Archive for December, 2015

2016: A Year for Prosperity

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

2016
We are only a day before we welcome 2016 and I am sure that many of us cannot believe that 2015 is about end. Looking back, I can say that it has been nothing but a great year not just for me and my family but also for Go Negosyo. Our 10th year has been blessed with good programs that inspire and empower our fellow Filipinos to strive for a better life through entrepreneurship. We are glad to have mentored and guided aspiring and young entrepreneurs who are bravely starting their entrepreneurial journeys.

As 2016 unfolds, may we all pursue for growth and development. I am saying this not only for the entrepreneurs but for the whole country. We know that there will be elections this coming May 2016 and I think that this is the first step towards continuous growth. May we elect leaders who will have a better vision for the country and will strive to turn these visions into achievements. More than the visions, it is their plan of action that we must consider the most.

With the rate of progress that the Philippines experienced in 2015, I see that the next year will be a better year for improvements. 2016 will be the year of changes, not only in the administration, but also in the economy as we see the effects of ASEAN integration and application of APEC learnings.

2016 will be an exciting year. I pray that we receive more blessings and opportunities and experience greater prosperity. Let us all strive to be better!

I asked some Go Negosyo entrepreneurs to share their expectations and wishes for 2016. Let me share them with you:

“I hope that in the coming elections, the Filipino people will vote for leaders that will work and care for their welfare.  I hope that the said elected leaders will have genuine respect for the law and not for their own personal gains.  And I pray for peace before, during and after the elections.” –Kathleen Dy-Go, Universal Records

“I hope that the local retail industry will be given more support by the government and the mall developers for us to show everyone and the other nations how relevant local Filipino retailers are in this growing business. I firmly believe that Filipinos are born with so much talent, and it’s a shame if we do not promote our talent and ingenuity effectively to other fellow countrymen and to the rest of the world.” – Roxanne Farillas, Plains & Prints

“I hope that our country will be able to select great leaders that will think of ensuring a great business environment for entrepreneurs, as well as have a clear agenda of prosperity and inclusion for all Filipinos.” – Mark Ruiz, Hapinoy

“We elect a new president who is assertive yet diplomatic, with business experience yet not corrupt, with vision yet unifying.” – Josiah Go, Mansmith & Fielders

“I expect a real brighter future for our country and business if our our people would elect a no-nonsense and decisive President whose integrity is unquestionable and whose priority is to serve our country and people. If this happens, I expect that good governance and optimism will be more prevalent in our midst and criminality and corruption will be minimized if not eradicated.” – Jun Manas, HenLin

“We expect more challenges to our businesses given the climate change issues facing every country, every business. Though we expect an uptick in business due to elections, we still think new challenges will be facing us especially with regards environmental issues.” – Pacita Juan, ECHOstore

“I’m very optimistic that the Philippines will continue with its upward economic growth in 2016. On the heels of a very successful APEC conference, my expectations are that ASEAN will play a big part and open up many more opportunities for young entrepreneurs and create competition that will stimulate our growth and lift our standards and services.” – Michael Deakin, Lifeline Ambulance

“As an avid supporter of Go Negosyo, I wish that more entrepreneurs would support this cause. I also wish that whoever gets elected as President this 2016, may be able to lead the country with empathy, selflessness, dedication and perseverance in uplifting the lives of our countrymen.” – Federico Moreno, Moreno Group of Companies

 

Go Negosyo 2015 Highlights

Monday, December 28th, 2015
Go Negosyo celebrated its 10th anniversary last July in Green Sun Hotel, Makati.

Go Negosyo celebrated its 10th anniversary last July in Green Sun Hotel, Makati.

2015 marked a decade of the Go Negosyo’s advocacy in building an enterprising nation.

For the past 10 years, we have launched countless of programs, summits, caravans, and fora that provided a marketplace of ideas, innovative business solutions, and informative business advices that aim to develop an entrepreneurship culture in our country. We believe that through these platforms, we are sharing the vision that SMEs can make an impact in the society which then can contribute to the economic growth of the country.

To us, it is important to find your passion and have right mindset which will lead you towards success. As for Go Negosyo, the passion to serve and share the entrepreneurial spirit has always been our driving force. This is what we hope to share in the community, to inspire them to move up in life.

As we continue to educate and instil entrepreneurship in the country, many organizations from different sectors have recognized Go Negosyo as a pioneer in pushing entrepreneurial mindset among Filipinos. We were given recognitions and awards and we thanked them for believing in our advocacy. And of course, we share this success to you, our readers, and to the whole entrepreneurship community.

Go Negosyo had been successful in promoting the advocacy. This year has been fruitful with events that empowered different sectors especially the youth.

As this year is about to fold, let me share with you the highlights of 2015, a landmark year for Go Negosyo.

Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion welcomes the thousands of participants to the 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit last March 6, 2015 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion welcomes the thousands of participants to the 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit last March 6, 2015 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

The 2015 Inspiring Filipina Awardees: (front row L-R) Stella Sy (Mint), Menchie De Guzman (Gantsilyo), Ria Lu (Komikasi), Patis Tesoro, Josephine See (JM Peanut World), and Nanette Po (Friends of Hope Inc.). (Middle row L-R) Emma Imperial (Imperial Homes Corporation), Riza Mantaring (Sun Life Financial Philippines), Kathleen Go (Universal Records), Roxanne Farillas (Plains and Prints), Myrna Bituin (Betis Crafts Inc.), Celinda De Guia (Ovation Productions) and Fe Vidal (CBN Boneless Bangus). (Back row L-R) Alice Eduardo, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Socorro Ramos, Esther Vibal, Sen. Grace Poe and Joey Concepcion.

The 2015 Inspiring Filipina Awardees: (front row L-R) Stella Sy (Mint), Menchie De Guzman (Gantsilyo), Ria Lu (Komikasi), Patis Tesoro, Josephine See (JM Peanut World), and Nanette Po (Friends of Hope Inc.). (Middle row L-R) Emma Imperial (Imperial Homes Corporation), Riza Mantaring (Sun Life Financial Philippines), Kathleen Go (Universal Records), Roxanne Farillas (Plains and Prints), Myrna Bituin (Betis Crafts Inc.), Celinda De Guia (Ovation Productions) and Fe Vidal (CBN Boneless Bangus). (Back row L-R) Alice Eduardo, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Socorro Ramos, Esther Vibal, Sen. Grace Poe and Joey Concepcion.

Cong. Leni Robredo, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and Tessie Sy-Coson during a forum in the 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

Cong. Leni Robredo, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and Tessie Sy-Coson during a forum in the 7th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

National Bookstore’s Socorro Ramos and Vibal Publishing Group’s Esther Vibal received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurs in the field of Education.

National Bookstore’s Socorro Ramos and Vibal Publishing Group’s Esther Vibal received the Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurs in the field of Education.

Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Ricardo Po Jr. (Century Pacific Food), Sen. Cynthia Villar, Yati Abdullah (DHL), Sen. Sonny Angara, and Leonardo Po (Century Pacific Food) celebrating a decade of building an entrepreneurial nation during Go Negosyo’s 10th Anniversary celebration.

Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Ricardo Po Jr. (Century Pacific Food), Sen. Cynthia Villar, Yati Abdullah (DHL), Sen. Sonny Angara, and Leonardo Po (Century Pacific Food) celebrating a decade of building an entrepreneurial nation during Go Negosyo’s 10th Anniversary celebration.

A gathering of bossings. Glenn Yu (Seaoil Philippines), Benjamin Liuson (The Generics Pharmacy), Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation), Mark Belo and William Belo (Wilcon Builders Depot) and Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo).

A gathering of bossings. Glenn Yu (Seaoil Philippines), Benjamin Liuson (The Generics Pharmacy), Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation), Mark Belo and William Belo (Wilcon Builders Depot) and Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo).

Alice Eduardo, Joey Concepcion, Vivienne Tan, Mylene Abiva, and Grace Glory Go.

Alice Eduardo, Joey Concepcion, Vivienne Tan, Mylene Abiva, and Grace Glory Go.

PLDT’s Gabby Cui and Kat Luna-Abelarde with FERN Inc.’s Tommanny Tan.

PLDT’s Gabby Cui and Kat Luna-Abelarde with FERN Inc.’s Tommanny Tan.

Luigi Bernas, Rosalind Wee, Joey Concepcion and James Bernas.

Luigi Bernas, Rosalind Wee, Joey Concepcion and James Bernas.

Go Negosyo recognized icon entrepreneurs who have been inspirational to many aspiring and young entrepreneurs.

Go Negosyo recognized icon entrepreneurs who have been inspirational to many aspiring and young entrepreneurs.

The Go Negosyo crowd shot with more than 700 entrepreneurs, government partners and other corporate advocacy partners at the Go Negosyo @ 10 in Green Sun, Makati.

The Go Negosyo crowd shot with more than 700 entrepreneurs, government partners and other corporate advocacy partners at the Go Negosyo @ 10 in Green Sun, Makati.

The prestigious Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal Award for being the Most Outstanding Institution of 2015 was awarded by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista to Go Negosyo. Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez, received the award together with angelpreneurs Butch Bartolome, Jorge Wieneke, Vix Madlangbayan, Paulo Tibig and Carlo Calimon.

The prestigious Manuel L. Quezon Gawad Parangal Award for being the Most Outstanding Institution of 2015 was awarded by Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista to Go Negosyo. Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez, received the award together with angelpreneurs Butch Bartolome, Jorge Wieneke, Vix Madlangbayan, Paulo Tibig and Carlo Calimon.

Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award for Advocacy Marketing at the 36th Agora Awards.

Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award for Advocacy Marketing at the 36th Agora Awards.

Go Negosyo also became part of the APEC Week through the partnership with APEC Business Advisory Council led by Doris Magsaysay-Ho. Go Negosyo and ABAC launched the APEC SME Summit dedicated for all SMEs in the country. In photo are Filipino technopreneurs Nix Nolledo of Xurpass and Maria Ressa of Rappler with Karen Davila.

Go Negosyo also became part of the APEC Week through the partnership with APEC Business Advisory Council led by Doris Magsaysay-Ho. Go Negosyo and ABAC launched the APEC SME Summit dedicated for all SMEs in the country. In photo are Filipino technopreneurs Nix Nolledo of Xurpass and Maria Ressa of Rappler with Karen Davila.

President Benigno Aquino III focused on the empowerment of SMEs for the country’s inclusive growth during his keynote speech at the APEC SME Summit.

President Benigno Aquino III focused on the empowerment of SMEs for the country’s inclusive growth during his keynote speech at the APEC SME Summit.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho with Go Negosyo Executive Director Ramon Lopez.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho with Go Negosyo Executive Director Ramon Lopez.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho, APEC Business Advisory Council 2015 Chair thanked everyone who participated and organized the APEC SME Summit.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho, APEC Business Advisory Council 2015 Chair thanked everyone who participated and organized the APEC SME Summit.

Joe Maristela of Katalyst.ph, Mr. Carlo Calimon of Mobkard, Ms. Beverly Tantiansu of e27, Mr. Jeff Char of JSeed Ventures, Mr. David Cruz of Bluewave and Mr. Klas Lundgren of Xeric served as judges for the MCAP Philippine Finals 2015 with the three teams who won Team 1Export, Team Saffron Technologies and Team Wattsmart with Ramon Lopez of Go Negosyo

Joe Maristela of Katalyst.ph, Mr. Carlo Calimon of Mobkard, Ms. Beverly Tantiansu of e27, Mr. Jeff Char of JSeed Ventures, Mr. David Cruz of Bluewave and Mr. Klas Lundgren of Xeric served as judges for the MCAP Philippine Finals 2015 with the three teams who won Team 1Export, Team Saffron Technologies and Team Wattsmart with Ramon Lopez of Go Negosyo

Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez joined the Meet the Presidentiables Forum as a panelist.

Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez joined the Meet the Presidentiables Forum as a panelist.

VP Binay with Joey Concepcion, moderator Luchi Cruz Valdes of T5, panelists Dra. Vicki Belo of Belo Medical Group, Atty. Mike Toledo of Philex Mining, Ramon Lopez of Go Negosyo, columnist Babe Romualdez, Henry Lim Bon Liong of Sterling Group, and Haresh Hiranand.

VP Binay with Joey Concepcion, moderator Luchi Cruz Valdes of T5, panelists Dra. Vicki Belo of Belo Medical Group, Atty. Mike Toledo of Philex Mining, Ramon Lopez of Go Negosyo, columnist Babe Romualdez, Henry Lim Bon Liong of Sterling Group, and Haresh Hiranand.

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Vice President Binay gave an opening speech before the forum proper.

Former Secretary Mar Roxas gave his opening message during the Presidential forum last November 9, 2015.

Former Secretary Mar Roxas gave his opening message during the Presidential forum last November 9, 2015.

Johnlu Koa (French Baker), Luchi Cruz Valdes (TV 5), Joey Concepcion, Atty. Mike Toledo (Philex Mining), Sec. Mar Roxas, Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo) and Babe Romualdez

Johnlu Koa (French Baker), Luchi Cruz Valdes (TV 5), Joey Concepcion, Atty. Mike Toledo (Philex Mining), Sec. Mar Roxas, Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo) and Babe Romualdez

Sen. Grace Poe bravely answered questions from the panelists and audience during the Presidential forum we had last December 2.

Sen. Grace Poe bravely answered questions from the panelists and audience during the Presidential forum we had last December 2.

Patty Chilip (Standard Insurance), Rosalind Wee (W Group), Atty. Mike Toledo (Philex Mining), Joey Concepcion, Luchi Criz Valdes (TV 5), Ramon Lopez (RFM Corporation and Go Negosyo), Babe Romualdez, and Myrna Yao (Richprime Global)

Patty Chilip (Standard Insurance), Rosalind Wee (W Group), Atty. Mike Toledo (Philex Mining), Joey Concepcion, Luchi Criz Valdes (TV 5), Ramon Lopez (RFM Corporation and Go Negosyo), Babe Romualdez, and Myrna Yao (Richprime Global)

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg during his welcoming remarks in the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop Culminating Activity.

US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg during his welcoming remarks in the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop Culminating Activity.

YEDW GW 1

Joey Concepcion and US Ambassador Philip Goldberg together with the YEDW delegates at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City.

Go Negosyo had a Negosyo sa Bayan session in Davao City in partnership with Vice Governor Joey Pelaez. In photo is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Go Negosyo had a Negosyo sa Bayan session in Davao City in partnership with Vice Governor Joey Pelaez. In photo is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Angelpreneur Josiah Go in one of our Magandang Business Advice (MBA) Seminar.

Angelpreneur Josiah Go in one of our Magandang Business Advice (MBA) Seminar.

Go Negosyo is part of the opening of many Negosyo Centers in the country.

Go Negosyo is part of the opening of many Negosyo Centers in the country.

APEC SME Summit Press Conference with Joey Concepcion, Doris Magsaysay-Ho, and Sen. Bam Aquino.

APEC SME Summit Press Conference with Joey Concepcion, Doris Magsaysay-Ho, and Sen. Bam Aquino.

On its 5th year, Go Negosyo partnered with Villar Sipag Foundation for the OFW and Family Summit. In photo : Yati Abdullah, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Manny Villar, Joey Concepcion, Cong. Mark Villar, and Ramon Lopez.

On its 5th year, Go Negosyo partnered with Villar Sipag Foundation for the OFW and Family Summit. In photo : Yati Abdullah, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Sen. Manny Villar, Joey Concepcion, Cong. Mark Villar, and Ramon Lopez.

Sen. Sonny Angara in the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations’ Manila Night. Go Negosyo in partnership with the HPAIR Manila team hosted the Manila Night for all its delegates showcasing the rich Filipino culture.

Sen. Sonny Angara in the Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations’ Manila Night. Go Negosyo in partnership with the HPAIR Manila team hosted the Manila Night for all its delegates showcasing the rich Filipino culture.

Go Negosyo was also invited in DTI’s SME Roving Academy in Samar. Angelpreneur Ardy Roberto gave an inspiring talk on entrepreneurship.

Go Negosyo was also invited in DTI’s SME Roving Academy in Samar. Angelpreneur Ardy Roberto gave an inspiring talk on entrepreneurship.

PLDT SME Nation and Go Negosyo continues to empower SMEs during the launch of the PLDT Small Business Month last July.

PLDT SME Nation and Go Negosyo continues to empower SMEs during the launch of the PLDT Small Business Month last July.

Smart - Talk N Text in partnership with GoNegosyo launched the first ‘Panalo ang May Alam: Katropa sa Kabuhayan’ Program at Boljoon Sports Complex, Cebu

Smart – Talk N Text in partnership with GoNegosyo launched the first ‘Panalo ang May Alam: Katropa sa Kabuhayan’ Program at Boljoon Sports Complex, Cebu

Go Negosyo and SMART brought the Smart Pinoy Go Negosyo Caravan in Hong Kong to empower our OFW kababayans and inspire them to start their entrepreneurial journeys.

Go Negosyo and SMART brought the Smart Pinoy Go Negosyo Caravan in Hong Kong to empower our OFW kababayans and inspire them to start their entrepreneurial journeys.

Joey Concepcion during the BPI Sinag Awards Forum. Also in photo are Jing Castaneda and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Joey Concepcion during the BPI Sinag Awards Forum. Also in photo are Jing Castaneda and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala.

Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez during the launch of Negosyo Center in Taytay.

Go Negosyo’s Executive Director Ramon Lopez during the launch of Negosyo Center in Taytay.

Christmas in our Hearts

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

holidays column

Christmas has always been the happiest time of the year for many Filipinos. For us, the celebration of the Christmas season starts at earlier dates, from the beginning of October or September, one can hear Christmas carols in the radio.  The celebration lasts up to January. This only shows how much we value all the things that this season means for us: love, family, and most especially, the birth of Jesus Christ.

This year, we are blessed to have Pope Francis at the start of the year in January. I can say that our 2015 has been blessed by him. During his short visit, we are reminded of the Christian values we must possess which include love, mercy and compassion. He reminded us that our Lord showed us perfect examples of love for others which we must follow. We must do all things out of love for one another by showing kindness to all and extending help to the needy. May the love of the Lord transcend to us as we share our blessings to others.

It was a once in a lifetime experience for our family to have met the Pope for a few hours but what is more important is his lasting reminders to all of us. I’d like to share with you a simple message from Pope Francis when we had a chance to meet him in Mall of Asia Arena along with thousands of people. In his message, the Pope mentioned, “I would like to rest in the Lord with all of you and to reflect with you on the gift of family.” To us Filipinos, our families are the center of our lives. We work for them, doing our best that we can do just to give them what they deserve. Many of our kababayans even sacrifice for their family, leaving them temporarily to work abroad and become OFWs. Despite the hardships that they are facing, they continue to strive to provide for their families. Our family-centeredness is definitely one of the best Filipino traits that we are recognized for.  I see entrepreneurs of today putting correctly their priorities centered on the family, for what is success in business if it will lead to issues in the family.

More importantly, as we enjoy the company of our family and friends, let us not forget that the real meaning of this season is Jesus Christ.  God has sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, and we have received so many blessings because of Him. His birth has truly brought joy and meaning to our lives.

As we wrap up the 2015, let me briefly recognize our partners in the advocacy. Go Negosyo was blessed this year as we celebrated our 10th year of building an enterprising nation. We have forged new partnerships and welcomed entrepreneurs who share the same advocacy. Our 10thyear has been meaningful after knowing that we have touched and inspired the lives of many aspiring, young, and even established entrepreneurs. Their entrepreneurial growth and journey mean so much to us as we continue to guide them in their paths. And even those not in business, we are pleased to see them succeed as well in their careers, more inspired and more innovative and positively enterprising in spirit.

Our programs, from the Filipina summit, APEC SME Summit we did with APEC Business Advisory Council up to the OFW and Family Summit with the Villar group and the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshops with US Embassy, and the fora and seminars in between have been instrumental in guiding many Filipinos towards entrepreneurship. Seeing them eagerly listen to the talks of our entrep-mentors shows us their eagerness to have a better life by having an enterprising mindset and knowhow. Our way to spread a success-mindset.

My wish for this Christmas is to have peace and prosperity in our country where everyone move up in life. Inspiring and empowering the bottom of the pyramid is key to poverty alleviation and real inclusive growth. We experience a better economy compared to the last few years and compared with other countries, and this has provided many opportunities for all of us. I wish that this growth and development that we are experiencing will continue, most especially with the next administration.  I hope that the next president will have a clear goal and a bright vision for our country. After meeting most of the presidential candidates during our series of fora with them, I am confident that they all will continue to help in building an enterprising nation.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Go Negosyo and US Embassy Empower Young Entrepreneurs through YEDW

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Go Negosyo in partnership with the US Embassy brought together the Grand Culminating Activity of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) series on December 9, 10 and 11 at the Heritage Hotel in Manila. The grand culminating activity gathered the winners of the YEDW existing business and business idea categories from all over the country.

Day 1 kicked off with the arrival of our special guest H.E. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg from the US Embassy. Ambassador Goldberg, Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo Executive Director) and I delivered our inspiring messages to the youth delegates and even entertained a few questions.

The rest of the afternoon was spent for clustered mentoring sessions. The fellows were mentored by experts from their respective industries. The following served as mentors to the YEDW fellows: Food: Juliet Herrera (Serenitea), GJ Jimenez (Banapple), RJ Ledesma (Mercato Centrale), Paco Magsaysay (Carmen’s Best) and Ifore Yu (Chicken Charlie). Beauty/Health and Wellness: Sherill Quintana (Orayspa) and Anna Meloto-Wilk (Human Nature). Tourism/Travel: Chal Lontoc (Jeron Travel) and Ivan Man Dy (Old Manila Walks) Agriculture: Toto Barcelona (Harbest), Brian Belen (Ato Belen Farm), Reden Costales (Costales Nature Farms) and Desiree Duran (Duran Farms) Fashion: Zarah Juan (Green Leaf Eco Bags) and Brian Tenorio (Tenorio) Service: Tess Dimaculangan (Go Negosyo Angelpreneur/ Dimaculangan, Dimaculangan and Co. CPAs), Jerry Ilao (Ink-all-You-Can) and Amor Maclang (GeiserMaclang) Education: Joy Abaquin (Go Negosyo Angelpreneur/ Multiple Intelligence International School).

To end the day’s program, a forum about funding composed of panel members Patch Dulay of The Spark Project, Benel Lagua of Development Bank of the Philippines, Joe Maristela of Katalyst.ph and Navin Uttamchandani of Esquire Financing enlightened the fellows on funding opportunities that they can tap.

The second day started with Engineer Aisa Mijeno, the brain behind SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) as featured in the recently concluded APEC Summit. The floor was opened for questions after Ms. Mijeno’s talk about her SALt lamps.

The fire pitches of the non-winners judged by Vix Madlangbayan, Jorge Wieneke and Willy Arcilla was followed by another mentoring sessions on the different aspects of business. The following served as mentors: Vix Madlangbayan, Butz Bartolome, Mylene Abiva, Willy Arcilla, Paulo Tibig, Jorge Wieneke, Mon Abrea, Armand Bengco, Danella Yaptinchay and Atty. Aileen Almora and Emelita M. Barbosa, CEBS.

The last day was filled with excitement as the winners of each leg and wildcard rounds presented their final business pitch.

At the end, Rachel De Villa of Cropital from the Manila leg and Helen Kaye Layco of Macho Mucho from the Mindanao leg each won P100,000 cash prize to help expand their business and idea.

YEDW 2015 Fellows.

YEDW 2015 Fellows.

Joey Concepcion and US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg.

Joey Concepcion and US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg.

The first plenary talk was with Dr. Ed Canela—consultant for Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF). Dr. Canela discussed the Philippine entrepreneurship ecosystem.

The first plenary talk was with Dr. Ed Canela—consultant for Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF). Dr. Canela discussed the Philippine entrepreneurship ecosystem.

After the networking lunch, program director of Launchgarage Jay Fajardo talked about innovation and creativity in entrepreneurship.

After the networking lunch, program director of Launchgarage Jay Fajardo talked about innovation and creativity in entrepreneurship.

(L-R: Standing: Willy Arcilla, Tess Dimaculangan, GJ Jimenez, Juliet Herrera, Sherill Quintana, Anna Meloto-Wilk, Desiree Duran, Mary Joy Abaquin and Zarah Juan) (L-R: Sitting: Brian Belen, Ivan Man-Dy, Reden Costales, Chal Lontoc, Amor Maclang, Brian Tenorio and Jerry Ilao)

(L-R: Standing: Willy Arcilla, Tess Dimaculangan, GJ Jimenez, Juliet Herrera, Sherill Quintana, Anna Meloto-Wilk, Desiree Duran, Mary Joy Abaquin and Zarah Juan)
(L-R: Sitting: Brian Belen, Ivan Man-Dy, Reden Costales, Chal Lontoc, Amor Maclang, Brian Tenorio and Jerry Ilao)

 L-R: Patch Dulay, Benel Lagua, Joe Maristela, Navin Uttamchandani and Lara Mendoza of Go Negosyo.

L-R: Patch Dulay, Benel Lagua, Joe Maristela, Navin Uttamchandani and Lara Mendoza of Go Negosyo.

Ms. Aisa Mijeno

Ms. Aisa Mijeno

L-R: Paulo Tibig, Jorge Wieneke, Mon Abrea, Ramon Lopez, Emelita Barbosa, CEBS, Atty. Aileen Almora, Danella Yaptinchay, Mylene Abiva, Butz Bartolome, Armand Bengco and Vix Madlangbayan

L-R: Paulo Tibig, Jorge Wieneke, Mon Abrea, Ramon Lopez, Emelita Barbosa, CEBS, Atty. Aileen Almora, Danella Yaptinchay, Mylene Abiva, Butz Bartolome, Armand Bengco and Vix Madlangbayan

YEDW 2015 Top 12 Finalists: (L-R) Flora Mae Sañosa, Erica Midori Acuña, Pamela Nicole Mejia, Mariel May Obregon, Rachel De Villa, Helen Kaye Layco, Michael Earl Castroverde, Cezar Chan, Gideon Pahagas, Robert Basco, Jesus Dane Lavarias and Raphaelo Perez.

YEDW 2015 Top 12 Finalists: (L-R) Flora Mae Sañosa, Erica Midori Acuña, Pamela Nicole Mejia, Mariel May Obregon, Rachel De Villa, Helen Kaye Layco, Michael Earl Castroverde, Cezar Chan, Gideon Pahagas, Robert Basco, Jesus Dane Lavarias and Raphaelo Perez.

 (L-R) Ma. Isabel Gutierrez (US Embassy), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Jorge Wieneke (Tokyo Tempura), Pete Davis (US Embassy), Elizabeth Lu (US Embassy) Kaye Layco (Macho Mucho), Rachel De Villa (Cropital), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Dianne Eustaquio (Ideaspace), Tess Dimaculangan (Dimaculangan and Dimaculangan CPAs) Willy Arcilla (Independent Marketing Consultant).

(L-R) Ma. Isabel Gutierrez (US Embassy), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Jorge Wieneke (Tokyo Tempura), Pete Davis (US Embassy), Elizabeth Lu (US Embassy) Kaye Layco (Macho Mucho), Rachel De Villa (Cropital), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Dianne Eustaquio (Ideaspace), Tess Dimaculangan (Dimaculangan and Dimaculangan CPAs) Willy Arcilla (Independent Marketing Consultant).

Two Promising Young Entrepreneurs Shine in YEDW 2015

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

I do not need to cite the very famous quotation from our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal for us to know that indeed, the future of our country lies on the youth. Investing on the youth is like planting seeds for the future. That is why we, at Go Negosyo, have always aimed to empower the young through entrepreneurship. We are fortunate to have found a partner who shares the same goal—the United States Embassy in Manila led by H.E. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg who graced our recent event with his presence.

Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion and US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg.

Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion and US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg.

In partnership with the US Embassy, Go Negosyo conducted the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) series held in Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In this workshop series which is aimed to develop businesses into innovative enterprise for continuous improvement, we gathered the most promising young entrepreneurs in the country. At the end, we chose the best among the two categories: aspiring entrepreneurs with actual business idea and practicing entrepreneurs with existing businesses.

I am proud to present the winners of this year’s YEDW series:

In the business idea category, Rachel De Villa bested more than 20 other aspiring young entrepreneurs. Rachel’s business idea is called Cropital. Cropital is a crowdfunding platform connecting anyone to help finance farmers. At 23, Rachel has always pictured herself as a problem-solver. So when she and her team noticed the lack of financial support being given to Filipino farmers, she immediately developed a prototype to address this problem. Through Cropital, anyone can finance a farmer by investing funds that will be used to provide the farmer proper equipment, training and advice from experts. In return, the funder will get a certain percentage of the profit generated after harvest. Cropital’s business model revolves around empowering farmers to increase their productivity, thus, increasing the income of their household. “We envision a world where farmers do not live in debt but live the life that they deserve,” said the young visionary.

Meanwhile, Helen Kaye Layco from General Santos City is the winner of the existing business category. Kaye, an industrial engineer by profession who considers herself as an “accidental entrepreneur,” is the CEO of SAM Holdings, the company that manages the Macho Mucho Barber + Salon. Originally conceptualized by her brother Ralph Layco, Macho Mucho is a hybrid salon that provides both barber and salon services designed specifically for men. As a young entrepreneur, the 26-year old Kaye saw the emerging and growing market of men who wish to be pampered and treated for their grooming needs in an environment where they can be truly themselves—not in an old-style barbershop that lacked innovations for the needs of today’s men, and not in the feminine salon where their wife or girlfriend goes to. “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,” shares Kaye. “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.”

Both winners are grateful for the workshop series because it opened several opportunities and allowed them to build networks with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs.

(L-R) Ma. Isabel Gutierrez (US Embassy), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Jorge Wieneke (Tokyo Tempura), Pete Davis (US Embassy), Elizabeth Lu (US Embassy) Kaye Layco (Macho Mucho), Rachel De Villa (Cropital), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Dianne Eustaquio (Ideaspace), Tess Dimaculangan (Dimaculangan and Dimaculangan CPAs) Willy Arcilla (Independent Marketing Consultant).

(L-R) Ma. Isabel Gutierrez (US Embassy), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Jorge Wieneke (Tokyo Tempura), Pete Davis (US Embassy), Elizabeth Lu (US Embassy) Kaye Layco (Macho Mucho), Rachel De Villa (Cropital), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Dianne Eustaquio (Ideaspace), Tess Dimaculangan (Dimaculangan and Dimaculangan CPAs) Willy Arcilla (Independent Marketing Consultant).

According to Kaye, “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.”

For Rachel, she shared that “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. 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.”

Aside from these winning businesses, there are other promising concepts that caught my interest such as: OVERHEAT burgers and KABOOM burgers and wings, two businesses that offer an innovative way of serving traditional burgers; agricultural enterprise like AgriBlocks, which sells hollow blocks made of rice hulls and AMO Solution, a 5-in-1 solution that increases the yield of farmers by as much as 100%; PHINIX footware, an enterprise that converts textile waste into fashionable footware and many others.

I am sure that YEDW is just the beginning of these amazing young entrepreneurs’ journey towards success.

Get to Know the Winners of the YEDW 2015

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

yedw winners main

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.

yedw winners main 1

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.

yedw winners main 2

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

 

Go Negosyo and US Embassy Empower Young Entrepreneur through YEDW

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Go Negosyo in partnership with the US Embassy brought together the Grand Culminating Activity of the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) series on December 9, 10 and 11 at the Heritage Hotel in Manila.

YEDW is a series of developmental three-day workshops for existing Filipino young entrepreneurs and young aspiring entrepreneurs (with actual business ideas) held in Manila, Batangas (Luzon leg), Iloilo (Visayas leg) and Zamboanga (Mindanao leg). The workshops included training, networking, mentorship opportunities from US government exchange program alumni and Go Negosyo angelpreneurs, and a business innovation plan competition aimed to improve existing business models and business ideas.

The grand culminating activity gathered the winners of the YEDW existing business and business idea categories from all over the country.|

DAY 1

Day 1 kicked off with the arrival of special guests H.E. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg from the US Embassy, Ramon Lopez and Joey Concepcion from Go Negosyo. All three delivered their inspiring messages to the youth delegates and even entertained a few questions.

YEDW GW 1

The fellows got to know each other better through an activity that allowed them to ask questions to their co-delegates.

The first plenary talk was with Dr. Ed Canela—consultant for Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF). Dr. Canela discussed the Philippine entrepreneurship ecosystem.

After the networking lunch, program director of Launchgarage Jay Fajardo talked about innovation and creativity in entrepreneurship.

The rest of the afternoon was spent for clustered mentoring sessions. The fellows were mentored by experts from their respective industries. The following served as mentors to the YEDW fellows:

Food: Juliet Herrera (Serenitea), GJ Jimenez (Banapple), RJ Ledesma (Mercato Centrale), Paco Magsaysay (Carmen’s Best) and Ifore Yu (Chicken Charlie).

Beauty/Health and Wellness: Sherill Quintana (Orayspa) and Anna Meloto-Wilk (Human Nature).

Tourism/Travel: Chal Lontoc (Jeron Travel) and Ivan Man Dy (Old Manila Walks)

Agriculture: Toto Barcelona (Harbest), Brian Belen (Ato Belen Farm), Reden Costales (Costales Nature Farms) and Desiree Duran (Duran Farms)

Fashion: Zarah Juan (Green Leaf Eco Bags) and Brian Tenorio (Tenorio)

Service: Tess Dimaculangan (Go Negosyo Angelpreneur/ Dimaculangan, Dimaculangan and Co. CPAs), Jerry Ilao (Ink-all-You-Can) and Amor Maclang (GeiserMaclang)

Education: Joy Abaquin (Go Negosyo Angelpreneur/ Multiple Intelligence International School)

The fellows also received mentoring on pitching from YSEALI alumni Ryan Madrid, Ivan Payawal, Kevin Dele Cruz, Goldy Yancha and Jessica Corado.

To end the program, a forum about funding composed of panel members Patch Dulay of The Spark Project, Benel Lagua of Development Bank of the Philippines, Joe Maristela of Katalyst.ph and Navin Uttamchandani of Esquire Financing enlightened the fellows on funding opportunities that they can tap.

DAY 2

The first day started with Engineer Aisa Mijeno, the brain behind SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) as featured in the recently concluded APEC Summit. The floor was opened for questions after Ms. Mijeno’s talk about her SALt lamps.

Aisa Mijeno of SALt.

Aisa Mijeno of SALt.

The fire pitches of the non-winners judged by Vix Madlangbayan, Jorge Wieneke and Willy Arcilla was followed by another mentoring sessions on the different aspects of business. The following served as mentors:

Business Model Review: Vix Madlangbayan (Business Plan) and Butz Bartolome (Expansion).

Marketing & Branding: Mylene Abiva (Marketing) and Willy Arcilla (Branding).

Operations: and Paulo Tibig and Jorge Wieneke

Finance: Mon Abrea (Business Finance) and Armand Bengco (Personal Finance)

Administrative/ Legal: Danella Yaptinchay and Atty. Aileen Almora

Human Resource Management: Emelita M. Barbosa, CEBS

Day 2 Mentprs: Mr. Paulo Tibig, Mr. Jorge Wieneke, Mr. Mon Abrea, Go Negosyo Executive Director Mr. Ramon Lopez, Ms. Emelita M. Barbosa, CEBS, Atty. Aileen Almora, Ms. Danella Yaptinchay, Ms. Mylene Abiva, Mr. Butz Bartolome, Mr. Armand Bengo and Mr. Vix Madlangbayan.

Day 2 Mentprs: Mr. Paulo Tibig, Mr. Jorge Wieneke, Mr. Mon Abrea, Go Negosyo Executive Director Mr. Ramon Lopez, Ms. Emelita M. Barbosa, CEBS, Atty. Aileen Almora, Ms. Danella Yaptinchay, Ms. Mylene Abiva, Mr. Butz Bartolome, Mr. Armand Bengo and Mr. Vix Madlangbayan.

The last day was filled with excitement as the winners of each leg and wildcard rounds presented their final business pitch.  Here are the presenters and their respective businesses:

Aspiring entrepreneurs’ category:
Raphaelo Perez – OVERHEAT Burgers
Michael Earl Castroverde – Brain Camp
Rachel De Villa – Cropital
Robert Basco – KEGAN-Abacause
Pamela Nicole Mejia – PHINIX
Mariel May Obregon – Agribuilders Hollow Blocks

Existing business category:
Cezar Chan – Alto Audio Design Center
Jesus Dane Lavarias – KABOOM Wings and Burgers
Helen Kaye Layco – Macho Mucho Men’s Salon
Flora Mae Sañosa – FDIC Broilers
Gideon Pahagas – Gideon’s Alpha Betta Aquatic Pets
Erica Midori Acuña – Ako’y Magsasakang Organiko

YEDW Grand Winners Rachel de Villa (business idea category) and Helen Kaye Layco (existing business category) with mentors and officials from the US Embassy.

YEDW Grand Winners Rachel de Villa (business idea category) and Helen Kaye Layco (existing business category) with mentors and officials from the US Embassy.

At the end, Rachel De Villa of Cropital from the Manila leg and Helen Kaye Layco of Macho Mucho from the Mindanao leg each won P100,000 cash prize to help expand their business and idea.

Meet the Presidentiables Forum with Sen. Grace Poe

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Last December 2, Go Negosyo  in partnership with PLDT SME Nation, Smart Communications, Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation and RFM Corporation organized the third installment of “Meet the Presidentiables Series” featuring presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe.

Attended by more than 500 entrepreneurs, advocacy partners, and youth delegates, the series aimed to give the Go Negosyo entrepreneur community and key enablers a chance to meet the presidential candidate who will share their vision and platform for the country, particularly on economic and entrepreneurship development and other relevant topics such as agriculture, transportation, politics, poverty, etc.
In her opening speech, she shared stories of her father who is also an entrepreneur himself. She also spoke on the importance of entrepreneurship for the country as a solution to the number one problem in the country – poverty. She also commended Sen. Bam Aquino for the Go Negosyo Act which has established more than one hundred Negosyo Centers all over the country.

During the forum, a panel composed of Patty Chilip (Standard Insurance), Rosalind Wee (W Group), Atty. Mike Toledo, Ramon Lopez (RFM Corporation and Go Negosyo), Babe Romualdez, and Myrna Yao (Richprime Global) got to question Poe about her platforms and takes on certain national issues.

Sen. Grace Poe answered questions on agriculture development, lowering taxes, programs she wishes to continue, traffic issues and plans for public transport system, and also the disqualification cases filed against her.

Panelists Mon Lopez of Go Negosyo and Babe Romualdez.

Panelists Mon Lopez of Go Negosyo and Babe Romualdez.

Sta. Elena Corporation's Alice Eduardo greets Sen. Grace Poe.

Sta. Elena Corporation’s Alice Eduardo greets Sen. Grace Poe.

Sen. Grace Poe with the panelists: Patty Chilip, Rosalind Wee, Atty. Mike Toledo, Ramon Lopez, Babe Romualdez, Myrna Yao, and host Luchi Cruz-Valdes and Joey Concepcion.

Sen. Grace Poe with the panelists: Patty Chilip, Rosalind Wee, Atty. Mike Toledo, Ramon Lopez, Babe Romualdez, Myrna Yao, and host Luchi Cruz-Valdes and Joey Concepcion.

Johnlu Koa of French Baker.

Johnlu Koa of French Baker.

The forum was moderated by TV5's Head of News and Information Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

The forum was moderated by TV5’s Head of News and Information Luchi Cruz-Valdes.

 Sen. Grace Poe gamely answers questions from the panelists and from the audience.

Sen. Grace Poe gamely answers questions from the panelists and from the audience.

Samie Lim and Roilo Golez

Samie Lim and Roilo Golez

Patty Chilip of Standard Insurance.

Patty Chilip of Standard Insurance.

osalind Wee, one of Go Negosyo's trustees and chairman of W Group.

osalind Wee, one of Go Negosyo’s trustees and chairman of W Group.

Myrna Yao of Richprime Global Inc.

Myrna Yao of Richprime Global Inc.

On her opening speech, Senator Poe revealed that aside from being an actor, her father was also an entrepreneur.

On her opening speech, Senator Poe revealed that aside from being an actor, her father was also an entrepreneur.

Partners and Entrepreneurship advocates joins the forum last December 2. In photo: Gabby Cui (PLDT SME Nation), Malou Talosig (PLDT SME Nation), Rosalind Wee  (W Group), Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Corporation), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Noel Altamirano (BPI Family), and Corinne Zablan (SMART) .

Partners and Entrepreneurship advocates joins the forum last December 2. In photo: Gabby Cui (PLDT SME Nation), Malou Talosig (PLDT SME Nation), Rosalind Wee (W Group), Alice Eduardo (Sta. Elena Corporation), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Noel Altamirano (BPI Family), and Corinne Zablan (SMART) .

Sen. Grace Poe greets the audience and poses for photos.

Sen. Grace Poe greets the audience and poses for photos.

Mikey Cojuangco, Felix Ang, Joey Concepcion, Rikki Dee, Marissa Concepcion, and Beng Dee.

Mikey Cojuangco, Felix Ang, Joey Concepcion, Rikki Dee, Marissa Concepcion, and Beng Dee.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho, chair of APEC Business Advisory Council, Joey Concepcion, and Sen. Grace Poe.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho, chair of APEC Business Advisory Council, Joey Concepcion, and Sen. Grace Poe.

Atty. Mike Toledo of Philippine Bar Association, and host Luchi Cruz-Valdes

Atty. Mike Toledo of Philippine Bar Association, and host Luchi Cruz-Valdes

Cong. Roman Romulo, Manny Osmena, and Felix Ang.

Cong. Roman Romulo, Manny Osmena, and Felix Ang.

Microentrepreneurship Changes Lives

Thursday, December 10th, 2015
The National Selection Committee of this year's Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards. (L-R) Antonino ALindogan Jr., independent director of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation; Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Chair of Philippine Daily Inquirer; Aftab Ahmed, CEO of Citi Philippines; Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr., Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Sec. Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of Commission on Filipinos Overseas; Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, President of Summit Media; Atty. Felipe Gozon, President and CEO of GMA Network Inc.; and Joey Concepcion, President and CEO of RFM Corporation and Founding Trustee of Go Negosyo.

The National Selection Committee of this year’s Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards. (L-R) Antonino ALindogan Jr., independent director of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation; Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Chair of Philippine Daily Inquirer; Aftab Ahmed, CEO of Citi Philippines; Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr., Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Sec. Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of Commission on Filipinos Overseas; Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, President of Summit Media; Atty. Felipe Gozon, President and CEO of GMA Network Inc.; and Joey Concepcion, President and CEO of RFM Corporation and Founding Trustee of Go Negosyo.

For the past years that I have joined many selection and awarding programs for microentrepreneurs, I have seen how many of them scale up because of proper funding and support from many microfinance institutions.

Recently, I was honoured to be part of the National Selection Committee of 2015 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) organized by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Citi Foundation, Citibank, and Microfinance Council of the Philippines. This CMA is a nationwide search for the most outstanding microentrepreneurs across the country. And for the past 12 years, CMA has recognized more than 100 microentrepreneurs who have displayed passion and determination to pursue their dreams and help their families move up in life.

This year’s winner is truly an inspiration. She is a public school teacher and now a nata de coco manufacturer in Mindanao. Hailing from Davao City, Lydia Malot was named as this year’s National Winner of CMA. But what is inspiring about this Pinay entrepreneur?  Few years ago, she read an article in a magazine which showed steps on how to make nata de coco. This has inspired her to try her luck in the business. With only PHP300.00 capital, Lydia and her husband started growing the business. When her husband died, she took the business under her management and became very hands-on in all its processes and growth. Indeed, business inspiration can come from anything.

From the small capital she had, she applied for a loan from Microfinance institution Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay Inc. (KMBI) for the expansion of her business.

Today, Lydia’s business caters to large food and juice producers like Profoods International, Del Monte, and Dole Philippines. Aside from these, international investors and companies also recognize her business and have invited her to join food expos abroad. Recently, her nata de coco was named as the best product compared to those which came from Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia.  Currently, she is seeking for an accreditation to be compliant with the international standards in nata de coco production in order to accommodate the demands from international companies.

With the assistance provided by CMA, Lydia will be able to get the much-needed technical knowledge and equipment in order to improve the quality of their products.

Aside from Lydia, there are other winners as well who have shown their inspiring entrepreneurial journeys.

Members of the National Selection Committee of CMA 2015 with the winners. (front row) : Special Award for Agri Micro-business awardee Laarni Ditablan,  Regional Awardee for Mindanao Maternidad Salili, National Winner Lydia Malot, Regional Awardee for Luzon Ester Shiela Vitto, Special Award for Agri Micro-business awardee Victoria Bantilan. (back row) : Regional Awardee for Visayas Jordan Inalisan, Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., Chairman of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Ayala Corporation President Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and Special Award for Community Leadership awardee Marines Takingan.

Members of the National Selection Committee of CMA 2015 with the winners. (front row) : Special Award for Agri Micro-business awardee Laarni Ditablan, Regional Awardee for Mindanao Maternidad Salili, National Winner Lydia Malot, Regional Awardee for Luzon Ester Shiela Vitto, Special Award for Agri Micro-business awardee Victoria Bantilan. (back row) : Regional Awardee for Visayas Jordan Inalisan, Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., Chairman of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Ayala Corporation President Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and Special Award for Community Leadership awardee Marines Takingan.

Ester Vitto and her husband Ronald started a slippers business in Oriental Mindoro. The soles of the slippers and sandals are made from used tires. They also offer a free repair to its customers. Ester received the Malikhain award from CARD MRI’s Galing Ni Nanay search for their innovative way of recycling used tires. CMA recognized her as the Regional Awardee for Luzon.

The Visayas awardee Jordan Inalisan hails from Carigara, Leyte which is known for its products made from pure carabao’s milk. This led to the establishment of his business which sells special pastillas, cookies, and other local delicacies. Jordan’s pastillas shop is known as one of the biggest pasalubong stores in Leyte. His initial loan with the MFI was P3,000 only. His business not only helps his family but also members of his community including working students.

Regional Awardee of Mindanao Maternidad Salili runs a business of fabricating coil springs that are used in machines and vehicles. With the P4000.00 loan she got, she was able to improve the quality of the products through continuous improvement of her machines and equipment. Maternidad proudly shares that there are multinational companies in the country which order coil springs from them which she immediately deliver within agreed turnaround time.

A Special Award for Agri Micro-business was also given to two microentrepreneurs – Victoria Bantilan of Negros Occidental and Laarni Ditablan of Rizal.

From sari-sari store to rice retailing and selling RTWs, Victoria and her husband decided to try agri-business by attending a three-day training program on mushroom culture. They also till a piece of land that they received from CARP which produces organic black and red rice. Aside from selling their products in public markets and stalls, Victoria also distributes their products in some hospitals, restaurants, and organic farmers’ market.

Laarni, on the other hand, is a fish breeder and knife fish trader. Laarni and her husband started their business with just three fishnets. After seeing that the business is lucrative, Laarni decided to loan for a higher capital in order to acquire necessary assets such as canoes and fishing boats. Today, they are breeding tilapias, bread bighead carps and are financing knife fish catchers in Binangonan.

Marines Takingan’s advocacy on organic farming in La Trinidad, Benguet earned him a Special Award for Community Leadership. After suffering from an illness caused by pesticides and insecticides, Marines decided to shift to organic farming and founded an association for organic farmers. Aside from the promotion of organic farming, he offers his garden as a demo farm and trains fellow members.

The winners received close to 2 million in cash and non-cash prizes including a 4-week entrepreneurship training which will better guide them in the improvement of their businesses.

I believe that microentrepreneurs like them are an inspiration to the larger part of our population. Those who want to move up in life and be successful. But the key to their growth is microfinance and mentorship.

BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., said, “Our microentrepreneurs represent a gold mine of lessons and information that has been helping us transform and improve the lives of millions of Filipinos through microfinance. A significant factor in our growing harvest of successful microenterprises stories is a regulatory environment that enables microfinance institutions or MFIs to provide appropriate products and services.”

Supporting and enabling microentrepreneurs can really help change lives. They are the over 90% of the total number of enterprises, and empowering them and helping them take their businesses to the next level is helping the bottom of the entrepreneur pyramid, leading us towards a real inclusive growth.

Mobile App Developers Take Center Stage in MCAP 2015

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015
mcap pr

Mobile Challenge Asia Pacific (MCAP) Philippines winners with the judges.

In partnership with Applied Innovation Institute, IE Business School and JSeed Ventures and in conjunction with GSMA, Go Negosyo and the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) organized the Mobile Challenge Asia Pacific(MCAP) Philippine finals last December 5 at the Anson’s building which served as the national search for the Philippine representatives to the Regional finals in Hawaii, USA.

The competition was opened to all types of mobile solutions, ranging from education, SME solutions, entertainment, communication etc.

Mr. Joe Maristela (Katalyst.ph), Mr. Carlo Calimon (Mobkard), Ms. Beverly Tantiansu (e27), Mr. Jeff Char (JSeed Ventures), Mr. David Cruz (Bluewave) & Mr. Klas Lundgren (Xeric) served as judges for the MCAP Philippine Finals 2015.

At the end, three teams emerged as winners: Team 1Export, Team Saffron Technologies and Team Wattsmart.