Archive for May, 2017

Street Vendor Turned ‘Juice King’ Alfredo Yao is the First Filipino ABA Awardee

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Credibility is built, not given. Respect is earned, not bought” – Alfredo Yao

Alfredo Yao is undoubtedly a self-made man. After the death of his father when he was only 12 years old, Yao stepped up and became the breadwinner for his mother and six siblings. In the video above, Yao tearfully shares of his personal sacrifices such as sleeping in sidewalks as a street vendor or being the only one who didn’t get to finish school. But the tears were not from shame or sadness — they come from a place only one who has managed to overcome vast adversity in their life, knows. From a roughing it out as a street vendor, Yao is known today as the man who built the widely regarded Zest-o Corporation and an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs across the ASEAN.

Yao was featured in Go Negosyo’s first edition of Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories. There he shared that entrepreneurship is a great equalizer because the entrepreneurial spirit cannot be bought or inherited “You learn it. I don’t think it’s inborn. They consider me a Tsinoy but I consider myself a Filipino. I was born in the Philippines and studied here. The Chinese have a good side and so do the Filipinos. Ang napuna ko lang sa Pilipino, sasabihan nila sa’yo, ‘pag bata ka pa, mag-aral ka nang mabuti para padating ng araw, makapagtrabaho ka ng maigi.’ Yun na ang ultimate goal. We should instill in children’s mind na dapat huwag makuntento na maging empleyado na lang. Kahit sa bangketa yan, sariling hanapbuhay yan. At the end of the day, it’s fate. Kanya-kanyang linya sa buhay.”

Alfredo Yao is the first Filipino to win an ASEAN Business Award back in 2007. His company Zest-O won the Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise in the Innovation Category.

Alfredo Yao is the first Filipino to win an ASEAN Business Award back in 2007. His company Zest-O won the Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise in the Innovation Category.

It’s no wonder that Yao was the first Filipino, and first ASEAN entrepreneur, to win the Most Admired ASEAN Enterprise in Innovation Award during the ASEAN Business Awards initial run back in 2007. Innovation is truly not something one can simply buy into. In fact, it takes an enterprising and humble spirit to lead innovation that is lasting and relevant.

Yao’s Zest-o Corporation, for example, was bred from an unrelenting passion to make something out of nothing. The beverage industry leader is known for being the first to bring the tetrapack technology to the Philippines. In fact, the story behind Zest-o was that Yao brought in tetrapacks (a.k.a. doypacks) to sell them to existing beverage companies as a new way to package their products. When no one showed interest, Yao decided to develop his own juice formula to package in tetrapacks and the rest is history.

This knack for innovation and resilient spirit is truly what makes Alfredo Yao admirable. While most established and traditional business are buckling in the face of technology disruptions and changing economic tides, Yao is largely unfazed. In his eyes, innovation, disruption and persistency is what got him far and he only wishes that more and more enterprises will be able to rise from meager circumstances to become beacons of hope.

“I started this business with just 3,000 pesos — and I’m not ashamed of that. If you want know how poor I was… look for the 10 poorest in a room of people, I was probably one of those 10. So, don’t lose hope.”

True enough, Yao at the helm of the three decades old corporation, still continues to dream big for the company. In a feature in Entrepreneur Philippines Magazine back in July 2015, he shared that “We [Zest-O Corp.] still continue to improve our products, our facilities, our technology so that we can serve our customers better. I still dream of seeing Zest-O as a big global brand. I never stop dreaming. Libre naman.”


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit  www.aba2017.com

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Byaheng Negosyo

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 09 Byaheng Negosyo
On May 24, 2017, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Faith Salaver featured Clang Garcia and Ragde Falcis – two notable travel and tours negosyantes that want people to explore the best of the Philippines. Clang and Ragde both shared their stories on how they turned their passion into a business.

Clang’s story started with her experience as a traveler herself. Whenever Clang would travel, she imagined having a safe and efficient transportation system that would be different from regular travel tours. She wanted something different and at the same time be able to integrate the Philippines’ history, culture and diversity. Clang decided that a jeepney would be the best representation and symbol of the Philippines. With this, Jeepney Tour came to life. Starting the business was not easy, it took Clang 4 years before Jeepney Tours could operate since government regulation was tough. Their jeepneys are not like any ordinary jeepney, they are customized with air conditioning, on board karaoke with a maximum capacity of 20 seats. Today, the Jeepney Tours is considered a breakthrough in Philippine Tourism by offering a convenient and daily sight-seeing tour to travelers to explore the best of Metro Manila with the intent of leaving a positive image of the Philippines with every single ride.

Ragde started as a traveler himself as well. He has always enjoyed going on adventures and being one with the locals. He is part of a group of explorers passionate about promoting their own Philippine experience to the world. Ragde wanted to utilize his tech expertise to innovate how people travel. The group developed Fliptrip in 2014 and was later on launched as Tripkada in 2016 as the solution that came about from the experience and learnings of developing Fliptrip. Tripkada is an online platform to connect tourists to local communities. It is a mobile app where travelers can join trips organized by fellow travelers, meet new friends and tick things off their bucket list for less. In short “Its like Uber but for travel” Ragde said. Tripkada now has 50-70 organizers in their app.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Sen. Bam Aquino with guests Clang Garcia (lefmost) and Ragde Falcis (beside Sen. Aquino).

Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Sen. Bam Aquino with guests Clang Garcia (lefmost) and Ragde Falcis (beside Sen. Aquino).

Clang and Ragde shared that Jeepney Tours and Tripkada became a hit mainly because they were able to give the full Philippine experience through their tours.

The biggest challenge in business, Clang and Ragde said is really starting. “Its always difficult at the beginning, but we had to start somewhere” Clang said. For a start-up company, it was difficult to get people to partner with them or even get customers to trust their business. As an online platform, Ragde said that there were both advantages and disadvantages.  Using the app is more convenient and easy to access but it is inevitable for problems to occur such as not reaching the level of satisfaction of the participants. Therefore, reviews in the app is highly commended and vital to ensure the customer’s experience.

What’s in store for Jeepney Tours and Tripkada? Clang and Ragde are both aiming for expansion. Clang’s next step for Jeepney Tours is to share the experience around the Philippines and to lessen gas emission without changing the image of the jeepney itself. Ragde on the other hand has plans to explore Mindanao, partner with airlines and move on to other Southeast Asian countries.

Poultry & Training for Sulu Kapatids

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

In the continuing efforts to bring hope and prosperity to the province of Sulu, Go Negosyo led by Sulu Project Coordinator Ginggay Hontiveros together with representatives of Bounty Fresh Agro Ventures Inc., flew to Sulu recently to launch its Poultry Contract Growing Program. This program is under the Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu which was launched last December 2016 in Malacañan in the presence of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The Poultry Contract Growing Program of Bounty Fresh, provides farmers and other members of the Sulu community with training on raising, nurturing and harvesting chickens every month. This gives them an opportunity to be part of the inclusive supply chain of the company, and provide their families with monthly income and sustenance. With a successful pilot in Patikul, Go Negosyo Kapatid looks forward to spreading the livelihood program to other municipalities in the months to come.

A visit was also made to the demo farm in Jolo, the site of the SM Foundation – Harbest’s  Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan agri training program. Now on its culminating week, farmers from all over Sulu were taught on how to successfully plant high value crops such as fruits and vegetables.  Farmers recently learned how to make organic fertilizer, and how to prune, create trellises and execute proper weeding. It is heartening to see the lush green that has begun to sprout plantlets of tomatoes, honey dew, watermelon, and many other crops. With the training well underway, farmers learn how to feed their families and communities in healthy fashion, and have a chance to produce more for market.

While insurgency continues to grip some parts of Sulu, government consistently intensifies its drive to respond proactively to the situation. In the same passionate manner, private sector Kapatids remain committed to fulfill the pledges made to the people of Sulu for homes, classrooms, connectivity, livelihood and prosperity!

Farmers from Sulu underwent agri-training courtesy of SM Foundation and Harbest Corporation.

Farmers from Sulu underwent agri-training courtesy of SM Foundation and Harbest Corporation.

The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan training program has been running for several years already and has been applied to the Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu Program.

The Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan training program has been running for several years already and has been applied to the Negosyo Para sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu Program.

Farmers were taught on how to successfully plant high value crops.

Farmers were taught on how to successfully plant high value crops.

The first demo farm is located in Jolo where farmers can learn basic agricultural skills and techniques.

The first demo farm is located in Jolo where farmers can learn basic agricultural skills and techniques.

Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan is just one of the many development projects in Sulu under the Negosyo Para Sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu.

Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan is just one of the many development projects in Sulu under the Negosyo Para Sa Kapayapaan sa Sulu.

Cebuano Social Enterprise Weaves Filipino Cultural Tradition and Business into an ASEAN-Recognized Enterprise

Sunday, May 21st, 2017
Anya Lim is among the select Philippine Entrepreneurs who won at last year’s ASEAN Business Awards under the AEC Priority Integration Sector Excellence Awards for Textile. Photo courtesy of Inquirer News.

Anya Lim is among the select Philippine Entrepreneurs who won at last year’s ASEAN Business Awards under the AEC Priority Integration Sector Excellence Awards for Textile. Photo courtesy of Inquirer News.


We support our indigenous weavers by providing market access and capacity- building programs for them to be able to sustain their businesses. We do this by preserving and promoting our weaves and turning them into contemporary designs to attract younger generations.”

Anya Lim— featured in last year’s Go Negosyo’s 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs— won big in two separate international business awards last 2016. She garnered the special prize at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Business Efficiency and Success Target Awards held in Lima, Peru and the ASEAN Business AEC Priority Integration Sector Excellence Award for Textile held in Vientiane, Laos.

She serves as an inspiration for women, social entrepreneurs and all retail business owners alike for her company, the ANTHILL Fabric Gallery. ANTHILL stands for Alternative Nest and Trading Hub for Indigenous/ Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers and it is the first creative social and cultural enterprise in Metro Cebu.

ANTHILL had its humble beginnings in the year 2010, when Anya decided to partner with her mother in establishing a textile hub that sources and promotes local fabrics woven by indigenous communities. Anya credits her upbringing, her early exposure to indigenous communities, and her realizations while travelling as her inspiration for embarking on a business focused on promoting the value of Filipino traditional culture and identity.

Beyond promotion, however, Anya dreams of Filipinos weaving local textiles into our lifestyle in all aspects such as clothing, accessories, etc.

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Some of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery's creations. Photo from ANTHILL's Instagram account.

Some of ANTHILL Fabric Gallery’s creations. Photo from ANTHILL’s Instagram account.

“I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to different parts of the world and I noticed that in Asia, we have a very rich weaving culture, but it’s only in the Philippines where we only wear woven fabrics on rare occasions like weddings, cultural dances, Linggo ng Wika celebrations or burials,” Anya shared in an interview with Go Negosyo.

Moving forward, Anya hopes to bring her Cebuano social enterprise to greater heights. By introducing a management system to further professionalize the business, she hopes that ANTHILL will be able to expand its market reach and help more communities in the Philippines.


Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

Join this year’s ASEAN Business Awards! Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 2017. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com

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ASEAN Business Awards: An Overview

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

ABA 2017 Web Photo v2
(UPDATED) The ASEAN Business Awards is fast approaching and to give an overview of what the awards are all about, we’ve prepared a primer encompassing the background and objectives.

1. Background

Since its establishment by ASEAN Leaders in 2003, the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) has been active in promoting public-private sector partnership and consultation to assist the integration of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2017. In its efforts to bridge ASEAN Governments with its private sectors, the Council launched the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) in 2007 to give recognition to enterprises that have contributed to the growth and prosperity of the ASEAN economy.

ABA was conceived to be the first of its kind in the region, with the dual objectives of recognizing outstanding ASEAN enterprises, and to serve as a platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). In addition, ABA also brings to the spotlight promising ASEAN small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential of becoming global economic players.

A dedicated Working Group of ‘National Gateways’ consisting of ten ASEAN-BAC Members (one representative from each Member State) forms the foundation of ABA.  The roles of the National Gateways are to promote the event in their respective countries, as well as to select ‘National Judges’ who will be responsible in selecting the recipients of ABA.

Since it was first launched in 2007, ABA has recognised more than 100 companies throughout the region that excel in the categories of: Growth, Employment, Innovation and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In 2015, however, ASEAN-BAC expanded the categories of ABA to include the Priority Integration Sectors (PIS) of ASEAN element, as well as recognising outstanding young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs.

To ensure the high-quality and independency of such a prestigious event, ASEAN-BAC engages a Strategic Partner each year to administer the implementation of the ABA Framework; short listing nominations of companies; administering the Judges Meeting and assist in promoting the event throughout the ASEAN region.  This Terms of Reference (ToR) aims to briefly highlight the event’s objectives, categories and criteria, and tentative plan in carrying out ABA 2017.


2. Objectives

Aside from recognising outstanding ASEAN enterprises, ABA also has the objectives of serving as a platform to disseminate AEC-related information, as well as to bring to the spotlight SMEs that have the potential of becoming global economic players in their respective industries.


3. Categories

PRIORITY INTEGRATION SECTORS – EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Outstanding performance and presence in the ASEAN Economic Community Priority Integration Sectors. Includes the recognition of integration and connectivity between ASEAN business owned and operated by the applicant.

Subcategories: Agro-Based, Automotive, Retail, e-ASEAN, Electronics, Fisheries, Healthcare, Logistics, Rubber-based, Textiles, Tourism, and Wood-Based.

SME EXCELLENCE AWARDS
Outstanding performance and presence in the ASEAN Economic Community Priority Integration Sectors. Includes the recognition of integration and connectivity between ASEAN business owned and operated by the applicant.

Subcategories: Growth, Employment, Innovation, and CSR

SPECIAL AWARDS
Recognizes enterprises that have created massive social and economic impact in the ASEAN community.

Subcategory: Friend of ASEAN

WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Outstanding business owner who has demonstrated significant success through leadership, market positioning and company performance.

YOUNG ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR AWARD
Outstanding business owner below the age of 45 who has demonstrated significant success though leadership, market positioning and company performance.

INCLUSIVE BUSINESS AWARD
Outstanding business models that sustainably create social impact through the company’s core business operations.

LEGACY AWARD
The Legacy Award is for entrepreneurs who have passionately committed themselves to growth and excellence while significantly contributing positive impact to the ASEAN Community. These entrepreneurs set examples by standing the test of time, surpassing challenges, and inspiring others through their successes and triumphs.


4PROCEDURE FOR NOMINATIONS / SELECTIONS FOR ABA 2017

The nominations or selections for ABA 2017 can be made via one the following channels:

* Automatic nominations from national level ABAs;
* Application through national gateways; and
* Online applications, either through the website of ABIS or ASEAN-BAC

With regard to application to be made through national gateways, auditors in respective countries are expected to work with national gateways in determining the nominations or selections for ABA. In terms of online applications, appointed auditors’ office in Philippines will take the coordinating role to vet online applications. Auditors are also expected to formulate simple application process, preferably based on the standard of evaluation already accepted in ASEAN.

Application Period: March 15 – July 30, 2017. Application deadline for the Inclusive Business Award Category is on June 30, 20177. For more information about the ASEAN Business Awards 2017, please visit www.aba2017.com

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Alliance Towards Prosperity for All

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

After the success of the Prosperity for All Summit, I feel like there is a need to continue the momentum which we have created to develop concrete and viable plans for the future. It’s not like we just run an event and do nothing afterwards. We are after the continuous and more sustainable MSME development.

Last week, I invited difference business chambers and organizations to be part of the Alliance Towards Prosperity for All. This alliance is created to pursue real inclusivity in the Philippines and hopefully be recreated in other ASEAN countries.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity For All is a long-term private sector-led campaign at the national level to build a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary alliance of organizations and individuals to pursue prosperity for all among ASEAN nations.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity for All is a group of business organizations and individuals who will pursue prosperity among the ASEAN countries.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity for All is a group of business organizations and individuals who will pursue prosperity among the ASEAN countries.

I know many of us have great ideas and plans starting from our own groups and organizations. But I believe that to make it more effective, we have to work together, study the process, and develop a plan that will align with the government’s action plan. For example, in agriculture, we can create projects where we can have areas of collaboration. The goal here is to let the Filipino people know that big businesses are here to support the growth of the majority. We are one with President Duterte in bringing change to this country. Like the President, we only want what is best for the Philippines.

I told them that if we work independently, it might not come across as effective as compared to when we work as a group. There is more power and strength in numbers. During the initial meeting, 22 business chambers were well represented by their presidents and executive directors. Initially, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Financial Executives of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., Philippine Franchising Association, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, and Bankers Association of the Philippines attended the short discussion. There are more groups who expressed their support to this initiative and we are expecting more organizations to join this alliance.

Go Negosyo who has been in the forefront of entrepreneurship development in the country for the past 12 years will be the leading organization for this alliance in the Philippines. Go Negosyo has a wide network of entrepreneurs, industry experts, policy influencers, and government officials who can contribute to this alliance.

To make this alliance effective is to focus on key areas of MSME development. We have identified 3Ms of entrepreneurship which we think should be the priority. The 3Ms include Money, Market, and Mentorship.

One of the biggest problems of micro and small entrepreneurs is the lack of access to finance. There are existing microfinance institutions like Dr. Alip’s CARD-MRI and other rural banks who have programs for micro finance but not everyone is granted of loans or financial assistance. In order to start or sustain businesses, MSMEs will need programs such as DTI’s Shared-Service Facilities, or DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, or DA’s Agricultural Modernization Program which provides tools and technology which will aide MSMEs to increase their productivity and creativity.

DTI recently established the Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso which plans to replace the 5-6 scheme in the country.

DWSD’s Conditional Cash Transfer program aims to alleviate poverty through financial assistance for poor families. While this provides basic financial assistance for basic necessities, this can be improved to provide support for micro entrepreneurs. Additionally, DSWD’s Sustainable Livelihood Program provides vocational training and funds to those who are interested to start their micro-enterprises. Although this has been running for more than 5 years now, it has not proven its capacity to fully support the interest of enterprising individuals to scale up. This can also be looked into and studied if we can create additional MSME development programs.

With their innovative products and services, MSMEs will need a strong market where they can introduce and promote. Strengthening market linkages should also be prioritized. Go Negosyo and several organizations promote inclusive business where large corporation include MSMEs in their value chains. By including MSMEs, they are given wider market access and sustainable income.

Our Kapatid, Angat Lahat program links MSMEs to large corporations. As mentioned before, we have introduced Bongabon Nueva Ecija farmers, through the help of Agriculture Secretary Manny Pinol, to companies such as SM Supermarkets, Robinson’s Group, Rustan’s and many more. Today, you can see locally grown onions in the biggest supermarkets. We are hopping to create more linkages like this for our micro entrepreneurs.

Most successful entrepreneurs today started small. And they would have not made it to the top if they were not assisted and guided by mentors. I personally was mentored by my father who I think is the best mentor. He has guided me through the process of the business, teaching me everything. MSMEs will need the same kind of support from experts and mentors.

Go Negosyo has partnered with DTI and created the nationwide mentoring program entitled Kapatid Mentor Me which aims to help micro and small entrepreneurs scale up through a weekly coaching and mentoring program with successful business owners, practitioners, and experts which are held in most of the Negosyo Centers nationwide. We are currently rolling out the 2nd batch of Mentor Me launches in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Apart from DTI, Department of Agriculture and Go Negosyo are providing a mentoring program for farmers entitled Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program. Adopting the same program, KAMMP is developed to complement the initiative to sustain and develop agri-business in the country. Many Go Negosyo agri-entrepreneurs have signed up as mentors to help strengthen the agriculture industry.

Lastly, ASEAN Business Advisory Council under Philippine chairmanship is launching its flagship program called ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network which creates a region-wide pool of experts and mentors who will share their knowledge and expertise. Members of AMEN will also help develop teaching modules for MSME development which can be shared and promoted among the 10 ASEAN countries.

If we all work together, we are positive that the MSMEs we have today will become the next industry leaders not just in our country but across the region. Unity is important in creating effective and impactful changes in the lives of our MSMEs.

Why DTI Sec. Lopez Believes in Creating Smarter Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017
A prime mover of empowering MSMEs, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez believes that making entrepreneurs ‘smarter’ through skills-training, mentoring, education and various capacity-building programs are integral in enabling the massive MSME group

A prime mover of empowering MSMEs, DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez believes that making entrepreneurs ‘smarter’ through skills-training, mentoring, education and various capacity-building programs are integral in enabling the massive MSME group

Department of Trade and Industry’s Secretary Ramon Lopez joined the panel discussion on driving growth for the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the Prosperity for All Summit last April. A prime mover of empowering MSMEs, Lopez believes that making entrepreneurs ‘smarter’ through skills-training, mentoring, education and various capacity-building programs are integral in enabling the massive MSME group that comprises 99.6% of the entire business sector.

Lopez shared that under the Duterte administration and during his work as the Executive Director of Go Negosyo, the advocacy was always about making the Filipino negosyante smarter. An entrepreneur is someone who is innovative and solutions-oriented and Lopez believes that if MSMEs had the right tools and guidance given to them, growth and progress will become exponential.

Citing a product of the Go Negosyo Act, Lopez shared that the 460 Negosyo Centers nationwide has already spread the access to money, mentorship, and market. This spread of financial support, market access, skills and knowledge have effectively created better equipped and better informed entrepreneurs.

Lopez believes that the current ecosystem that is emerging wherein the public and the private are actively engaging in scaling up the micro and small is bringing to life the advocacy of smarter entrepreneurs nationwide.

Prosperity for All Summit Session 1: Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity for All. In photo (L-R) Dr. William Dar (InangLupa Movement), Sen. Bam Aquino, Former President and Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Rami Sharaf (The Royal Group, Cambodia) and Cathy Yang (moderator).

Prosperity for All Summit Session 1: Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity for All. In photo (L-R) Dr. William Dar (InangLupa Movement), Sen. Bam Aquino, Former President and Cong. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Rami Sharaf (The Royal Group, Cambodia) and Cathy Yang (moderator).

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Be a partner for change and become a mentor for entrepreneurship in ASEAN! Visit www.aseanmentors.org and fill out the application form online.

William Belo: 5 Entrep Tips from The Big Box Founder

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

In 2014, Go Negosyo featured William Belo in its publication entitled 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion where he shared his entrepreneurial journey. In starting a business, it has often been said that to make money you have to start with food, shelter and clothing. For William Belo, he started with shelter. A working student, Belo worked as a counter salesman in a construction supply company that was part owned by his father until he became the manager of the entire store. It was then when he realized that he wanted his own small business to run; he no longer wanted to become an employee, he wanted to be his own boss.

After 40 years, Belo's home improvement company Wilcon is now a compelling retail player with a network of 36 'big box’ and community stores.

After 40 years, Belo’s home improvement company Wilcon is now a compelling retail player with a network of 36 ‘big box’ and community stores.

He started his own business in 1977 with a small hardware store along Quezon Avenue. Belo’s business started with a rough patch during the Martial Law when business was difficult. With the help of friends, banks and suppliers, his business was able to recover. Decades later, Wilcon has expanded its operations in and out of Metro Manila. Belo put up the first Wilcon Depot in 2002 on Zapote Road Alabang where he saw the big jump in the business. He compared the difference between the small shop and the depot. The number of choices in brand, styles and designs were limited to 2000-3000 items while the depot had 60-80,000 items that people could buy. Today, Wilcon is a market leader in home improvement retailing and is a Hall of Fame awardee of the Philippine Retailers Association. Wilcon is able to provide the Filipino consumers with a one-stop shop solution that will have all construction supply and home improvement items combined in one roof.

In an interview with Josiah Go on February 2017, Belo shared his learnings after being in the business for more than 40 years. One of the greatest legacies that Wilcon has and are very proud of is that they are a local company with international standards in serving the market as a home grown brand. Starting from a four-man store way back in 1977, they are now a company with more than 4,500 directly hired employees and more than 2,000 promodisers from business partners. One of Belo’s primary objectives is to help the local manufacturers grow with them as partners. Wilcon has benefited consumers in a way that the company is able to generate more than 6,500 jobs. Wilcon considers themselves as partners of our country in nation building by providing jobs and helping support the economy.

Wilcon Depot store in Bacoor, Cavite. Photo courtesy of Wilcon Depot Facebook Page.

Wilcon Depot store in Bacoor, Cavite. Photo courtesy of Wilcon Depot Facebook Page.

Today, the brand has a total of 36 operational outlets in Metro Manila. In the next five years, their goal is to cover the whole country, focusing primarily on the major cities.

The secret formula to a successful business? For William Belo, there is none. It’s about pure dedication and knowledge to the business you’re in. But here are a few pieces of advice Belo can give to all the aspiring entrepreneurs:

1. DO WHAT YOU LIKE
You need to have passion for the business you want to get into. Put your heart into it and make sure it’s the right one for you.

2. PERSONALIZE
In starting a business, you really have to be hands on. You can’t just start a business and let somebody run it for you.

3. STUDY YOUR BUSINESS
If you really want to have your own business, study it very well. You need to know how to do it before you even start. You need to know what you’re doing, what you’ll be expecting to do and of course the ins and outs of the your business.

4. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED
There are a lot of opportunities available, just make sure to take and maximize whatever opportunity that comes your way.

5. GROW AND INNOVATE
Innovation is the key to growth. You need to continue expanding the business and the product lines, continue offering new products and make sure that the level of service is there.

ASEAN BAC Chairman Concepcion Establishes an Alliance Towards Prosperity

Saturday, May 13th, 2017
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion established the Alliance Towards Prosperity For All with various business chambers in the country.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion established the Alliance Towards Prosperity For All with various business chambers in the country.

After the successful Prosperity for All Summit, ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chairman and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion started an alliance with the country’s business chambers to create programs in creating prosperity for the micro and small entrepreneurs.

The Alliance Towards Prosperity For All is a long-term private sector-led campaign at the national level to build a multi-sectoral, multi-disciplinary alliance of organizations and individuals to pursue prosperity for all among ASEAN nations.

Members of this alliance are expected to participate in all upcoming ASEAN activities and help in the continuous campaign for infrastructure. They will also be part of the technical working committee which will develop a national platform for MSME development.

Go Negosyo, founded by Concepcion, will be the leading organization for this alliance in the Philippines. Go Negosyo has been in the forefront of entrepreneurship development since 2005. For the past 12 years, Go Negosyo has created a strong network of entrepreneurs and organizations from all industries helping micro and small entrepreneurs level up.

Aside from Go Negosyo, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Management Association of the Philippines, Makati Business Club, Financial Executives of the Philippines, European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines, Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., Philippine Franchising Association, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines, Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Bankers Association of the Philippines, and many more will join the alliance. 22 business chamber heads attended the initial meeting of the alliance and many pledged their support to this initiative.

Chairman Concepcion said, “Through this initiative, we are creating a sustained alliance to fight off poverty through empowering micro and small entrepreneurs.”

In addition, in order to create prosperity for all, the alliance aims to strengthen the 3Ms for micro and small entrepreneurs. 3Ms include Money, Market and Mentorship. Access to finance is one of the biggest problems of MSMEs. In order to sustain their businesses, microfinance institutions, grants and loans, and other government interventions must be accessible to them.

To help MSMEs scale up, they also need market linkages. Go Negosyo and several organizations promote inclusive business where large companies include micro and small entrepreneurs in their value chains. By linking MSMEs to corporations, they are given wider market access and a sustainable income.

Mentorship is widely implemented by Go Negosyo in partnership with Department of Trade and Industry through the nationwide-implemented Kapatid Mentor Me Program which is a weekly coaching and mentoring program for micro and small entrepreneurs.

ASEAN Business Advisory Council under the Philippines chairmanship also established the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which will be a pool of entrepreneurs, mentors, and experts who will share their knowledge to micro entrepreneurs across the region. Members of the alliance will also be part of the AMEN program.

Why Having Little to No Capital is Not an Excuse

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 08 Little Capital
On May 10, 2017, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Faith Salaver featured Beverly Aquino and Arlene Mabute — two successful negosyantes who started with meager capitals. In hopes of inspiring listeners to not let financial restrictions stop them from starting their entrepreneurial dream, Beverly and Arlene both shared their stories of hard work, perseverance and innovation.

Beverly’s story starts with Php 1,000 and a passion for cooking she inherited from her mother. Beverly, and her husband Sherwin, had the difficult decision of either using the Php1,000 for starting their business or saving it in order to pay their bills. The couple decided to take their chances and start a lugaw business in San Pablo City. Beverly, equipped with her mom’s recipe for lugaw, shared that the Php 1,000 went to a small kiosk and ingredients for the lugaw. She said overtime the recipe developed into the one they use today thanks to her customers suggestions. Also, that small kiosk which only seated four at a time has now turned into the widely successful Lugaw Queen with 25 branches sprawled all over Luzon today.

Beverly Aquino, owner of "Lugaw Queen". Photo from "My Puhunan" Facebook page.

Beverly Aquino, owner of “Lugaw Queen”. Photo from “My Puhunan” Facebook page.

Arlene’s story starts out with an even smaller capital of Php 300, which her mother gave her. Encouraged by her mother to do something with her spare time, Arlene decided to buy lumpia wrappers and cheese in order to produce and sell cheese sticks. A seemingly simple product, Arlene’s business began to grow when she realized that producing her own lumpia wrappers would greatly decrease her spending for ingredients. Getting the approval of her husband, Arlene purchased the equipment needed to produce her own wrappers through a loan from CARD-MRI. This move allowed her to produce and modify her product according the buyers and customers demands effectively winning over a loyal following in her area of Antipolo.

DJ Faith enthused that it really isn’t impossible to start from virtually nothing based on Beverly and Arlene’s examples. In a true testament to the entrepreneurial spirit, they didn’t rely on money alone to create a thriving business. The two banked on the entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and hard work through being resourceful and creative.

Beverly shared that her lugaw recipe became a hit mainly because they listened to their customer’s feedback on how to improve. This quality of Beverly to eagerly listen, learn and improve is what led to Lugaw Queen’s expansion. Upon learning about how Jollibee got to grow widely through Francorp, Beverly decided to sign her business up for franchising. Today, she’s also a proud member of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA). By opening up her business to franchising, the threat of copycats running her down was addressed and a system was also created for operations.

Arlene Mabute is one of the Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awardee – Micro Entrepreneur category for this year (2017).

Arlene Mabute is one of the Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awardee – Micro Entrepreneur category for this year (2017).

Arlene on the other hand, shared that she hasn’t been able to attend seminars or join business associations such as Francorp and PFA. However, Arlene shared that she has a solid community through CARD. A regular in center meetings, Arlene is grateful for the push CARD gave to her business and is now on her 10th loan cycle amounting to Php150,000.

The biggest challenge in business, Beverly said, is really starting. She said that in business there will always be hardships but starting is always the hardest. She wants other current and aspiring entrepreneurs to know that they shouldn’t be afraid of difficulties or failing — because most people only know of you when you succeed and don’t know what you had to go through to get there.

Arlene and Beverly imparted words of wisdom to those who are working with little to no capital. Arlene said that it takes a lot of perseverance and determination to make the dream happen. But also, not to be afraid to ask for help from government and financing institutions. Beverly says that genuine care will take your business far — care for your family, your customers, and your business partners. Also, she tells them to take ownership of their business and to start with what they are passionate about.

Ultimately, to take your business farther, it is important to take advantage of the current programs in place to launch your business. Get your businesses registered through Department of Trade and Industry’s negosyo centers, get training from programs like Mentor Me, apply for micro loans from institutions like CARD, register your business for franchising through Francorp or PFA, and even borrow or apply for equipment through the Department of Science and Technology’s program.

Money is truly not the only ingredient in making a successful business — knowledge, hardwork, time and passion will always account for more.