Drawing a crowd of 11,000 in last week’s 8th Filipina Entrepreneurs Summit (FES8) is a good sign that the interest level and awareness on the value of entrepreneurship as the way to reach our dreams, are so high nowadays. We had a high number of attendance also from micro and small entrepreneurs aside from the students and teachers. To date, this is the biggest summit that Go Negosyo has organized in our 10 years of existence.
With the summit halls filled to the brim, it was like EDSA People Power happening again and which we are celebrating today the 30th anniversary. The EDSA People Power Anniversary is a celebration of freedom from a dictatorship. Now we are working on having freedom from poverty.
Like what I have always shared, not everyone will become an entrepreneur. But anybody can be enterprising. As I start my talk during the Filipina Summit, I mentioned that everybody struggles in life. And that is normal. I myself have failed a number of times and I know that there are countless of entrepreneurs who have failed at first before they are experienced the fruits of their perseverance today.
Even the most popular people meet different trials. As mentioned, even Sen. Grace Poe. She has been facing the biggest challenges in her candidacy – residency and citizenship, and yet she continues to face the people and runs for presidency. She has not given up the fight.
This is something we should all do. Despite the odds, we should continue to fulfil our goals and not give up on it as long as you live. Do the best that we can and find inspirations.
Take for example the two microentrepreneurs we recently awarded: Teresita Valdez and Lydia Malot.
Teresita did not have the chance for a proper education. She started young as a worker in a bagoong factory but today, she has her own condiments factory in Bulacan. She learned the ways of the business through experience without the usual training. Her hard work and positive attitude determined her success. And that is how we should all be.
On the other hand, Lydia Malot got the inspiration for her nata de coco business after reading a magazine. The magazine featured a step-by-step procedure of how to make nata de coco. With her small capital, she is now distributing her products to large companies. I advised our participants to find inspiration and ideas from everywhere. May it be from your place of work, the people one meets outside, or any random information that one gets. It could also be the speakers and mentors we had that day, or their fellow participants who have business ideas also. It all starts from an inspiration.
“It is not the government who will shape the future of this country. It is you, the future entrepreneurs who will look for the problems and turn them into business opportunities”, I added. It will start from a vision, a dream. So keep on dreaming!
We were very fortunate to witness Senator Grace Poe in the event, as she delivered an inspirational message for everybody. Before her speech, she walked the aisles of the venue, happy to great all the participants. It must have taken us around 30 minutes to reach the stage area but it was all worth it as the students and entrepreneurs were glad to greet her and take pictures with her. In her speech, she mentioned her aspirations to widen the micro and small to medium-sized enterprises’ access to financial mechanisms, training and mentorship in order to help them with their businesses, aside from other programs she cited. She also aims to help entrepreneurs by simplifying the business registration process through Negosyo Centers nationwide.
Senator Poe’s message was followed by a keynote forum featuring two other iconic women in governance: Senator Cynthia Villar and Congresswoman Leni Robredo.
Senator Villar focused her message on starting more livelihood projects to provide more jobs to the Filipinos. She also plans to build farm schools to empower our farmers and expose them to modern farming technologies.
Meanwhile Congresswoman Robredo shared how her struggles as a woman and how she was able to overcome them. When asked about what the youth can contribute to nation-building, Congresswoman Leni answered, “Una, mag-aral ng mabuti. Pangalawa, mag-aral hindi lamang sa paaralan pero pag-aralan yung nangyayari sa mundo. Little knowledge is dangerous. Mas marami sanang community involvement, dahil eto yung mas nagpeprepare satin sa real world. Yung community involvement in the sense na saan ba yung interest mo saan yung husay mo at paano ka makakalahok sa usapin sa lipunan. Maraming advocacies ang naghahanap ng volunteers galing sa mga kabataan.”
Witnessing the great power of the Go Negosyo movement firsthand, only inspires me to further continue what we are doing. I hope that we empower more Filipinos to own their destinies.
Next week, I will continue to share with you the highlights of our recently concluded Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.