Archive for October, 2017

Former Factory-Worker Turned Billionaire Named Entrepreneur of the Year

Saturday, October 21st, 2017

Natividad Cheng, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Uratex, was named the Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2017 by the SGV Foundation, Inc. and will go on to represent the country in the World Entrepreneur of the Year awards in Monte Carlo, Monaco next year.

Ms. Cheng’s journey to becoming the prolific provider of quality yet affordable foam mattresses in the country spans five decades of determination and avid dedication to improvement. Considered today to be the most dominant in their market, Ms. Cheng started out as a hardworking factory worker who, along with her husband, shared the dream of rising out of poverty.

In photo (L-R): Cesar Emilio Virata, Natividad Cheng, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship & Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion and Carlitos Cruz.

In photo (L-R): Cesar Emilio Virata, Natividad Cheng, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship & Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion and Carlitos Cruz.

In the Go Negosyo 50 Entrepreneur’s of Passion, Ms. Cheng shared that in the early days, her and her husband had to sleep on the floor of their studio apartment. “We had to borrow money several times. I pawned jewelry given to me as wedding gifts to generate working capital. We could not borrow because we did not have any assets we can put up as collateral,” Cheng said.

Despite difficulties, the Chengs were able to turn their early business into a profitable one by practicing frugality. However, tragedy struck when a fire completely ravished their factory and supplies. The Chengs were able to bounce back from this mishap. They introduced a new type of foam with better quality in terms of comfort and durability.

The Chengs continued to improve on their products and systems by applying the best and newest techniques in production and constantly knowing the pulse of the market. This tradition of excellence has propelled Uratex to becoming a leading supplier worldwide of industrial foam, mattresses, food containers, textiles, monoblock furniture and automotive original equipment parts. They currently export to countries like Guam, Australia and Asia.

The key to staying on top of the game for Uratex is combining innovation with excellence. The company invests a lot on research and development and acquire the latest machineries in order to continue to produce the best quality products. The company also works on achieving the best certification for their products in order to get them to a bigger market. As of writing, Uratex is officially endorsed by the Philippine Orthopedic Association, certified by Cert-PUR, and owns the only complete certified foam testing lab in the Philippines.

Natividad “Naty” Cheng wishes to impart to other entrepreneurs, especially the young ones, to exercise the old time value of patience. In a world where everything is instant or automated, Naty wisely imparted that “technology changes, character remains. Buildings can burn down, money can be stolen; but character will help you rebuild and regenerate.”

On to ASEAN 100: Perspectives of The World Today and Beyond

Friday, October 20th, 2017

Onto ASEAN 100
Halfway through a century, state and business leaders are set to examine the region’s business outlook and investment opportunities at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017.

This year’s business and investments summit is a significant gathering for the ASEAN community where it can evaluate its performance as a regional bloc and assess the key investment areas with the global audience in the 2-day summit to be held in Manila.

With vital changes occurring in the region, ASEAN’s 50th year serves as a milestone to look at what lies ahead for the ASEAN and the world.

Notably, the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) has a combined gross domestic product of $2.4 trillion, currently the third fastest growing major Asian economy after China and India.

In 2015, ASEAN’s total trade amounted to US$2.3 trillion, which accounts  for 7.6% share of the world’s total trade, placing fourth after China with 13.8%, USA with 13.6% and Germany with 8.0%.

While the intra-ASEAN investment remained stable accounting for 18.4% of ASEAN net foreign direct investment inflows compared to 17.0% in 2014, FDI inflows in ASEAN declined by 7% from US$130 billion in 2014 to US$121 billion in 2015.

What makes for these changes and developments? How does the democratization of processes and liberalization of economies influenced the growth of urban areas in the region? How can the region have a sustainable and inclusive influx of investments?

ABIS hopes to address these questions in the first forum,  ‘On to ASEAN 100: Perspectives of The World Today and Beyond’  which will be comprised of multilateral leaders, former heads of governments and states, scholars, investors, and citizens who will share their outlook on ASEAN’s position for growth and leadership.

In retrospect, the region has had experienced a fair share of both challenges and triumphs since its foundation and decades after the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis, the ASEAN remains as a cohesive region collectively seeking to address the economic problems and sociopolitical issues it faces.

The long-standing mission of member-states to achieve regional integration and connectivity evidences the creation of a roadmap towards prosperity for all.

ASEAN’s position as the hub of the East Asian region is supported by efforts to deepen and widen regional connectivity. Analysts suggest that broader connectivity with its global partners can strengthen ASEAN’s expanding reach in the long-run.

This forum is anchored on the ASEAN Master Plan which boldly envisions  securing a connected ASEAN, through an enhanced physical infrastructure development or physical connectivity, by effective institutional arrangements or institutional connectivity and via empowered people or people-to-people connectivity. This three-fold agenda requires not only the development of new strategies and institutions, but also investment in more effective implementation of existing and future initiatives.

ABIS  2017 is  the biggest and most prestigious business event in ASEAN  set to be a two-day conference presented by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council which will bring attention to the business, investment opportunities, global issues, and key strategic directions that impact on business opportunities for ASEAN member nations today.

To join ABIS 2017, register now at www.abis2017.com

Get Crafty This Holiday Season

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 15 Crafty
On October 18, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla featured two craft entrepreneurs, Yana Ofrasio (Craft MNL) and Faith Lopez (Tindaraga), along with DTI-CITEM’s Doris Gacho for an episode tackling handicraft ventures you can turn into a business or give as gifts to your loved ones this coming holiday season.

To kick off the episode, DJ Cheska introduced the listeners to Yana Ofrasio of Craft MNL . Craft MNL is a small company that specializes in giving workshops on various crafts. The company was founded in 2012 by Lex and Nadine Reyes to address the growing demand they saw between people wanting to learn about a certain art or craft, and artists who were looking for an avenue to teach. “The movement grew because people saw the value of giving something they made themselves,” said Yana.

GNSR guests
True enough, Craft MNL is a thriving business that offers a variety of classes in arts and crafts. Many of the classes they offer are stepping stones for people interested in making a business. For example, they offer classes in soap-making, leather crafting, calligraphy and silk screen printing. They also offer unique classes in shibori, sewing, macramé and jewelry making. Yana said that Craft MNL focuses on providing their customers with the proper techniques and it is up to them to apply these techniques. They’ve also provided a market for interested craft entrepreneurs to sell and showcase their handiworks called the Maker’s Market—launching soon in Central Square BGC and Evia Lifestyle Center, Alabang this November. To learn more about what Craft MNL offers or to sign-up for a class, you may visit www.craftmnl.com or drop by their Facebook and Instagram pages @CraftMNL.

During the episode, Sen. Bam mentioned about the worldwide “Maker Movement” wherein people are shifting towards creating their own products rather than buying. This movement is not limited to DIY gifts, but permeate into entrepreneurship and even lifestyle. Such is the case for young craft entrepreneur, Faith Lopez of Tindaraga. Faith started Tindaraga as a side business when she began selling her doodles and stickers at local fairs. She eventually ventured into developing the family craft of crocheting into an artform and business. Today, through her platform Tindaraga, Faith also holds workshops to teach others about crocheting and its various applications. Tindaraga is an amalgam of Faith’s nickname (Tin) the word tinda (meaning “to sell”), and her hometown of Daraga. Faith also shared that Daraga is the deity found in Mt. Mayon.

Faith identifies with the Maker Movement’s practicality and the sentimentality of wearing something personalized and hand-made. “I wanted to wear my own art,” Faith shared, “It is also cost-efficient which is important since I am a single mom.” In fact, Tindaraga is only the side business of Faith—she’s also a graphic designer and writer. However, upon seeing Faith’s designs, one can only see that she’s a true artist no matter what medium she chooses. Her pieces are unique and are made to order whenever someone expresses interest. To see samples of Faith’s work, find Tindaraga on Facebook and Instagram as @tindaraga.

Some products from CraftMNL. Photo from @CraftMNL IG page.

Some products from CraftMNL. Photo from @CraftMNL IG page.

Sample producst from Tindaraga. Photo from @tindaraga IG page.

Sample producst from Tindaraga. Photo from @tindaraga IG page.

Finally, the episode invited all listeners to DTI-CITEM’s premiere design and lifestyle event, Manila FAME. The bi-annual trade event showcases the best of Philippine craftsmanship through various exhibits in furniture, home furnishings, holiday gifts and decor, and fashion accessories. Doris Gacho of DTI-CITEM invites all to visit the Manila FAME at the World Trade Center and the Philippine International Trade Center Exhbit Hall from October 20-22 where over 4,000 Philippine manufacturers will be showcasing their innovative designs and craftsmanship. Sen. Bam shared a trade secret (pun intended) for normal citizens (meaning non-buyers or non-traders) that want to bring a piece of Manila FAME home—visit on the last day and get a change to score massive discounts on the items on exhibit! For more details on Manila FAME, visit www.manilafame.com.

Addressing Money Concerns for MSMEs

Thursday, October 19th, 2017
Tessie Sy-Coson, Joey Concepcion, Justo Ortiz, and Atty. Benedicta Baladad.

Tessie Sy-Coson, Joey Concepcion, Justo Ortiz, and Atty. Benedicta Baladad.

Last time, I shared about the keen interest of the private sector to contribute to the infrastructure development in the country through a stronger partnership with the government.  These infrastructure projects or Build Build Build programs will better link micro and small entrepreneurs to wider markets. This time, we are also bridging money gap and financial issues for our micro and small entrepreneurs.

Over a casual breakfast meeting, I invited the main stakeholders of the financial sector in the Philippines to discuss inclusive money for Filipinos.

The meeting was joined by Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr. and Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), Josephine Romero (ASEAN BAC Philippines and Magpie), Teresita Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines and BDO), Benjamin Castillo and Abraham Co (Bankers Association of the Philippines), Atty. Benedicta Baladad (Financial Executives of the Philippines), Justo Ortiz (Union Bank of the Philippines), Orlando Vea (Voyager Innovations), Fr. Jovic Lobrigo (Microfinance Council of the Philippines), Ernest Cu (Globe Telecom), Raj Uttamchandadni (Esquire Financing Coporation), Jaime Garchitorena (Credit information Corporation) and Ronnie Tan Tai Ngee (Silverlake Gax Holding Sdn Bhd).

As the Chair of ASEAN BAC, main convenor of public and private partnership, I was honored to sit with these passionate and dedicated men and women who are all eager to help in making future-ready enterprises.

This breakfast meeting was hosted for ASEAN BAC Malaysia Chair Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid who brought Malaysia’s ABA 2017 Legacy Awardee Mr. Goh Peng Ooi of Silverlake Axis.

Goh Peng Ooi and Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid.

Goh Peng Ooi and Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir Abdul Majid.

Grounded on mathematical models, Silverlake Axis creates technologies to enable the Digital Economy since 1989. The company has built an impeccable track record of successful core banking implementations. True to its success in refining, expanding, and inventing technologies in the region, Silverlake Axis was listed on Singapore’s Stock Exchange (SGX) SESDAQ in 2003 and moved up to SGX Mainboard in 2011. Today, over 40% of the top 20 largest banks in South-East Asia run Silverlake Axis’ core banking solution. Silverlake Axis is the core system platform partner of choice for 3 of the 5 largest ASEAN super regional financial institutions.

We arrived at a conclusion that way forward is inclusive lending, inclusive access to finance and INCLUSIVE MONEY.

Right after, I spoke at the Angat Buhay, a poverty alleviation platform launched by Vice President Leni Robredo. Similar to the Go Negosyo’s Kapatid Angat Lahat, the program Angat Buhay seeks to uplift the lives of many micro and small entrepreneurs. Our advocacy work in Go Negosyo was strengthened even more with the support of Senator Bam Aquino when the Go Negosyo Act was legislated.

Vice President Leni Robredo with ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

Vice President Leni Robredo with ASEAN BAC Chairman Joey Concepcion.

Our quest for poverty alleviation and creating prosperity for all brings me to the 3Ms or the Mentorship, Money, and Market.

Like what I have mentioned in all my previous articles and speaking engagements, Mentorship is a powerful tool in helping micro and small entrepreneurs move up from survival to sustainability.

The Kapatid Mentor Me that we have been doing has now 1700 mentees and close to 450 mentors engaging with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Agriculture.

We are also formally launching AMEN or the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network on November, which will be the biggest network of mentors from all the 10 ASEAN countries. We want to share AMEN to all ASEAN countries to tap their mentors who can help us in areas like technology, agriculture, and logistics.

Helping MSMEs get access to that market is important that is why we are eager to be part of the infrastructure development programs of the country. But apart from these bridges, airports, and ports, the future market is going be the digital economy.

We will also push for new platforms like e-commerce. The success of mobile applications such as Uber, Grab, and many other platforms for people to market themselves directly to the consumer will change the game in the future.

As a game changer that can help the poor entrepreneurs, we must also learn how the digital economy thrives. At first it looks like a threat to many who are in the brick and mortar business, supermarkets or department stores, but it is an opportunity for many micro and small entrepreneurs to have a chance to be the next millionaire or multi billionaire.

This time we are focusing on Money. Our MSMEs still face a big challenge when it comes to financing. That is why it is important to address this situation for the growth of our micro and small entrepreneurs. We are glad to hear Goh Peng Ooi’s insights on how we can help finance the micro and small entrepreneurs.

We shall update you with the progress of these 3Ms. We are zealously working on creating programs that will bring prosperity not just to the large corporations but most importantly to our MSMEs.

Given that the bottom of the pyramid is huge, it’s about time that we all come together, regardless of political affiliation. The quest of fighting poverty is not won whether you are yellow, blue, or red. It is just about being a Filipino who is compassionate about the future. The programs that we need to achieve will be enormous because it will not be a quick fix. But any of us are already part of the enabling community. Each is key in the initiative towards prosperity for all.

83,707 Families helped, 153 towns adopted, and countless stories of hope during VP Leni’s Angat Kabuhayan Summit

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion at the Angat Kabuhayan.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion at the Angat Kabuhayan.

MANILA: October 17, 2017—Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chair Joey Concepcion was invited to give a special message at the one-year anniversary of Vice President Leni Robredo’s Angat Buhay program. The program, which was launched October of 2016, has already benefitted 83,707 families and 153 towns through 145 million-pesos worth of services going to the poor. The summit also served as the launch of Angat Kabuhayan as the livelihood arm of the program which will help uplift many more impoverished communities through entrepreneurship and improved livelihood.

“Angat Buhay and Angat Lahat really speaks of the same vision of uplifting the micro and small entrepreneurs. There are a lot of platforms for poverty alleviation but what is important is the spirit behind them, which is leaving no one behind in achieving prosperity for all,” Concepcion said in his speech about poverty alleviation, prosperity for all and the 3 Ms of Entrepreneurship (Mentorship, Money and Markets).

From the message of Vice President Leni Robredo, Angat Buhay is said to be in fulfillment of a campaign promise to establish an effective and collaborative framework for poverty alleviation. “Our long years of immersion with different communities have given us a clear vision of what every Filipino family deserves: for our children to have access to education and be free from hunger and malnutrition, for our mothers to be given complete maternal healthcare, for development to reach our rural communities and create sustainable economic opportunities for all, and for the housing system to allow our families to live security and dignity,” Robredo said.

The Angat Kabuhayan Summit brings together private leaders and NGOs in order to link them with prospective beneficiaries through the Angat Buhay Program. Angat Kabuhayan hopes to provide sources of employment and income to various communities in the fields of agribusiness, tourism/services, construction, livelihood/supply-chain, IT-BPO, and manufacturing.

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Join ABIS 2017 and Take Part in Turning Prosperity for All into Reality

Monday, October 16th, 2017
The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 (ABIS 2017) is set to be a two-day conference that presents the premiere annual business event of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council that brings attention to the business, investment opportunities, issues, and directions in the ASEAN today. It is organized to serve as a platform for conversations among regional and global stakeholders in the ASEAN Economic Community. These stakeholders are expected to be business leaders, public personalities, entrepreneurs, and entities considered as thought-leaders in their respective fields.

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 (ABIS 2017) is set to be a two-day conference that presents the premiere annual business event of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council that brings attention to the business, investment opportunities, issues, and directions in the ASEAN today. It is organized to serve as a platform for conversations among regional and global stakeholders in the ASEAN Economic Community. These stakeholders are expected to be business leaders, public personalities, entrepreneurs, and entities considered as thought-leaders in their respective fields.

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 is the premier annual business forum of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council. As the apex private sector partner of ASEAN, the Council designed the summit to be the ideal platform for conversation among regional and global stakeholders and thought leaders working to strengthen the ASEAN Economic Community. With the theme “World Leaders’ Roadmap Towards Prosperity for All’ the summit aligns with the Prosperity for All thrust of the Council under the Philippine Chairmanship of ASEAN@50.

Held in Solaire Resort and Casino on the 13th to 14th of November 2017, the summit will be set against the backdrop of one of Manila’s finest luxury hotels and in anticipation of the ASEAN Leaders Summit and related meetings. Speakers at the event will include heads of governments and C-level executives from global businesses & think tanks. The audience will be an aggregate of corporate leaders, government executives, MSMEs, youth & women leaders, and various enablers.

The two-day summit aims to provide its vast audience with key insights for them to effectively leverage on the burgeouing economy of the ASEAN through forums tackling multi-channel connectivity, infrastructure development, entrepreneurial empowerment, disruptive innovation, and entrepreneurship in the digital economy. Small and micro enterprises and youth entrepreneurs alike can greatly benefit from the wealth of discussions which will provide market insights and information on emerging technological and policy advances that can inspire and motivate this demographic. Women entrepreneurs are also given primacy as the event recognizes their empowerment as crucial to unleashing the group’s latent economic capacity which can propel the ASEAN into becoming an economic powerhouse. Lastlly, the event opens it doors to enablers eager to take part in the private-public mission to engender prosperity for all in the region.

The ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017 envisions inclusive and sustainable progress among the region’s businesses and entrepreneurs, indiscriminate of any field or scale. Join the movement towards creating greater prosperity for all—register now at www.abis2017.com

(All submissions will be subject for review by the ABIS 2017 Secretariat. A notification email will be sent by the Secretariat on the payment procedures once their slot reservation is confirmed.)

The First ASEAN Agriculture Summit

Monday, October 16th, 2017
Forum 1 (Panel 1): Small Farm Holdings and Land Consolidation in Agri Enterprise Development.: Karen Davila (moderator), Dato' Dzulfilki ADB Wahab (FELDA, Technoplant Sdn Bhd. - Malaysia), Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech) , Dr. Hengky Novarianto (Indonesia Palm Crops Research Institute) and Winston Uy (Universal Leaf Philippines) with Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar (Go Negosyo Adviser for Agripreneurship) ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and DOST Secretary Boy dela Peña.

Forum 1 (Panel 1): Small Farm Holdings and Land Consolidation in Agri Enterprise Development.: Karen Davila (moderator), Dato’ Dzulfilki ADB Wahab (FELDA, Technoplant Sdn Bhd. – Malaysia), Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech) , Dr. Hengky Novarianto (Indonesia Palm Crops Research Institute) and Winston Uy (Universal Leaf Philippines) with Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar (Go Negosyo Adviser for Agripreneurship) ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and DOST Secretary Boy dela Peña.

In my 12 years of rallying for the development of micro and small entrepreneurs, I’ve seen that the majority of the poor come from the agriculture sector — they are the small farmers and fisher folk who toil tirelessly every day but get meager returns in exchange for feeding the nation. With 35 percent of our population working under this sector, it is no question that if we want to achieve greater prosperity, the agriculture sector must be empowered and transformed.

That is why, as the ASEAN Business Advisory Council chair, I could not let the year end without making the ASEAN Agriculture Summit happen. We were commended that this was the first summit in ASEAN’s 50 years that focused on agriculture and agripreneurship. This is surprising, primarily because half of the ASEAN nations garner most of their GDP from the agricultural sector. If we want the vision of prosperity for all to come to reality, we must continue to champion the development of this sector.

It was indeed overwhelming to see that more than a thousand people attended the recently concluded ASEAN Agriculture Summit. Of course, all this would not have been possible if not for the collaboration of both the private and the public sectors, and our guest speakers from across ASEAN. We were privileged to have the likes of Sen. Cynthia Villar and former DA secretary Dr. William Dar.

I hope that those who attended learned something from the rich discussions led by our outstanding panelists. May the lessons imparted be more than just words, but a spark to take the road towards greater prosperity for all.

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion inspired all delegates to work together to transform ASEAN agriculture as the game changer for prosperity of all

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion inspired all delegates to work together to transform ASEAN agriculture as the game changer for prosperity of all

 

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Senate Committee Chairperson on Agriculture, graced the summit and touched on the current policiess that help improve the lives of our poor farmers.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, Senate Committee Chairperson on Agriculture, graced the summit and touched on the current policiess that help improve the lives of our poor farmers.

 

Karen Davila moderated the panel on Inclusive Contract Growing and Industrial Farming.

Karen Davila moderated the panel on Inclusive Contract Growing and Industrial Farming.

 

Oudet Souvannavong (Greater Mekong Sub-Region Business Council) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council member

Oudet Souvannavong (Greater Mekong Sub-Region Business Council) and ASEAN Business Advisory Council member

 

USec. Ariel Cayanan (Department of Agriculture)

USec. Ariel Cayanan (Department of Agriculture)

 

Dato' Dzulfilki ADB Wahab (FELDA, Technoplant Sdn Bhd. - Malaysia)

Dato’ Dzulfilki ADB Wahab (FELDA, Technoplant Sdn Bhd. – Malaysia)

 

Zulkarnain Bin Md. Eusope (FELCRA Berhad - Malaysia)

Zulkarnain Bin Md. Eusope (FELCRA Berhad – Malaysia)

 

Cong. Arthur Yap

Cong. Arthur Yap

 

Inang Lupa Foundation President and former Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dar

Inang Lupa Foundation President and former Department of Agriculture Secretary Dr. William Dar

 

Ferdinand Maranon (Sagrex Corp.) and Go Negosyo Adviser for MSME Development Merly Cruz

Ferdinand Maranon (Sagrex Corp.) and Go Negosyo Adviser for MSME Development Merly Cruz

 

ASEAN BAC Members George Barcelon (Philipines) and Oudet Souvannavong (Lao PDR) with Betty Medialdea

ASEAN BAC Members George Barcelon (Philipines) and Oudet Souvannavong (Lao PDR) with Betty Medialdea

 

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion, Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech) and Winston Uy (Universal Leaf Philippines).

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion, Henry Lim Bon Liong (SL Agritech) and Winston Uy (Universal Leaf Philippines).

 

Tina Papillon and Gerard Papillon, Rosalino Perez of FRLD, and Toto Barcelona of Harbest

Tina Papillon and Gerard Papillon, Rosalino Perez of FRLD, and Toto Barcelona of Harbest

 

William Belo and William Ang of Wilcon Depot

William Belo and William Ang of Wilcon Depot

 

Adviser to the ASEAN BAC Chair Jopin Romero and DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado

Adviser to the ASEAN BAC Chair Jopin Romero and DTI Undersecretary Nora Terrado

 

Myanmar Amb. Win Naing and PCCI President & ASEAN-BAC Member (Philippines) George Barcelon

Myanmar Amb. Win Naing and PCCI President & ASEAN-BAC Member (Philippines) George Barcelon

 

Go Negosyo Kapatid agri mentors Rex Daryanani, Willy Arcilla and Vix Madlangbayan

Go Negosyo Kapatid agri mentors Rex Daryanani, Willy Arcilla and Vix Madlangbayan

 

Faye Corcuera of BPI Foundation and Cherrie Atilano of AGREA

Faye Corcuera of BPI Foundation and Cherrie Atilano of AGREA

 

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and ASEAN-BAC Laos Chairman Oudet Souvannavong

ASEAN BAC Chair Joey Concepcion and ASEAN-BAC Laos Chairman Oudet Souvannavong

 

Forum 1 (Panel 2): Farm Consolidation as Rural Development Strategy. (L-R): Quintin Pastrana (moderator), Zulkarnain Bin Md. Eusope (FELCRA Berhad - Malaysia), Saran Song (Amru Rice - Cambodia) Alex Buenaventura (Land Bank - Philippines) and Pablito Sandoval (Active Batangas Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative).

Forum 1 (Panel 2): Farm Consolidation as Rural Development Strategy. (L-R): Quintin Pastrana (moderator), Zulkarnain Bin Md. Eusope (FELCRA Berhad – Malaysia), Saran Song (Amru Rice – Cambodia) Alex Buenaventura (Land Bank – Philippines) and Pablito Sandoval (Active Batangas Integrated Multipurpose Cooperative).

 

Forum 2: The Agri Value Chain and Value-Added Agri Extension Services. (L-R): Amor Maclang (moderator), Clint Coo (Siam Organic Co., Ltd. - Thailand), San Mateo Isabela Vice Mayor Roberto Agcaoili, Dr. Kamolrat Intaratat (Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University - Thailand), and Ruth Novales (Nestle Philippines).

Forum 2: The Agri Value Chain and Value-Added Agri Extension Services. (L-R): Amor Maclang (moderator), Clint Coo (Siam Organic Co., Ltd. – Thailand), San Mateo Isabela Vice Mayor Roberto Agcaoili, Dr. Kamolrat Intaratat (Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University – Thailand), and Ruth Novales (Nestle Philippines).

 

Forum 3: Enabling Environment for Inclusive Business. (L-R): Quintin Pastrana (moderator), Dante Delima (ATISCO Philippines), Gigi Gatti (Grameen Foundation USA), Cong. Arthur Yap, USec. Ariel Cayanan (Department of Agriculture) and Oudet Souvannavong (Greater Mekong Sub-Region Business Council and ASEAN-BAC Laos).

Forum 3: Enabling Environment for Inclusive Business. (L-R): Quintin Pastrana (moderator), Dante Delima (ATISCO Philippines), Gigi Gatti (Grameen Foundation USA), Cong. Arthur Yap, USec. Ariel Cayanan (Department of Agriculture) and Oudet Souvannavong (Greater Mekong Sub-Region Business Council and ASEAN-BAC Laos).

 

Forum 4: Leveraging on Technology and Innovation. (L-R): Bettina Quimson (moderator), Jos Van Der Knaap (Rjik Zwaan Seeds B.V.), Dr. Dileepkumar Guntuku (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University), Parker Ong (BlakCell Technology Limited) and Dr. Kiran Sharma (ICRISAT - India).

Forum 4: Leveraging on Technology and Innovation. (L-R): Bettina Quimson (moderator), Jos Van Der Knaap (Rjik Zwaan Seeds B.V.), Dr. Dileepkumar Guntuku (College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Iowa State University), Parker Ong (BlakCell Technology Limited) and Dr. Kiran Sharma (ICRISAT – India).

“Yes we can! PWDs prove entrepreneurship is for everyone”

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

GNSR Web Header Oct 11
On October 11, 2017, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla featured two entrepreneurs who have proven that disability doesn’t translate to inability to succeed. Richard D. Arceno of Bigay Buhay Multipurpose Cooperative and Jennifer Lampaz of Magic Hands Enterprise shared their stories of triumph amidst adversity through engaging in entrepreneurship.

Magic Hands Enterprise

The episode kicked off with Jennifer “Jenny” Lampaz. A previous writer in a television network, Jenny found herself investing her downtime in crocheting. Her quality work caught the eye of her neighbours who asked if she could teach them how she made her products, which were mostly bags at first. She agreed on the condition that she will provide the materials and training while the others will do the labour. Eventually, Jenny’s business grew so much that she quit her job as a writer to pursue the business full-time.

Another factor that motivated Jenny was that many of the people she trained were employing her crocheting technique and design and creating their own businesses. Seeing that there was a market for her product, Jenny decided to create new designs to battle competition. Her work captured the interest of Ms. Flor from the Department of Trade and Industry in Malabon. The DTI Malabon office was looking for their first batch of entrepreneurs to feature in the opening of the Malabon Negosyo Center. Upon seeing Jenny’s products, she was recommended and was eventually contracted to display her products in their opening exhibit.

Today, Jenny’s growing enterprise called Magic Hands is continuously innovating by creating new designs and techniques for crocheting. Her experience as a PWD entrepreneur has mostly been positive due to a strong support system through her family. Jenny was sick with polio when she only one-year old which resulted in her current disabled state. Jenny however, never saw hey disability has a hindrance. Her mother especially made sure that Jenny led a normal life. Jenny shared that she grew up not really paying much attention to her disability. She was even able to graduate as a Computer Programmer from STI Makati. However, upon graduation, Jenny was exposed to the discrimination of PWDs when she tried to enter the corporate world. In fact, Jenny recounts a specific job interview wherein she was told that PWDs were not being considered for the position. She expressed her frustration with the company for not indicating this condition on the job description and she was reduced to tears in the company bathroom. She remained resilient however, and today, encourages others like her to not give up and that they may find inspiration is everywhere.

Bigay Buhay Multipurpose Cooperative

Our second guest, Richard D. Arceno, has been the face of rallying for equal opportunities for PWDs. A previous representative of the PWD sector, Arceno established the Bigay Buhay Multipurpose Cooperative to empower and give opportunities to PWDs in the Philippines. Arceno was born with a disability that restricts the movement of his hands and feet. Growing up, he thought graduating from college would guarantee him a job and a stable life. However, PWDs were largely discriminated upon in the hiring process of many companies. Arceno realized that there were many like him and decided to form the cooperative. Starting out with P32,000 of collective capital, the group has been able to grow to a circulating capital of P10 million.

“Twenty years ago, there were so many barriers for PWDs to enter a school or get a job. So, creating a cooperative was really the way to empower us,” Arceno shared. When the cooperative started, the group was only composed of PWDs. However, as the group began to have families, and the cooperatives projects began affecting them, the cooperative decided to become more inclusive and expanded to include PWD families, and eventually communities.

“We buy the raw materials for the business from our community. We also employ from the community,” Arceno said about the cooperative’s community-based approach. According to Senator Bam, this approach is proven to be the most effective in the context of the Philippines which is very family centric.

Arceno imparted advice to the fellow PWDs hoping to uplift their lives through entrepreneurship. “Involvement of the family is critical—success will be hard without their support.” He also encourages other PWDs to join the cooperative if they wish. The group’s headquarters is located in SM Fairview and their contact details may be found in their Facebook page Bigay Buhay Multipurpose Cooperative.

The Legacy of Mr. Wash

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017
PA Joey Concepcion with Mr. Washington Sycip during Go Negosyo's book launch last 2016.

PA Joey Concepcion with Mr. Washington Sycip during Go Negosyo’s book launch last 2016.

This week we are saddened by the news that the great Washington Sycip who co-founded SGV & Co., one of the top auditing and accounting firms in Asia has died quietly while on his flight to Vancouver.

Born in Manila on June 30, 1921, to Albino and Helen SyCip, Wash Sycip is one of the inspiring Go Negosyo entrepreneurs that we look up to today.

While he simply thinks of himself as a humble bookkeeper, Wash is a man of astounding accomplishments even from the beginning. He passed the licensure examination for Certified Public Accountants at the age of 18. As he was too young to get the professional license and practice as a CPA in the Philippines, he went to the United State and earned a PhD at the Columbia University. While he was working on his doctoral dissertation, the Pearl Harbor and Clark Air Base were bombed prompting him to go back to his family in Manila at the war’s end.

The promising opportunities during the nation’s postwar reconstruction encouraged Wash to set up his own accounting firm, W. SyCip & Co., in Binondo. With the growth of his first venture, SyCip along with his longtime friend Alfredo M. Velayo, renamed the firm to SyCip, Gorres, Velayo & Co. (SGV).

Wash is also a known advocate for the improvement of public education, micro finance and entrepreneurship, and public health in the Philippines. He has a strong belief in the Filipino talent and he hopes to alleviate poverty in the country through various initiatives.

After his retirement from SGV in 1996, he sought to be active in both his business and civic endeavors. Among his last involvements was the Zero Dropout Program, an initiative funded by SyCip’s WS Family Foundation and implemented by social development institution CARD MRI.

Since 2011, the initiative provides parents an opportunity to access quality education for their children through an education loan program. It enables parents to secure a loan from P1,000 to P3,000, payable in three to six months, in order to augment their means for the school expenses of their children. Its low interest allows parents ensure that their sons and daughters will be able to finish their studies.

With his fervent desire to address poverty in the country by eradicating illiteracy, the Zero Dropout Program is designed to be reliable educational loan program that unlocks educational opportunities normally unavailable to the financially disadvantaged. The project banks on improving the ability of children to read and write thereby increasing their chances of coping in a competitive world.

In our recent interview with Wash for the Go Negosyo’s inspiring entrepreneurs book, he said, “While the Philippines enjoys strong economic growth, many Filipinos still suffer from immense poverty. It is our duty to help them surpass this struggle with the tools provided by education so that they may experience new opportunities in our rapidly-changing country.”

Go Negosyo deeply mourns the passing of an icon, mentor leader, and advocate of entrepreneurship in the country. Go Negosyo is honored to have Wash in its past events, as he had been very supportive of the Go Negosyo’s mission of uplifting lives through entrepreneurship. His story of triumphs and challenges was even featured in one of Go Negosyo’s books.

Whenever he attends our events, he always has this warm smile for everyone. In fact, less than a month ago, he attended the successful ASEAN Business Awards in Solaire. With no trace of any illnesses, he graced the event and was a magnet to other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs would often take photos with him which he will gladly oblige to.

I remember during our book launch for the inspiring women entrepreneurs in 2016, he was about to leave when we asked him of his simple wish for the country, he said, “By the end of another six years, when the new president comes in, half of the Senate, half of the House will be women!”

As one of the foremost practitioners of accounting in the Philippines and Asia, we are certain that his inspiring entrepreneurial journey and passion will forever be remembered and his legacy will remain in our hearts and minds.

Life Lessons from Washington SyCip

Monday, October 9th, 2017


Wash Sycip Article
Washington SyCip started the country’s largest multidisciplinary firm, SGV & Co., as a one-man company back in the 40s after the Philippines was recovering from the effects of the second world war. At that time, auditing services were largely dominated by foreign firms. SyCip, however, greatly believed in the ability of Filipinos to excel in the field and outperform their foreign counterparts. Today, SGV & Co. employs over 4,000 professionals in auditing, tax, transaction and advisory services and have produced the brightest professionals in the financial word—many of whom have moved on to becoming founders of their own firms or partners in international firms.

His passing leaves a gaping hole in the Philippine business community. SyCip’s renowned character and commitment to excellence was instilled in many of his employees and inspired countless leaders both in the public and private sector. Today, we celebrate his life that was dedicated to raising the standards of excellence, innovation, and perseverance of the Filipino. Here are some lessons taken from Washington Sycip’s feature in Go Negosyo’s 50 Entrepreneurs of Passion Book:

1. The value of meritocracy
Washington SyCip was able to grow his one-man company into what it is today, because he believed in meritocracy and excellence. When SyCip began recruiting for his firm, he was able to attract the best of the best in every university. His selling point? “I told them that none of my children would be joining my firm. It will be a complete meritocracy. Therefore, I got the best of these bright students.”

2. Invest in training your employees
SyCip was able to beat out foreign competition by providing paid training programs to his employees. The culture he formed where young employees gained valuable knowledge and experience coupled with great compensation garnered SyCip the loyalty of many. This culture also expedited his employees’ learning curve, allowing the company to create better and faster results for their clients.

3. Give back
SyCip is often praised as the pioneer of the Filipinization of the accounting profession and a stalwart of education. His thought-leadership led to the establishment of the Asian Institute of Management, an Asia-focused management school, where he would offer his resources and time to mentor business students. With his many accomplishments, SyCip valued the lives of Filipinos especially the poorest of the poor. Thousands of farmers were able to send their children to school when SyCip funded CARD-MRI to provide loans to the farmers and pooled together many business players to do the same.