Archive for January, 2016

8 Reasons Why You Should Attend the Go Negosyo 8th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit

Saturday, January 30th, 2016

Here are the 8 reasons why you should attend the Go Negosyo 8th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on February 18, 2016 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

1. Women Entrepreneurs are Taking the Business Industry by Storm

According to a recent study by the MasterCard Worldwide Index of Women’s Advancement, the Philippines is one of only two countries in Asia Pacific with more than 50 female business and government leaders and business owners for every 100 of their male counterparts. This means that more and more Filipino women are now taking the path of entrepreneurship. If you will attend Go Negosyo’s 8th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (FES), you will be exposed to different business models and have an opportunity to develop your business acumen through a roster of awesome speakers and panelists.

The Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit has been an annual tradition of Go Negosyo in recognizing our women and their capacity to be catalysts for change and progress. It empowers Filipinas by equipping them with a positive mindset, tools and concepts necessary for them to pursue the path towards success most especially by being entrepreneurial and enterprising.

The Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit has been an annual tradition of Go Negosyo in recognizing our women and their capacity to be catalysts for change and progress. It empowers Filipinas by equipping them with a positive mindset, tools and concepts necessary for them to pursue the path towards success most especially by being entrepreneurial and enterprising.

2. We have an All-Star team of Speakers!

Whether you are there for business or pleasure, we have a topnotch plenary speaker for you. From champion entrepreneurs like Maria Ressa to TV personalities like Kris Aquino, Karen Davila and Miriam Quiambao, we got you covered.

3. You can Meet Women Icons from Practically all Fields of Life

The topics that will be talked about in this year’s Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (FES) range from governance, business, to innovation and changing the world.

Maria Ressa, Kris Aquino, Karen Davila and Miriam Quiambao.

Maria Ressa, Kris Aquino, Karen Davila and Miriam Quiambao.

4. Joey Concepcion

While the man behind Go Negosyo tries to keep a low profile, he wouldn’t miss this spectacular event. Go Negosyo founding trustee Joey Concepcion has always been a staunch supporter of women game-changers. And that is why he will grace the 8th Go Negosyo FES with not only his presence, but with an inspiring message.

Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion.

Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion.

5. There are FOUR Informative Fora with Amazing Panellists!

You read that right. Not one, not two, but four forums you can all listen to. What makes these fora even more exciting are the panels composed of incredible women icons like Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Senator Cynthia Villar, Rosalind Wee, Emma Imperial, Genevieve Tan, Chit Juan, Laura Bertotto, Nanette Medved-Poe, Aisa Mijeno and many others!

6. YOU Get to Ask Questions

It’s not everyday that you get to ask women icons questions that matter to you. At the 8th Go Negosyo FES, the forum will be opened to the audience members, allowing participants to communicate with the distinguished guests.

The Summit will have plenary fora featuring female personalities. This will include the Keynote Forum which will cover inspiring stories, platforms and advocacies of women in governance. It will also continue to recognize inspiring female entrepreneurs who are exemplary in the field of business. There will also be individual mentoring sessions with Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs (expert business mentors).

The Summit will have plenary fora featuring female personalities. This will include the Keynote Forum which will cover inspiring stories, platforms and advocacies of women in governance. It will also continue to recognize inspiring female entrepreneurs who are exemplary in the field of business. There will also be individual mentoring sessions with Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs (expert business mentors).

7. It will be A Great Source of Inspiration

Among other things, Go Negosyo is a storyteller. As Joey Concepcion once said, “many stories have been told, but there are many others to tell.” The 8th Go Negosyo FES is a perfect avenue to share stories of hope and inspiration. It is a platform where people can learn from real-life stories of people who have experienced real-life challenges but succeeded.

8. You Get to Network with Like-minded Pinays

Summits like FES cater to a particular group of people. Since the 8th Go Negosyo FES is all about women empowerment, we expect the see people who have passion for learning and an entrepreneurial mindset. The more people you meet, the bigger your network becomes. What an awesome way to make friends!

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A. For Students and Teachers (Academe)
Interested students and teachers may get in touch with the FES8 Secretariat through 637-9229 or 638-8489 (Look for Rona Marcellana). Schools were sent official invitation letters addressed to the College or University President.  Request for the FES8 Official Invitation Packet for SUCs may also be communicated through the Secretariat.

B. Non-student/ non- teacher
Go Negosyo is reserving 500 seats for regular participants. Registration fee is Six Hundred Pesos (P600.00) which will cover for a packed lunch meal, seat reservation and Certificate of Participation.

To pre-register, fill out the online registration database with your complete details through this link: An email will be sent by the Secretariat to confirm that the registration has been received.


To complete registration and slot reservation, please proceed to payment.

Account Name: Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship Foundation, Inc
Account Number: 4850-088-492
Bank: BDO Pioneer Highlands, Mandaluyong City

After depositing the payment, kindly email a photo or scanned copy of the slip to
(Subject: FES8Payment/LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME). An acknowledgement email will be sent by the Secretariat to confirm slot reservation.

We encourage you to confirm immediately or reserve your slots by calling 637.9229 or 6318101 loc. 7106. Wait for the Secretariat’s confirmation email that your registration has been received. Registration and payment must be made until February 12, 2016.


SME Go! feat. MBA Marketing and Innopreneurship

Thursday, January 28th, 2016
Chairman and Chief Marketing Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Josiah Go.

Chairman and Chief Marketing Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Josiah Go.

Mentor is you need to be a good Mentee. Mentor can do so much; the more you are a good mentor the more mentee wants to be mentor.

Kilalanin natin ang tinaguriang “Marketing Guru of the Philippines” at Most Awarded Business Educator, dahil sa kanyang angking husay pagdating sa larangan ng Strategy and Innovation in Entrepreneurship.  Ang Chairman and Chief Marketing Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Josiah Go.

His advocacy is based to marketing excellence through projects that focus on Information, Ideas, Inspiration, and Infrastructure which help marketing and sales team soar. For him it’s specialized in marketing and sales, strategy and innovation training with the contribution of dream-team consultants whose extensive top-level professional experience in the fields of marketing management, sales and entrepreneurship extend not only credibility but also insightful expertise.

The big lesson was “what is your starting point and what is your journey. You don’t want to go and improve your incompetency, but you want to focus first in one area of incompetency. You don’t want to do all the things at the same time because if you do that you lose focus and you may not be excelling”. Says Go.

Catch our SME Go! Powered by Go Negosyo episode featuring our Maganadang Business Advice (MBA) program on Marketing and Innopreneurship ngayong Sabado (January 30), 5:30 AM sa PTV 4. For updates ‘LIKE’ Go Negosyo on Facebook and follow @letsgonegosyo on Twitter.

Women Changing Lives

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

In the 21st century we live in, we see more and more leading women, more inspiring women.  They are more empowered and they have more control of their destinies. They have triumphed over challenges. They help themselves and they also help empower others.  Truly, they are changing lives.

For our 8th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit, we are once again recognizing a number of compassionate and inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs who have showed us that through their enterprises and advocacies they have made an outstanding difference and left great examples in their communities and the country.

It has been a challenging process once again for our selection committee. From a long list of Filipina entrepreneurs taking center stage in their industries, we have rounded down the list to just sixteen.

Let me share with you the stories of four inspiring Filipina awardees who are social entrepreneurs and some who started as microentrepreneurs.

(L-R) Microentrepreneurs Lydia Malot and Tess Valdez; Social Entrepreneurs Cristina Liamzon and Fatima Lorenzo.

(L-R) Microentrepreneurs Lydia Malot and Tess Valdez; Social Entrepreneurs Cristina Liamzon and Fatima Lorenzo.

First in our list is Teresita Valdez of Viana Food Condiments. I met her during the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards last 2014 and I too was touched by her story. Teresita was still living in Navotas when she started working as a helper in a bagoong factory at the age of 13. She did not have the benefit of a proper education but because of her early employment which has given her a deep knowledge about the business coupled with her hard work, she was able to set up her own business in 1994. She started the business with a capital of only P10, 000 and borrowed from microfinance firms to expand their business. Viana Food Condiments manufactures sautéed shrimp paste and anchovy sauces popularly known to us as ‘bagoong’. Today, her bagoong business has flourished that she has customers not only from the country but also abroad.

Another microentrepreneur who will be receiving an award in our Filipina Summit is Lydia Malot of Lydia’s Nata De Coco. Many aspiring entrepreneurs might think that having few hundreds in their pockets are not enough to start a business. Lydia proves otherwise. She started her business with just P300 after reading a magazine with step-by-step instruction on how to make a nata de coco. This motivated her to turn her dreams of having a better life into a reality. With the help of microfinance company in their region, Lydia started her production in 1993. Today, Lydia has tapped on a bigger market by becoming one of the top suppliers of nata de coco to large food and beverage companies in the country. From a humble public school teacher in Davao, Lydia is now a successful entrepreneur who continuous to become an inspiring role model to the members of her community.

Aside from microentrepreneurs, we also recognize social entrepreneurs who have contributed change in the communities that benefit in their advocacies.

Fatima Lorenzo, Philippine’s first Ashoka fellow, started Kythe Foundation in 1992 to provide children with cancer and other chronic illnesses with psychosocial support. Since their establishment, 8,000 children have been given support and has received counselling and emotional provision through the help of volunteer and the Kythe Child Life coordinators. Kythe and its hospital partners believe that through their programs, children who are to undergo major surgeries or procedures are emotionally prepared and encouraged to aim for their healing and growth. Aside from donations, Kythe also has programs such as Adopt-a-Hospital, Adopt-a-Patient, Tithe for Kythe and other monthly programs for its patients.  This is a challenging task but in their selfless desire to help children, Fatima and Kythe will continue to provide therapeutic affection towards their beneficiaries.

Let me also share with you the efforts of Cristina Liamzon. She has built a global community of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) who are empowered through leadership and educational programs on entrepreneurship and other related topics. I remember that we did some Go Negosyo seminars a few years ago in some of their OFW communities in Rome.  Our Angelpreneurs Dean Pax Lapid, Ping Sotto and Mon Lopez helped in that mission. Tina believes that by influencing the mindset of our hard working OFWs, they can look beyond their current status and plan for long-term goals which will help their families and themselves. Through the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) Program, OFWs receive financial literacy trainings, counselling and mentorships, and most especially entrepreneurship classes.

The inspiring stories of entrepreneurship of Teresita Valdez, Lydia Malot, Fatima Lorenzo, and Tina Liamzon have begun after seeing opportunities for growth and willingness to extend help towards others. They all came from different background.  Like what we always say, it does not matter if most entrepreneurs started small as long as they have the vision to level up and improve. As for social entrepreneurs, the key to their success is the success of their beneficiaries, and the communities they help and empower.

These are just four of Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2016. I will share more of their stories next time.

Join us as we celebrate the success of many Filipina entrepreneurs and empower more Filipinas through entrepreneurship on February 18, 2016 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City! For more information, visit or call 637-9347/637-9229.

Alice Eduardo: A Woman of Steel

Sunday, January 24th, 2016
Alice Eduardo, President & CEO of Sta. Elena Construction & Development Corporation.

Alice Eduardo, President & CEO of Sta. Elena Construction & Development Corporation.

A Woman of Steel is perhaps the best title anyone can give Alice Eduardo, President and CEO of one of the leading construction firms in the country. She leads Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation and made a mark for herself since 1995.

Despite being in a male-dominated industry, she proves that gender is trivial when it comes to quality service. Now on its peak of operations, Alice is determined to meet standards and beat deadlines for all of its projects. Living up to its tagline: “Going beyond structural integrity”, Alice and her team have earned the trust and satisfaction of its clients.

But how did this Filipina mompreneur started her path in construction?

Back in the day, the young Alice has always wanted to become an engineer. She was fascinated with construction and engineering and all its processes. She wanted to know how roads and bridges help people with their daily lives and how buildings are built on strong foundations. She knew that this is what she wants pursue in the future. But this dream of hers was put to a halt when she took up business management instead of engineering.

Her family has always been in business. They had a rice milling and rice trading business and garments business in Nueva Ecija which she was able to dutifully handle before she had her own company.  She has been exposed to business and learned the ins and outs of it. She did not know that this experience of managing their business will lead to the chance of continuing her dream.

In 1995, an opportunity came knocking when one of their customers asked her to supply steel to a construction project in Malolos. Without any second thoughts, she looked for the materials and personally delivered it to the client. From that moment on, she knew that it was the start of her path towards industry she has always admired: construction.

Because of her passion and commitment to the business, Alice and her company have closed deals with many businesses in the country. Her first big project was the Bacnotan Steel Plant in Batangas where she did the construction of its foundation. This was then followed up by more projects with different companies such as the SM Mall of Asia, SM Pampanga, SM Bacolod, SM Seaside City Mall in Cebu, SM City Cabanatuan, SM Olongapo City, SM City Tarlac, SM Bay Arena and many more!
She must have done a great job in these projects that even other companies and investors noticed the quality work that they were providing. Soon, she was doing the pile-driving in Solaire Manila, Belle Grande Casino and Resort, and the Manila Bay Resort at the Entertainment City in Paranaque.

Someof Sta. Elena Construction & Development Corporation's projects include SM Mall of Asia, SM Pampanga, SM Bacolod, SM Seaside City Mall in Cebu, SM City Cabanatuan, SM Olongapo City, SM City Tarlac, SM Bay Arena and many more.

Someof Sta. Elena Construction & Development Corporation’s projects include SM Mall of Asia, SM Pampanga, SM Bacolod, SM Seaside City Mall in Cebu, SM City Cabanatuan, SM Olongapo City, SM City Tarlac, SM Bay Arena and many more.

Among many other construction firms including international ones, she also won the bid to construct the First Gen-Siemens San Gabriel Power Plant in Batangas. According to her, she was the first Filipino contractor to do a power plant for Siemens. This only proves the dedication of Alice and her company to meet international demands.

Aside from managing the business and personally visiting the construction sites, Alice also shares her time in doing advocacy work. She also shares her blessings to those in need including the children in Philippine General Hospital whom she has given a pediatric ward for its cancer patients, one of her dearest projects.

She is also one of Go Negosyo’s staunch partners in promoting entrepreneurship in the country. She finds time to share her entrepreneurial journey through Go Negosyo summits and programs and hopes to inspire more Filipinas to find their passion and pursue their dreams.

Alice Eduardo and Marivic Quiero during the Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

Alice Eduardo and Marivic Quiero during the Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

One remarkable act of Alice towards entrepreneurs happened last 6th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit of Go Negosyo in 2014. One of the participants, Marivic Quiero, shared her story of survival from Typhoon Yolanda and her mission to start a new business in the metro. Having heard her tragic experiences, Alice wholeheartedly offered help to Marivic. After many mentoring sessions and assistance extended, Marivic is now a proud owner of a pharmaceutical business back in Tacloban.

A compassionate woman that she is, Alice continues to extend help and guidance to many people. This is her secret to success. That aside from being hard working, passionate, and determined,  it was her heart of gold that led her to where she is right now.

Microfinance is the Key

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

In one of our short meetings with Injap Sia of DoubleDragon and Mang Inasal, he shared one quote that stuck in my mind. He said, “For employees: education is important. It catapults an individual from zero to hero. But for entrepreneurs, microfinance is the key.”

While an enterprising attitude is evident in many entrepreneurs, microfinance turns their ideas into fruition, a plan into a goal. In our 10 years of featuring inspiring stories of entrepreneurs, we found out that many of them started from the bottom of the entrepreneurship pyramid- as microentrepreneurs. They found ways to level up their businesses through creativity and innovation coupled with funding from financing institutions.

It is empowering to know that there are a lot of micro finance institutions that help micro enterprises from the start. It gives them a chance to level up their lives through entrepreneurship.

The biggest microfinance institution we come to know is the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development – Mutually Reinforcing Institutions or CARD-MRI of Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip. He started this business in 1986 after realizing that the urban poor need help. After working with marginalized sectors and less privileged Filipinos in his previous employment, he had the desire to help the landless rural poor.

Go Negosyo partners with CARD-MRI for Go Negosyo's Mentor Me program. (In Photo: Go Negosyo's Vix Madlangbayan and Ramon Lopez together with CARD-MRI's Dr. Aristotle Alip and Grace Quinola).

Go Negosyo partners with CARD-MRI for Go Negosyo’s Mentor Me program. (In Photo: Go Negosyo’s Vix Madlangbayan and Ramon Lopez together with CARD-MRI’s Dr. Aristotle Alip and Grace Quinola).

Dr. Alip is one of our featured entrepreneurs in our Passion book as he really exemplifies passion through his dedication to help finance livelihood projects and start-up entrepreneurs. For 30 years, CARD-MRI provides loans and grants to micro entrepreneurs in the rural communities. As a social enterprise, CARD-MRI aims to eradicate poverty through microfinance.

Just recently, we met with him for a partnership in one of the programs that we will be launching this year. In his modest office, Dr. Alip shared with us how CARD-MRI has helped countless of micro entrepreneurs, most especially women who have nothing but the desire to start their own businesses. Micro entrepreneurs can borrow as small as 5,000 as a starting capital and is collateral free. I remember the time we had him in one of the fora we hosted, he shared that their repayment rate is almost 100%. With this, we can see that their clients’ enterprises are growing and developing into bigger enterprises.

Today, CARD-MRI has now five billion pesos funds lent out to over three million borrowers from different provinces.

After our short meeting, we asked him if he wanted this business to have a franchise model so it can provide negosyo opportunities to others since we saw how sustainable the business is. He humbly answered that that may not be aligned with their overall objective which is to eradicate poverty through lower micro-financing cost. And that is all that matters.

He shared to us, “The business of CARD remains poverty alleviation. We are not a bank in the same way that others are. We are primarily a social enterprise. We are there to help.”

Aside from the microfinance and micro insurance programs, CARD-MRI also provide health services and pharmacy outlets through BotiCARD which offers affordable generic medicines to their clients, provides hygienic and wellness products, and gives health support services such as health education and medical advices.

All these programs of CARD-MRI come from Dr. Alip’s mission to make a difference in the lives of many Filipinos that is why he is worthy to receive the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. Truly inspiring!

Another inspiring entrepreneur is Rosalind Wee, one of Go Negosyo’s beloved trustees and a good friend of the family. You may have heard of her name countless times because of her other advocacies so let me share briefly her story.

W Group's Rosalind Wee celebrated her 70th birthday. (In photo: Rosalind Wee, Marissa Concepcion, Joey Concepcion, and Lee Hiong Wee).

W Group’s Rosalind Wee celebrated her 70th birthday. (In photo: Rosalind Wee, Marissa Concepcion, Joey Concepcion, and Lee Hiong Wee).

Rosalind started as a teacher before becoming an entrepreneur. As we all know, a teacher’s salary is quite small compared to different professions.  She then thought of having a home business. With just 5,000, she started a small handicraft business.

But this is not the business that made her what she is today. Since she grew up in Jolo, Sulu surrounded by rich aquaculture resources, she ventured into the processing of carrageenan made from seaweed. This carrageenan is a key ingredient in many processed foods including ice cream, cheese, chocolates, salad dressings, and even toothpastes and air freshener gels.

Today, their family company W Group has ventured into many industries but has not left the carrageenan production.

Mrs. Wee recently celebrated her 70th birthday and we all wished her well. With her passion in their business, we hope that she will continue leading the business to its continuous growth.

These entrepreneurs are the kind of entrepreneurs we all admire. We are inspired and empowered by their examples and how they remained humble amidst the triumph in their entrepreneurial journey. I wish that more young entrepreneurs learn from their stories and good models of leadership and enterprising attitude.


5 Promising Millennials in the Field of Entrepreneurship

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

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Not so long ago, residents of Tubod in Lanao del Norte had to travel two hours to the nearby cities just to find a place to chill and eat good food in a restaurant with a nice ambiance. To solve this problem, Andrew and his family established Andrew’s Pizza—Lanao del Norte’s first pizza house—last March 18, 2015. It is a full restaurant with 11 different pizza flavors and more than 30 Filipino and international dishes in its menu. Since then, it has played host to celebrities, VIPs and PBA stars.

Currently, Andrew’s Pizza has a sister restaurant, Andrew’s Casual Fine Dining, which serves international cuisine in a lovely Old English Cottage and a sister coffee shop, Brew Bros. Coffee, which is proudly brewing coffee beans from Northern Mindanao. Cebu Pacific SMILE Magazine February 2015 issue cited them as the “hottest spots in town”!

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The massive devastation caused by typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas last 2013 also resulted to the high demand but low supply of hollow blocks in the region. This is when Mariel decided to start AgriBlock Builders—a company that builds AgriBlocks.

AgriBlocks are hollow blocks made of rice hulls which contribute to 45% of the overall agri-waste in the region. These AgriBlocks have been proven to have up to five times higher PSI, meaning, they are stronger than commercial hollow blocks. AgriBlocks are also cheaper and lighter. Not only does AgriBlock Builders solve the problem on supply and demand, it also reduces agri-waste in Eastern Visayas; thus, living up to its motto: Helping Nature. Building Homes.

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Raphaelo is the man behind OVERHEAT Burgers—a mobile food vending truck that operates in a modified Volkswagen Beetle. It serves quality gourmet burgers that will satisfy a busy man’s hunger. Convenience is a major factor for this food truck business since it values its customers’ time and effort.  Instead of going out of their workplace, OVERHEAT goes to the customers. In addition, OVERHEAT serves gourmet quality burgers that are really worth your every hard-earned peso.

Burger lovers can look forward to seeing OVERHEAT Burgers in its Volkswagen Beetle around Laguna and CALABARZON area. It also envisions expanding to other different areas across the country.

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Textile waste is one of the overlooked problems in the fashion industry. This is the same problem that Pamela is trying to solve through her social enterprise called Phinix. At Phinix, Pamela gets to collect fabric scraps from fashion schools, textile waste from garment factories and old clothes from households and turn them into higher valued products such as footwear and accessories.

As a social enterprise, Phinix aspires to partner with poor communities for its production. Phinix celebrates rebirth, restoration and renewal by not only offering trendy, comfortable and durable footwear, but also helping the environment by reducing textile waste—what a fashionable way to recycle!

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Brain Camp was founded when Michael, a student from UP Visayas, noticed the lack of facilities that cater to the needs of college students in the Tacloban area. With friends, he thought of establishing a study lounge designed to provide a conducive learning environment for students.

Brain Camp is designed to provide students with an affordable and accessible overnight studying area to facilitate optimum lesson absorption complete with the basic student needs like internet, food, printer, and a photocopying machine. It is strategically located at M.H. Del Pilar Street which is the heart of the Universities and other schools in the area. This year, Brain Camp will be opening its tutorial sector for elementary and secondary students covering the various subjects of their respective schools.

Related Post: Young and Innovative Entrepreneurs to Watch Out For




Trends in Negosyo Models for 2016

Thursday, January 14th, 2016
trends 2016

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At the start of each year, we are often asked what good businesses they can start with. While it is a very relevant question, it is probably not the way to ask the question.  We have found out that the success and perseverance in any business emanates from one’s passion.  What is one passionate about? What would one be excited to do every day?  Where is one good at? What solid experience and competitive skills can one bank on?  Business is a bit personal and one has to master himself to know his passion and find the right business for him.

At the other side of the equation is also to know whether this passion can lead to something of value to customers. Is there a growing demand for this product or service? We remind everyone that any business can be successful and be well accepted in the market as long as the business offers an excellent value and serves a real need in the market.

But there will be trends and opportunities in the market that one can look for. By trends, we mean that this is not just a fad. Instead, these business trends are the emerging directions on how the market is shaping up, considering changes or shifts in the consumer behaviour, practices and influences. These trends are estimated to have longer effects as they alter consumer buying behaviour and lifestyle.

We are still seeing the move towards more e-commerce activities, especially as everyone has increasing access to cheaper smart phones. Behavior changes as we see more Filipinos have greater connectivity, WIFI or 3G access that can enable them to surf the internet, watch TV and movie shows, communicate not only by SMS but via mobile apps like Viber, Whatsapp and Facebook, or read the news through news apps, watch video on demand through Youtube and many more. The mobile gadget is now man’s best friend.  This is how even our friends from PLDT Eric Alberto sees the change in lifestyle.  Even our kids and house helps would check more their smart phones than watch TV.  Yes, probably check more their phones than work. Kidding aside, the changes lead more to transactions that are online-based like online purchases, gaming and communication.  Businesses, especially the micro and small enterprises have to embrace and maximize technology in their operations.

Marketing Guru Josiah Go mentioned in his recent article on trends and predictions for 2016 that as there will be more online shops, there will be a rise in ‘mansumers’ or male online shoppers. With just a few clicks in their mobile phones, shoppers, male or female, young and old, can acquire a product and pay it through credit cards or upon delivery.

Angelpreneur Paulo Tibig also stated in his article on business ideas for 2016 that mobile commerce provides less operational expenses compared to brick and mortar purchases. Many of the young entrepreneurs these days are into online shops which also connect them to a bigger market since their medium is social media.

Another trend related to e-commerce is the development of more mobile apps which also reflects the essence of entrepreneurship – to provide mobile app solutions to existing problems, exactly how the Ubers and Air BnB were developed as platforms. There will be more platforms that will converge the suppliers and the users demanding those products or services. An example could also be the one of technopreneur Shiela Marcelo and her, which is platform that converges caregivers with those who would need such services.   Another example would be Mobkard of Angelpreneur Carlo Calimon, a mobile app that provides access to promos and discounts, and information, consolidating the merchant providing the promos and making these visible to various groups or communities which are signing up on Mobkard.

Another trend, although considered not yet huge would be the rise of organic and eco-friendly products and services. For the past years, we have seen how consumers get to be more sophisticated and conscious of what they buy in the market. From food, to skin-care products, up to household cleaning goods, we now enjoy an eco-friendly section in the market. As more people become sensitive about their health and environment they live in, there will be more ‘green’ products that will emerge in the market.

Agriculture experiences an impressive growth because more Filipinos see the value of agriculture. More agri-entrepreneurs these days like Henry Lim Bon Liong of Dona Maria rice, inject technology and innovation in their ways and processes in order to scale up their productivity and income. Since we are an agricultural country, we must maximize our rich and abundant natural resources and thrive in the agricultural sector through agri-modernization and levelling up of the value chain.

We also agree with Angelpreneur Paulo that Franchising is still one of the most viable options to get into business ventures, especially for those with no business experience.  Franchising provides proven-and-tested business concepts that increase the likelihood of success for any adoptors. We have mentors like Butz Bartolome of AFFI and Bing Limjoco of PFA who mentor those interested in franchising.  But as we always say, one has still to get a franchise concept that is in synch with what one really likes to do, and that one still has to work hard every day in operating such franchise.  There are no guarantees, especially for the lazy ones.

Lastly, social entrepreneurship is definitely gaining grounds since it is one model that can stand as a sustainable business but at the same time solving a particular social issue.

Additionally, since 2016 is an election year, there will be a lot of election-related businesses such as printing shops for tarpaulins and flyers and t-shirts, packaged meals, food and beverages. Angelpreneur Paulo also believes this is only for a temporary period of time. If one decides to venture into related businesses, they must find ways to sustain the business beyond election period.

These are just a few trends we could cite given the limited space in this column.  There are many more, but as entrepreneurs, we simply have to keep our eyes open to the opportunities that will arise and inject innovation in processes or products or even the business model itself to be able to ride on the crest of these trends. And as we ride on the trends, we must constantly look into the fundamentals of our business models – on how we can build our competitive edge by continuously innovating and differentiating our models.


Kwentong Go Negosyo: Kaboom Wings & Burgers

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

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Born to parents who are entrepreneurs, Jesus Dane Lavarias, more fondly known as Dane, entered the business industry at an early age. Armed with a degree in Business Management from Colegio de San Juan de Letran, he quickly started a business venture called Chika Frittato in 2012. Unfortunately due to some internal misunderstanding between him and his co-founders, the business did not flourish and had to be closed down.

The closing of his business was a major setback for Dane. But it did not stop him from reaching his dream of being a successful entrepreneur. Dane believed in his concept and his abilities. He went back to the basics and re-launched. This time, he used the name KABOOM as a brand name, inspired by the Mount Pinatubo in Tarlac where he is from. He also remembered watching the training of Filipino and American soldiers in their area when he was young which inspired the concept behind Kaboom Wings and Burgers—a military-themed fast-casual restaurant.

A military-themed fast-casual restaurant is the concept behind Kaboom Wings and Burgers. Photo from Kaboom WIngs + Burgers Facebook Page.

A military-themed fast-casual restaurant is the concept behind Kaboom Wings and Burgers. Photo from Kaboom WIngs + Burgers Facebook Page.

Re-launching a failed business was no walk in the park according to Dane. He said that “as an entrepreneur, somehow I know I should expect failure, but it is still difficult to take in once it happens.” Aside from hardwork, it was extensive research, social media marketing, target analysis and product innovation that became keys to the successful launch of Kaboom Wings and Burgers. He also sets up “barracks” or booths in food events run by his own “Special Operations Division” as a marketing strategy.

“I always put myself in the shoes of the consumer,” answered Dane when asked why he thinks Kaboom is a hit. “Since we are located in the university belt area, our target markets are students and young professionals who most of the time go to fast food restaurants to eat. With Kaboom, I am introducing them with new and fresh choices of good food.”

So, how did Go Negosyo help Dane with his business?

Kung wala ang book na ‘to, walang Kaboom.” The Chief of Kaboom Wings and Burgers revealed, while holding the Go Negosyo yellow book: “21 Steps on How to Start Your Own Business.”  “When I failed, this book inspired me to get to know myself better as an entrepreneur. It taught me things that I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. It basically taught me how to start Kaboom from scratch.” He grew very fond of the book that he even sent his friends a copy as a gift.

At the age of 26, Dane has been through the ups and downs of being an entrepreneur. He has failed, only to come back “Better and Braver” as Kaboom’s motto says.

“To young people who want to venture into business, expect that it will be difficult at first. But you just have to work hard enough and believe in yourself and your product, then you’ll know that everything is worth it once you see your business succeed. Never give up,” Dane advised aspiring young entrepreneurs.

Kaboom Wings and Burgers is located at Ground Floor, JPD Building, 1955 C. M. Recto Avenue Corner N. Reyes Street, Sampaloc, Manila.

Wishes & Hopes for 2016

Thursday, January 7th, 2016
Entrepreneurs wish for a peaceful election and prosperity for the country. (Sen. Bam Aquino, Ricardo Po Sr., Myrna Yao, Bernie Liu, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Injap Sia, Dr. Abraham Pascual, and Rosalind Wee).

Entrepreneurs wish for a peaceful election and prosperity for the country. (Sen. Bam Aquino, Ricardo Po Sr., Myrna Yao, Bernie Liu, Sen. Cynthia Villar, Injap Sia, Dr. Abraham Pascual, and Rosalind Wee).

Happy New Year Go Negosyantes! It is a brand new year filled with exciting opportunities for all of us to do better and grow further.

Like many people, a new year symbolizes a new beginning. It is a great time to reassess and evaluate personal commitments, business plans and strategies, and see how you can improve and change your game plan. This is a chance to strive harder, persevere, and fulfill your goals.

As I share with you more of our partners and entrepreneurs’ wishes and expectations for 2016, let us all be inspired and continuously work for a more innovative and inclusive model of entrepreneurship.

“This coming year is another pivotal point in our country’s history. My wish is that we elect leaders who are capable, who have integrity, and who have a concrete goal and plan to continue our country’s growth but with the poor and marginalized as priority. Hand in hand with good, effective leadership, we need to develop a sophisticated vigilance as a community to ensure that goals, policies, and programs have the country’s best interest at heart. Lastly, even with this vigilance, I wish for us Filipinos to cultivate our collective hope in the future of the Philippines and in our fellow countrymen – that with the right support systems, each Filipino can create for himself a better life.” – Sen. Bam Aquino

“My expectations and wishes for the Philippines in 2016 is that the upcoming national elections in May will be clean, peaceful, and orderly. I also hope that we will elect a president who will continue the good programs of the present administration, lead transparent government, promote peace and order, solve illegal drugs problem, and reduce poverty.” – Sen. Cynthia Villar

“It is an exciting time for our country as our economy has become one of best performing in the Southeast Asian region. A bigger part of our population is now at working-age and low inflation has helped increase their purchasing power. Our hardworking OFWs abroad and BPO workers at home have also contributed substantially to our GDP growth. I share the view that the Philippines has now entered a golden era in terms of economic growth and that this will continue for the coming decades.” Ricardo Po Sr., Century Pacific Group

“2016 will surely be another great year as our country further grows forward. I am very optimistic that we will all witness the Philippine consumer and tourism industry making a significant big leap forward in the next 5 years. Growth will start to be more felt outside the Tier1 cities as the over 100 secondary and tertiary cities in the Philippines continues to move up. Our country will soon reach the economic sweet spot as the young and dynamic ‘millennial’ Filipino population has started to be on stream.” Injap Sia, DoubleDragon Properties / Injap Investments

“My wish for 2016 is peace for the whole world including the politicians of our country. We should accept defeat and support whoever wins, while winners should not be vindictive. Divisiveness is a curse that weaken our country and make our people suffer.” Myrna Yao, RichPrime Global

“I wish 2016 will be a better year for all of us. Better government and more investments from abroad. Hopefully, politicians will commit to what they promised during their campaign. Also, may God bless our country with less calamities.” – Rosalind Wee, W Group Inc.

“2016 should be a good year for the Philippine economy particularly those in the following sectors: retail, tourism, BPO, agriculture, and construction. It will be a very challenging year for the manufacturing sector due to increased competition from imported manufactured goods and slow down in exports.” – Dr. Abraham Pascual, Pascual Laboratories

“I am optimistic about 2016 given the improved economic conditions our country is experiencing.  I also wish for peaceful and non-violent elections from which chosen leaders can  build on the progress of the country.  Our own company, Golden ABC, is also confident about our competitiveness, given our sustained growth in the domestic market and the encouraging reception of our brands in the other ASEAN territories where we are present.  Our wish is that we will be able to bring more of our brands and open more stores in other territories within the region and beyond.” – Bernie Liu, Golden ABC

Let us all look forward to this year’s progress and wish for the best! I’ll be sharing more of these wishes in my next columns.

Kwentong Go Negosyo: Pasalubong kay Bunso

Wednesday, January 6th, 2016


Pasalubong. A Filipino term for homecoming gifts or souvenirs.

It has been a habit of many Filipinos to bring home some “pasulubong” or treats for our beloved ones. Be it after a long trip abroad, an out of town, or simply a long day after work, Filipinos often think about their loved ones who are waiting for them to come home. Thus, the “pasalubong” culture has remained a constant part of many household.

Ofrace and Era Ocampo proved that this “pasalubong” culture amongst us is still alive up to this day. This has inspired them to establish a company that offers different kinds of treats for all beloved ones at home.

After months of being unemployed, Ofrace and Era decided to turn things around and started their career in entrepreneurship. Ofrace who is a graduate of Hotel and Restaurant and Era who is a graduate of Pharmacy, both in University of the Philippines-Diliman, grew up in an enterprising family. Ofrace’s family was into making Filipino desserts while Era’s family had a family restaurant. With their backgrounds in Filipino desserts, delicacies, and more, they were destined to be in the industry.

In 1984, the Ocampo couple decided to open up a table selling space inside a small supermarket where they sold Filipino “kakanin” or delicacies. With an initial of 10,000.00, borrowed from Era’s mother, they set up the space with their initial inventory.

The Ocampo Family. The birth of Sitsirya was inspired 30 years ago by their daughter Haraya through her request of pasalubong. The Filipino tradition of family love and gift giving lives on transcending generations now through their granddaughter.

The Ocampo Family. The birth of Sitsirya was inspired 30 years ago by their daughter Haraya through her request of pasalubong. The Filipino tradition of family love and gift giving lives on transcending generations now through their granddaughter.

Years after, they have focused on being a retail store of pasalubongs and opened Sitsirya Sari-sari. Partnering with many small entrepreneurs who manufacture local delicacies and favourites, Sitsirya has become a distributor of local specialties of different provinces. From Pampanga’s Pastillas, Camarines’ Pili Tart, to Bacolod’s Piaya, all these and more can be found in one outlet of Sitsirya, ready to be picked up as a “Pasalubong kay bunso.”

While the word bunso may refer to us as a young small child waiting at home, for Sitsirya, it refers to a loved one, be it young or old.

Apart from their backgrounds, they were also inspired by the stories featured in Go Negosyo books. Ofrace proudly shared, “I have almost all of your books.” The lessons shared in the Go Negosyo books fuelled and guided their entrepreneurial journey. He shared that he was able to validate their experiences by comparing it to the stories of the successful entrepreneurs. Also, the Go Negosyo books served as their inspiration to go on despite the challenges they faced throughout the way.


Ofrace Ocampo also shared how he was inspired by the stories of out of school youths and micro-entrepreneurs in Go Negosyo’s Tagumpay book. He shares, “This is why we need to empower more Filipinos.” Ofrace also shared that he is sharing business lessons to their employees and encourages them to build their own enterprises too. “We hope that they will also become entrepreneurs someday”, he said.

One remarkable quality of a successful entrepreneur is the willingness to give back to others. The Ocampo couple shares their success to their employees and to their partners who provides quality treats to all their customers.

With its vision to be one of the leading sources of good quality Philippine-made sweets, delicacies and “pampasalubong” products, Sitsirya can now be found in Greenhills, Circle C Mall, Tiendesitas, Market Market, Robinsons Galleria, Robinsons Place – Ermita, and in many SM Malls Supermarket and Department Store Kultura Filipino outlets.

So whether you are coming from a trip broad or after a long day at the office, make sure to get your “pasalubongs” for your bunsos from Sitsirya Sari-Sari.