputs and innovations that they have worked out with their respective GK community, of course with the help of our Go Negosyo and the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) mentors. Amazing realization was on how early the students were exposed to actual experience of developing product innovations (the kind of entrepreneurial mindset we promote), while gaining the consciousness to share their talents and resources to help other communities.

It’s still a long road and it may take generations to see the vision of Gawad Kalinga and Go Negosyo happen but we need to dream the impossible and start doing something to attain the impossible.

Next stop is the search for the Citi Microentrepeneurs of the year. This is an annual search that is supported by Citi Group, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the Micro Finance Council of the Philippines and Go Negosyo. Candidates include Allan Geron who operates a bakery and mini grocery, Mr. Henry Bayaua who is engaged in the production of agricultural equipment such as rice threshers, kuliglig, and trailers, Ruel Limpin who owns a junkshop/waste recycling business, Marciel Quiap who together with his husband is in the business of making home furniture, doors, door jambs, and window jambs. Milagros Dorado who apart from raising ducks that lay eggs suitable for balut also buys whole or unhusked coconuts from local farmers, processes the coconut meat into copra and converts the coconut shells into charcoal, Rosa Mayordomo who has a daing business, Saturnina Diez who is into vegetable farming & trading of farm products and Virginia Dimayuga who manufactures banana chips and coated peanuts.

The success of these microentrepreneurs can be largely attributed to the Micro Finance Institutions from the Microfinance Council of the Philippines who really mentored them such as Bangko Kabayan, First Isabela Cooperative Bank, Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation, Rural Bank of Dulag (Leyte), Inc., Cebu Micro-Enterprise Development Foundation, Inc., Bangko Kabayan Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc, Alalay Sa Kaunlaran, Inc., Rural Bank of Sto. Tomas (Davao del Norte) and KFI Center for Community Development Foundation, Inc. Citi’s Country Head Sanjiv Vohra, BSP Governor Amando Tetangco and I shall award the winners on November 13 at the BSP Galleria, Metropolitan Museum of Manila.

We have also been partnering with various agencies such as the member agencies of the MSME council, DTI in their “one-town-one-product” project, PTTC and BSMED group, SBGFC, PCFC, DOF National Credit Council, DSWD, TESDA, TRC, CDA, Philexim, NLSF, NAPC, PIA, BSP, DBP, Quedancor, LBP, NCRFW and UP-ISSI, For our Go Negosyo forums and expo, DOST for Techonegosyo, DOLE and OWWA for OFW Negosyo, the Department of Education in Teen Negosyo every July, the Department of Tourism and PCVC who fully-supported Tourism Negosyo, Gawad Kalinga and DA for Go Negosyo sa GK. For our Go Negosyo caravans, the various regional branches of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the LGU’s, the regional MFI’s and the local print, TV and radio stations, Rotary Club International, CHED and RBAP. ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation in producing the How-To Go Negosyo Book, HSBC and ENEDA in promoting business plan competitions, the Entrepreneurs School of Asia for the Teenpreneur Challenge. Our corporate sponsors Globe, PAGCOR, Hyundai, San Miguel Corporation, PLDT, Smart, PAL, Splash Corporation, SM Supermalls, Islands Souvenirs, RFM Corporation, Unilever, Concepcion Durables Inc., TMLF, National Bookstore for the Go Negosyo book, Hinge Inquirer Publications for the Go Negosyo Magazine, our media partners The Philippine Star, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin, RPN 9, GMA 7, ABS CBN, ANC, NBN4, Ideal Minds Corporation, Creativoices Production, Aspac Law, and Fullcircle Communications. And of course, the countless Go Negosyo advocates who continue to support the advocacy by sharing their time as forum panelists and online mentors. This column won’t fit if I mention all their names. The list goes on and on and all of these partners have in more ways than one contributed in building an entrepreneurial nation. They are truly our Partners in Nation Building. Nothing is impossible we do our own little share to help move the country forward.

* * * * *

The Friedrich Naumann Foundation together with the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals and Acton Media will host the Manila film premiere of The Call of the Entrepreneur on Saturday, 10 November at 5:30 p.m. at the Ateneo Professionals Schools Auditorium, Rockwell Center, Makati City. Admission is free so please do come and see this inspiring film about the lives of three different entrepreneurs. For more info, please visit: or call: 840-37 28/29.