Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Across the Years (Part 1)

Monday, February 27th, 2017

We honor the Filipinas who have been constant inspirations in the entrepreneurial journeys of women from all walks life in our country. This coming March, Go Negosyo will hail a new set of women entrepreneurs as the Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2017. This is done yearly aligned with the National Women’s Month and the International Women’s Day. As we honor a new batch of women for fiercely conquering the entrepreneurial world with their own brand of strength and bravery, let us remember those who have inspired us in the past:


Soccoro Ramos — National Bookstore (Retail)

Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (March 2015).

Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit (March 2015).

Soccoro Ramos, fondly called Nanay Coring, is considered an institution within the Philippine entrepreneurial community. She was featured in the original Joey Concepcion’s 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories and one of the first to be awarded as an Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur by Go Negosyo back in 2009. As one of the first who supported our advocacy of spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship, we recognize her role in inspiring a whole new generation of aspiring entrepreneurs through her story of perseverance and hardwork.

Today, Nanay Coring’s story of rebuilding her business three times still touches many hearts. When a lot of factors in the entrepreneurial landscape have already changed, such as technology, venture capitalists, start-up incubators, and mentoring programs, Nanay Coring has been a testament to the timeless adagé that hard work and perseverance still pays off.

Rosalind Wee – Marine Resources Development Corporation (Agribusiness)

Rosalind Wee

Rosalind Wee

 Rosalind Wee was awarded as an Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur in 2010 due to her pioneering venture into the agri-food business sector. Wee founded Marine Resources Development Corporation – the country’s biggest producer of carrageenan (seaweed powder), which is used for food stabilizers and emulsifiers. Known for her efforts in various social causes, she is a member of the board of governors of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), treasurer for the PRC-Quezon City chapter, President of the Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women, President of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation Philippine and is the Third Filipino woman to have received the Pearl S. Buck International Woman of the Year Award.

Myrna Yao – Richprime Global (Retail)

Myrna YaoMyrna Yao was amongst the inspiring Filipinas awarded in 2011, and has since become a force to be reckoned with in the entrepreneurial community. She is the current President of Richprime Global Inc. which concerns itself with children’s products such as toys, shoes, apparel, baby products, juvenile, clothes and accessories. Her company is the exclusive Distributor of Mattel Toys, Fisher Price, Video Technology Inc., Safety First, Shelcore, Pigeon Baby Products, Cosco, Goodyear Tires and Shoes (5 Brands) in the Philippines and is a licensing agent for Barbie & Garfield, Hotwheels & Carebears.

Yao is the founding president of the Filipino-Chinese Federation of Business and Professional Women of the Philippines and the founding chairperson of Philippine Federation of Local Councils of Women (PFLCW). These are among the biggest non-government organization in the country.  Recently, she has been lauded for her efforts to empower more women as entrepreneurs through the direct selling of Grace Aloe Vera Organic Skin Care from Australia.

Esther Vibal – Vibal Publishing (Education)

Esther Vibal receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on March 2015.

Esther Vibal receives Lifetime Achievement Award for Entrepreneurship in the field of Education during the 7th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on March 2015.

Esther Vibal was awarded by Go Negosyo with a Lifetime Achievement Award for her exceptional leadership for many decades in Vibal Publishing House Inc., the country’s leading and most reputable publisher of textbooks and other educational materials. Vibal Publishing is instrumental to the education of Filipinos everywhere, with their textbooks being distributed in thousands of schools nationwide. With her experience and passion in writing, Esther Vibal steered the company to greater heights and has conquered the publishing industry. As the head of Vibal Group, Mrs. Vibal continues to lead the company towards innovation and change with the development of technology.


Girlie Lorenzo – Kythe (Social Entrepreneur)

Girlie Lorenzo of Kythe.

Girlie Lorenzo of Kythe.

Girlie Lorenzo is an Inspiring Filipina Awardee who was also featured as one of the 55 Inspiring Women in Go Negosyo’s latest publication. Her foundation Kythe celebrates its 25th year of bringing hope and service to the lives of many children. Providing the much needed psycho-social support for children with chronic illnesses, Girlie imparts that Kythe will always be about spreading the message of love. She wants others people to know that the best way to get involved with Kythe is to volunteer and meet the kids themselves. She is truly proud that throughout the years, Kythe has continuously transformed lives— not just of the children but of her volunteers as well.

Nanette Po – Friends of Hope (Social Entrepreneur)

Nanette Medved-Po of Friends of Hope. Photo courtesy of

Nanette Medved-Po of Friends of Hope. Photo courtesy of

Nanette Po is an Inspiring Filipina Awardee whose social enterprise has built classrooms through its efforts of selling Hope in A Bottle. Before founding Friends of Hope, Nanette was more popularly know as the star of Darna. Today, she acts as a real life hero through building a brand centered on hope getting respect and backing of the entrepreneurial community who also continue to rally behind her cause of making education more accessible to all.

PCE Annual Partners

The Business of Fitness & Health

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

Radio Synthesis 05 Fitness and Health
On February 22, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Faith Salaver were joined by Yummy Diet CEO & Founder Ranice Suguitan-Faustino and Central Ground Crossfit Gym’s Job Wi to discuss the fitness and health industry. Health and Fitness continues to be on the rise and was cited as one of the top 10 industries to get into as a negosyante this 2017 (Read: Mga Patok na Negosyo para sa 2017).

It’s common knowledge to every health buff that exercise and a proper diet are of equal importance. Both our guests yesterday shared about how they got into the business of fitness and health industry and how its also transformed to being a personal advocacy.

In the photo (L-R): Sen. Bam Aquino, Job Wi of Central Ground Crossfit Gym, Ranice Suguitan-Faustino of Yummy Diet and DJ Faith Salaver.

In the photo (L-R): Sen. Bam Aquino, Job Wi of Central Ground Crossfit Gym, Ranice Suguitan-Faustino of Yummy Diet and DJ Faith Salaver.

Job Wi was a former Culinary Arts student before he became a Crossfit coach. He shared that his lifestyle as a culinary student was very unhealthy and led him to being diagnosed with obesity. Unhappy with his health, he decided to step into his first Crossfit Gym session wherein he only lasted 5 minutes of the warm-up before packing up and going home. But that didn’t matter because Job kept coming back to the gym. And he got stronger and fitter. Today, he has lost over 62 pounds since he first stepped into a Crossfit gym. From being a member struggling to finish the sets, he is now one of the trainers who motivate others who were just like him to push and become better & fitter versions of themselves.

Before joining the Central Ground Crossfit Gym staff in BGC, he was the Head Coach of the first Alabang branch of Crossfit. He shares that Crossfit is a unique gym in the sense that trainers are very involved in each of their client’s progress. They believe routine is the enemy so Crossfit programs are designed to have variety. The movements involved are very functional and are done in high-intensity intervals. Crossfit at its core is about strengthening and conditioning.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Another unique quality of Crossfit is that in they build a close-knit community within the confines of their gym. Members and coaches know each other by name; they form a familial bond with everyone. “We want members to feel like Crossfit is their second family or their second home” Job shared. What makes Crossfit such a big phenomenon in our country today is truly how they make their gym centered on their clients. They prefer smaller gym sizes with high-retention of members rather than big gym sizes with really low retention. In creating a culture wherein the gym go-er can be motivated by so many factors, Crossfit has ensured clients who see results and are happy to come back and invite others to join the gym.

Ranice Suguitan-Faustino’s Yummy Diet has a similar to story to that of Job Wi. Diagnosed with Polycystic Ovaries, a syndrome that affects a woman’s metabolism, she was forced to change her diet to improve her quality of life. What started out as a personal venture into a healthier lifestyle became Ranice’s business and advocacy. Today, Yummy Diet creates pre-packed low-calorie meals that don’t skimp on flavor. Her business offers a range of diets for people seeking to improve their eating habits and lose weight. The length of each diet can also be decided on by the client. The diet delivery service industry is a fast-growing one in the metro and Ranice stays ahead of the competition by offering personalized services. Plenty of Filipinos today seek to improve their diet, but lack the knowledge or time on how to. With Yummy Diet, Ranice shares that their meals are well-researched and well-seasoned to make dieting effective and easier. From her personal experience, counting calories can be a daunting task. Keeping people motivated to stick to their diet is even harder.

Photo courtesy of Yummy Diet's official Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Yummy Diet’s official Facebook page.

She shares that part of Yummy Diet’s way of helping their customers is providing motivation and information to help them stick to their diet. They use social media platforms to spread the reach of their service and also get much needed information to their customer. “Sometimes, our clients are stuck with just fast food as an option. We let them know that its okay to eat the burger without the patty, and other tips to help them stick to their low-calorie diet” Ranice shared.

The reason why the business of fitness and health have become so appealing is because self-improvement eventually overflows to all aspects of your life. Sen. Bam shared in the episode you may start off just with losing weight in your mind. So you begin going to the gym and see results. Then you’ll want to eat healthier since working out has made you more aware of your health and body. Then eventually you’ll start putting effort into dressing better as well. And when someone feels good about themselves, it radiates.

Having difficulty starting a workout routine or eating healthy?

Job says the most important thing is to start. “We always tell our clients that the most difficult part of joining Crossfit is getting themselves through the door.” Ranice shares that having people to enter into a healthier lifestyle is also a big help. Having a support group to help you reach your fitness goals can be an invaluable source of motivation.

TAYO Finalists show that the YOUTH can make a CHANGE

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

On February 15, Go Negosyo Radio hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by the Livelihood and Social Enterprise Finalists of this year’s Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) namely, Kevin Cuevas of Amiga Philippines and Ricky Gervasa of Go2Virtualahan.

According to Senator Bam Aquino, The Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations is all about finding, recognizing, and rewarding youth organizations that create their own spark so that others may also bask in the same light. With the TAYO program, Filipino youth groups are proven to be able to change lives and turn the world around, because where others see only problems and despair, the youth see a call for action.

Radio Synthesis 04 TAYO

tayoThe Search aims to recognize, reward, and encourage youth organizations all over the country with programs and projects that help their communities. TAYO hopes to inspire more young people to find innovative solutions and to challenge status quo through the organizations to which they belong. As movers in their communities, they can make a difference in the lives of the people they desire to serve and in the cause they choose to espouse.

One such project that has made a significant difference in the community of Calauan, Laguna is the UPLB Enactus Organization’s Amiga Philippines. Kevin shared that Amiga Philippines empowers women from Humanityville, a government relocation site, through teaching them the basics in finance in order to sustain their livelihoods.

The reason behind the program came about when the people behind Amiga saw a lot of livelihood programs in Humanityville failing. Upon assessment, they realized it was because the women weren’t taught how to manage their finances properly. Thus, Amiga Philippines devised a program wherein the basics of bookkeeping could be readily understood by the women; they called it Kaliwa­Kanan Cash Accounting System or KKASH. The system allowed the women to understand terms that they initially deemed intimidating such as debit and credit. They teach everything in Filipino and also crafted visual and easy-to-use journals/ledgers specifically designed for the women.

With regards to his team, Kevin shares that they all come from different courses — making Amiga Philippines a holistic effort. “We are a diverse group working on the project. That’s why it becomes vey collaborative when we come up with the training program for the women.”

Go2Virtualahan on the other hand is a social enterprise from Davao City that promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth through full and productive employment. Ricky Gervasa, the Founder of the enterprise, says that its goal is to help people who have difficulty finding a job, such as those diagnosed with certain sicknesses, PWDs or their parents, and former sex workers/drug addicts.

“They have difficulty finding jobs so they end up becoming a burden to their family or society. But we believe they have something to offer society,” Ricky said.

Senator Bam and Cheska asked the young founder about what prompted him to focus on this specific group of people. Ricky shared that he personally experienced rejection and discrimination while seeking employment simply because he was diagnosed with Hepatitis B.

“I found out when I was still pursuing medicine. I wanted to be a pathologist. It was a very difficult journey because the discrimination against people living with Hepatitis B was so strong that I kept it to myself for five years. So, Go2Virtualahan was actually why I began to accept my sickness. Before, I was really confused why I wasn’t getting employed despite graduating at the top of my class.”

By accepting his sickness, Ricky paved the way to the idea of Go2Virtualahan. As an online training resource, they educate their clients on online-based skills so that they may be employed as a work-at-home employee by Go2Virtualahan’s partners.

Go2Virtualahan also gives out full scholarships for their direct benficiaries, such as PWDs or people with certain ailments like Ricky. They have a “train now, pay later” system wherein you don’t have to pay them if you’re not yet employed. Once you get employed however, you have a period of ten months to complete your payments for your training.

Amiga Philippines and Go2Virtualahan are prime examples of why the youth are the future— why the change our nation seeks lies with them. The youth see the world with fresh eyes and possess an undeterred determination to act. Despite their age, these two youth groups have found a way to address issues in our society in creative ways. We only hope that the youth will continue to come together and build communities of change. The future truly rests in their hands.

Labor of Love: Two Valentine’s Day-Worthy Negosyos

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 03 VDay

The day of love is nearing and for those still looking for the perfect gift for their loved ones, we’ve got a treat for you!

On February 8, Go Negosyo sa Radyo aired for the first time on its new time slot — Wednesdays, 2:00 PM— with Senator Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla recurring as your regular hosts for the program. The two were eagerly joined by our two guests and bearers of love-laced gift ideas: Kevin Paraiso of Flowers by Pablo and Joanna Gutierrez of ISTORYA.

Prompted by hosts Sen. Bam and DJ Cheska, the two guests shared their respective Negosyo stories.

Flowers by Pablo

flowers by pabloKevin Paraiso started Flowers by Pablo in 2016. The relatively young flower shop began when Paraiso and his mother, also a florist, decided that his vision for their family flower shop wasn’t ideal. Kevin, a third generation florist, was then encouraged by his mom to put up his own shop to pursue his vision. They agreed that the two shops would not be in competition as Kevin’s market was far different from their family flower shop. For one, his family flower shop is stocked with local flowers and services a more traditional market. Whereas, Flowers by Pablo imports world-class flowers like Ecuadorian roses, packages them in signature buckets or boxes, marketed online, and sold to a more modern market. Today, Paraiso’s designs grew in popularity after several celebrities would post photos with Pablo’s unique and stylish arrangements.

ISTORYA Creations

istoryaJoanna Gutierrez shared that the inception ISTORYA was due to the gap she saw in the market when it comes to gifts with meaning. She traces back her fondness for jewelry when she used to play with her lola’s brooches. Before ISTORYA, Joanna worked in a cancer center where the realization of life’s fleetingness made her very sentimental. This love for jewelry and newly founded sentimentality led her to make ISTORYA — a place for customized jewelry, decorations and accessories.



Challenges and Growth

After our two guests shared their negosyo stories, our hosts proceeded to ask them questions regarding the challenges they’ve encountered as entrepreneurs. They two shared their experiences with bogus buyers, seemingly impossible requests and cancelled orders. However, the two shared that from these experiences they both learned and established better systems to deal or prevent similar occurrences in the future.

With their businesses largely grounded as gifts of love, these two entrepreneurs say they choose to go the extra mile for their customers. They choose not to charge for rush orders and do as much as they can to cater to each costumer’s specific request. Truly, Flowers by Pablo and ISTORYA Creations are labors of love worth giving to your significant other.

Here are some beautiful samples of Kevin and Joanna’s work:

Instagram: @flowersbypablo
Contact No.: 09178037782

Bucket of white Ecuadorian roses .

Bucket of white Ecuadorian roses .

Box of Sunflowers.

Box of Sunflowers.

Bucket of assorted daisies with stargazers.

Bucket of assorted daisies with stargazers.

ISTORYA Creations
Instagram: @istorya
Contact #: 09175432341

Necklaces with customized pendants, charms and chains.

Necklaces with customized pendants, charms and chains.

His and Hers customized matching leather bracelets.

His and Hers customized matching leather bracelets.

Large customize luggage tags.

Large customize luggage tags.

Fashion Tips for your Business (not your wardrobe)

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Radio Synthesis Fashion
For the Go Negosyo sa Radyo (GNSR) episode aired last February 3, 2017, regular hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by two of Philippine fashion’s revolutionary fashion entrepreneurs Delby Bragais and Pamela Mejia.

Our first guest was internationally renowned fashion designer, Certified Image Professional, and Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Awardee, Ms. Delby Bragais. During the show Bragais shared about her story of perseverance. When she was starting out, she remembered selling her first product for only 250 pesos. Today, her designs reach six-digit figures and are the focal pieces of editorials and international fashion shows.

“You have to open yourself up to possibilities,” Bragais said. At the start of her venture into fashion, she shared that she didn’t know anything and anyone. What contributed significantly to the development of her business was joining associations and being connected with other designers. The environment of mentorship and support proved to be an invaluable resource to the Delby Bragais’ brand.

Our second guest was Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) fellow, Pamela Mejia. Mejia’s brand Phinix is a start-up fashion social enterprise that collects textile wastes and upcycles them into shoes and accessories. Mejia shared that while fashion and entrepreneurship was something she delved into at an early age (she started selling t-shirts to her classmate when she was in high school) it wasn’t the path she was supposed to pursue full-time. With only a year left before Mejia was supposed to graduate from pre-med, she decided to transfer to UP Diliman to pursue fashion technology.

Her concept for Phinix only emerged fairly recently — frustrations with fashion entrepreneurship being looked down upon as compared to their health or education counterpart propelled Mejia to take one of the industry’s biggest problems head-on: its monumental waste rates.

Sen. Bam Aquino, Pamela Mejia, Delby Bragais and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

Sen. Bam Aquino, Pamela Mejia, Delby Bragais and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

“Fashion is the second dirtiest industry in the world,” Mejia exclaimed. “Here in the Philippines, we don’t have a textile recycling industry.”

With Phinix being Mejia’s fifth fashion enterprise, she wants other aspiring fashion entrepreneurs to know that in the competitive fashion industry, you have to know where to draw inspiration from. For Mejia, it’s her advocacy for an eco-friendly fashion industry while for Bragais, it’s her pride and confidence in the potential of the Philippines’ for creative enterprises.

“Sadyang malikhain tayo. I wish that there would be more institutions that would support the creative business industry,” Bragias said.

Mejia shared Bragais sentiments and added that she had to join competitions abroad to receive support for her project.

Even though the fashion industry is a tough and competitive one, the two designers share that it is not impossible to succeed in it. Here are 3 important takeaways from Delby Bragais and Pamela Mejia for aspiring fashion entrepreneurs.

1) Invest in both creativity and management
In Bragais’ opinion, if you don’t have the background in business to back your creativity up, you will not be able to move your product. Creativity is important in creating good designs but not knowing how to staff your business, how to sell you products, will leave your brand behind in this very competitive industry.

2) Develop an eye for good design
Mejia tells other aspiring fashion entrepreneurs not to be discouraged if they aren’t the best in fashion illustration or sewing. She says that as long as you have a good eye for design you can go far (and you can always hire a designer or mananahi to execute your ideas!)

3) Tell the story of your brand/design
Bragais shares that when foreigners would be interested in her designs she would always share how a piece is handwoven or sourced from local communities in the Philippines. Telling the story of how your design came to be could actually convince potential buyers to pay a hefty sum for your design. For Mejia, telling her customer’s about the advocacy of Phinix opens people up to the idea of upcycling and eventually become supporters of her brand.

Tax 101 with the Tax Whiz

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

Tax Whiz

Last January 27, Go Negosyo sa Radyo (GNSR) hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Go Negosyo angelpreneur Mon “The Tax Whiz” Abrea, the Founding President of the Center for Strategic Reforms of the Philippines and Chief Strategic Officer of the Abrea Consulting Group, Inc.

Besides answering frequently asked questions by the Filipino taxpayer, the three discussed the relevant tax reforms underway to help ease the burden of the difficult Philippine taxation process. Here are some important highlights from the discussion:

1. Streamlined tax processes and requirements
The reason why so many Filipino taxpayers fail at compliance is due to the complicated and redundant tax system which would stack penalties on penalties upon the people. Mon Abrea shares that Commissioner Billy Dulay and the people at BIR are now assessing the current system to check which requirements could be scrapped or improved. Abrea says that genuine tax reform should be centered on making tax requirements more convenient for Filipinos.

2. Flat rate tax for small businesses
This is good news for our MSMEs! In a move to make tax more convenient for small businesses and increase tax compliance, Sen. Bam Aquino proposed a flat rate of 10%. In making tax compliance flat and fair for MSMEs, it reduces the chance of MSMEs incurring penalties and eases the process of tax collection for the BIR.

3. Further improvement and transition into automation
The movement towards automating processes like business registration, tax compliance, and risk based audit doesn’t only make it more convenient for the taxpayer, but it’s also a way to battle corruption in the BIR’s system.

4. Bracketing system
The bracketing system will allow for fairer taxes for everyone involved. Currently, small businesses and regular employees suffer the most. Bracketing would help make the tax rates fairer between large businesses versus small businesses and professionals versus employees.

5. Taxes and Start-ups
In the program, the three hosts answered plenty of question regarding tax in the perspective of negosyantes. Due to time constraints however, they were only able to discuss the yearly renewal of all businesses by January and income tax returns to be filed by April.

For a more comprehensive guide to tax and start-ups, read the article #AskTheTaxWhiz: Top 10 frequently asked tax questions by start-ups or visit your nearest negosyo center and inquire about the FREE Tax Komiks entitled “VAT Ganun? Bakit Ako May Tax?”— a Tagalog comic that acts as your guide to business registration and taxes.

For further help and information regarding taxes, we’ve listed the organizations/institutions you can address your questions to:
CSR Philippines (+63) 2 372 5727 | Abrea Consulting Group: Tweet @askthetaxwhiz | DTI’s Negosyo Centers:

Mon Abrea

Mon Abrea, popularly known as the “Tax Whiz,” is a Go Negosyo Angelpreneur, an Ayala Young Leader Alumnus, a Gerry Roxas Leadership Awardee and the author of the bestselling tax handbook, “Got a Question About Taxes? Ask The Tax Whiz! Most Frequently Asked Tax Questions in the Philippines.” Awarded as the Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM), Asia CEO Young Leader of the Year and Distinguished Bedan in the field of Accounting and Taxation for 2015, Mon Abrea is a former BIR Examiner and is considered the most prominent advocate of genuine tax reform.



Conquer 2017 with 5 Key Lessons taken from PH’s Youngest Billionaire

Tuesday, January 31st, 2017
Edgar “Injap” Sia II is among Forbes’ 40 Richest in the Philippines and the youngest billionaire on the list. Due to his prominence and widely lauded underdog story, Injap’s meteoric rise in the Philippine business landscape is nothing short of inspirational.

Edgar “Injap” Sia II is among Forbes’ 40 Richest in the Philippines and the youngest billionaire on the list. Due to his prominence and widely lauded underdog story, Injap’s meteoric rise in the Philippine business landscape is nothing short of inspirational.

In 2011, Go Negosyo featured Injap Sia in its annual publication entitled 50 Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs, where he shared his story of taking the fast food industry by storm with Mang Inasal. Since then, Injap has sold shares of Mang Inasal to The Jollibee Group for $3 billion, became the youngest Filipino billionaire, and is currently at the helm of rapidly expanding Double Dragon Properties.

In the December 2016 issue of the local Forbes magazine, Injap was hailed as Businessman of the Year, a title usually awarded to industry leaders, who are, on average, almost double his age. In his feature, his central message was for entrepreneurs to look for “windows of opportunity” – inciting that the gaps or shifts in industries are where big and sustainable business ideas can come from.

With Mang Inasal, Injap addressed the gap in the fast food industry that no one saw: grilled chicken which is a Filipino comfort food staple. Today, his latest venture into land banking & properties addresses the shift in provinces from traditional to modern retail through City Mall. Looking forward, Injap is seizing even more windows of opportunity, already setting his sights and investing in what he sees as an eventual spike in our country’s tourism industry.

Injap’s rapid rise to success has led him to be hailed as a rockstar entrepreneur. With his distinct vision and brand of confidence, we can only see Injap’s foothold amongst the richest and most powerful in the country to become solidified. Here are 5 key lessons you can take away from the the Philippines’ Youngest Billionaire to bring your business to the next level this 2017:

Double Dragon Properties Inc. Chairman and CEO Edgar “Injap” Sia happily received his Bossing award for his fast expansion into the world of real estate.

Double Dragon Properties Inc. Chairman and CEO Edgar “Injap” Sia happily received his Bossing award for his fast expansion into the world of real estate.

1) Take calculated risks
What has largely contributed to Injap’s success is his ability to take calculated risks when it comes to business. Most people know that Injap dropped out of college to pursue business. However, this decision wasn’t on an impulse – it was a calculated risk which led to him pursuing a business venture full-time. That venture is what we know today as the unstoppable fast food chain Mang Inasal.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Assess what risks you can take to jumpstart your business this year. For aspiring entrepreneurs, start putting that business idea into motion. For established entrepreneurs, think of what you can do differently this year to distinguish yourself from competition (e.g. expanding, investing, marketing, etc.).

2) Confidence in your vision
Injap’s ability to communicate his vision to others largely contributes to the success of his ventures. In the beginning, he was considered as relatively young to be a successful business owner. However, he was able to change this perception due to his brimming and unfaltering confidence in his vision and what he has to offer. Today, he is able to rub elbows with business leaders and even establish partnerships with them, having earned their trust and confidence.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Establish a vision for your business. Ask yourselves (include your team if you have one) where do you want your business to be in five years? From there, map out steps for your business to reach that vision. When you can imagine how you can reach your vision through planning, you plant the seeds for confidence in it.

3) Stay humble and persistent
Although he is already amongst the country’s richest, Injap continues to be as hardworking as ever. He believes that money and success can only make you happy until a certain point and that in business, there is always room for improvement.

Banking on the second lesson, confidence is one thing, but remaining humble and persistent is also integral for your vision. At the onset of Mang Inasal, Injap encountered difficulties securing deals with suppliers due to his young age and lack of experience. However, this didn’t faze him and he pursued suppliers from local markets and cooperatives. This proved to be a winning move because it not only secured the operations of an expanding Mang Inasal but also helped generate business for smaller and local enterprises.

If Injap let initial rejections bruise his ego, Mang Inasal and Double Dragon probably wouldn’t be what they are today.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: When encountering different people in your business, have an open mind and heart. Business will always bring difficulties, so having the right mindset can make all the difference. Try being solution-oriented; think of problems as a challenge to become better and they will cease to be as scary.

4) Think big, think long-term, think original
Injap is a firm believer of only pursuing businesses which can be scaled up nationwide. He says that pursuing trendy concepts is never sustainable. When you’re thinking big and long-term, you should think original or innovative as well.

Injap has entered two industries which have been dominated by key groups for decades now. The reason why Injap has been able to penetrate and even dominate these markets is he was always thinking big (can this be scaled up?), long-term (is this business sustainable?), and original (is this market already saturated? can I still compete with established leaders in the industry?)

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Assess! Assess! Assess! Are you thinking big enough? Are you thinking long-term? Are you exploring novel concepts? Are you innovating?

5) Surround yourself with the best
Lastly, Injap’s success can largely be attributed to the people he chooses to surround himself with. When he was starting Mang Inasal, Injap had the wisdom to seek the advice and help of people who were more knowledgeable to the nuances of business. In the case of Double Dragon, he partnered with Jollibee Group’s Tony Tan Caktiong because he knew that his venture into properties has more chance of succeeding with Caktiong’s clout and experience in the business world. He has also gained the trust of business tycoon Carlos Chan of Liwayway Marketing Corp., becoming partners in establishing Jinjiang Inn in the country.

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Actively look for people who are more experienced and are better than you. Mentorship is an invaluable resource in the world of business. If you’re looking for a program which can connect you to mentors, sign-up for the Mentor Me program in a Negosyo Center in your area. (Check this link for the complete list of Negosyo Centers nationwide: (

ASEAN at ang Pilipinong Negosyante

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

The Go Negosyo sa Radyo episode last January 20 on DZRH 666 kHz featured guests Gil Gonzales (Executive Director, ASEAN Business Advisory Council) was anchored by Sherril Quintana (Owner, Oryspa Spa Solutions Inc.) and DJ Faith. The episode focused on how Filipino negosyantes can position themselves against the backdrop of ASEAN integration.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo guest Gil Gonzales (Executive Director, ASEAN Business Advisory Council) was anchored by Sherill Quintana (Owner, Oryspa Spa Solutions Inc.) and DJ Faith.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo guest Gil Gonzales (Executive Director, ASEAN Business Advisory Council) was anchored by Sherill Quintana (Owner, Oryspa Spa Solutions Inc.) and DJ Faith.

What is ASEAN and ASEAN-BAC?
ASEAN logo
The ASEAN stands for the Association of South East Asian Nations and is comprised of 10 member states namely Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. The objective of the ASEAN is to foster cooperation, growth and peace for our regional bloc.

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC), on the other hand, represents the private sector of ASEAN. The council consists of influential businessmen from each member state who convene annually to discuss policy reforms to stimulate economic growth.

Both bodies are moving towards integration, which means businesses all over the ASEAN will attempt to go regional. Foreign players are continuously entering our market; a looming threat to the security of small local entrepreneurs is palpable.

ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales however, ensures negosyantes that there is no need to worry—with the theme of this year’s ASEAN BAC being “Partners for Change, Prosperity for All” a move towards inclusive policies is seen on the agenda of the council. So, what does this mean for Filipino negosyantes?

  1. MSMEs will be prioritized
    The move towards integration does not mean that only the big and powerful players of each member state will benefit. ASEAN integration is actually being intentional on making growth in our region as inclusive as possible. For example, MSMEs are currently at the forefront of development policies in each member state.
  1. Mentoring will be upscaled
    Gonzales mentions the model of Go Negosyo’s Mentor Me Program as one that can be upscaled in line with ASEAN. In the past year, the roll-out of the Mentor Me Program has been successful—the transfer of knowledge and skills have helped countless Filipino negosyantes. Now that we’re moving towards regional integration, Gonzales says that mentoring hopes to take on a regional aspect. Think of the mentorship network consisting of not only Filipino angelpreneurs, but also Thai, Malay, Indonesian, etc.
  1. Competition also means opportunities
    Although competition may seem like added stress for local negosyantes, it also brings in more opportunities. In fact, Sherill Quintana shared that “The ASEAN chairmanship is an opportunity for Philippines to showcase and inspire. It’s about time we shine. Because of ASEAN Integration, our economy will open up. Even if it means plenty of businesses will come in, it also means we can branch out.”

Sherill Quintana is the winner of the “Most Promising Franchise” at the 2015 Franchise Excellence in Healthcare at the ASEAN Business Summit at Vientiane, Laos last September 5, 2016. In her experience, expanding her enterprise to other ASEAN nations has improved her business radically.

She encourages us to think bigger—Filipino-made products are worth investing in and we should show that to the world. Quintana is a prime example of how the move towards integration can be beneficial for our negosyantes. However, like her, negosyantes should first take advantage of the growing network.

We’ve been wishing for change, and change is definitely coming in the form of ASEAN integration. The challenge to local negosyantes then is to position yourselves well along with the changes. Think: how can I take advantage of the new regional market? Should I export? Should I import? Should I join ASEAN competitions?

The opportunities are truly boundless—time to shine Kapatids!

Usapang Pera: Tips on Savings and Personal Finance

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

articleFor the Go Negosyo radio episode aired on January 13, 2017, hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska Diego-Babadilla were joined by Angelpreneur Armand Bengco (Founder of KsK co-op and Co-owner of Backalley Barbershop) to discuss personal finance management.

The informative hour covered credit cards, allocation of funds, bookkeeping, and diversifying one’s income.

So, here are the top 5 tips from Mr. Bengco to make that money go-round for a prosperous 2017!

1. Have a bank account aside from your payroll account
Bengco emphasizes that importance of being present and active in the financial world. Having an account outside your payroll account allows you to build a relationship with your bank. Also, you can assign one account to be reserved for savings and the other for expenses.

2) After a savings account, get a checking account
Bengco recommends getting a checking account because a check is not only in your name, but the bank’s. The bank itself lets you borrow money in their name – this gives you credibility and an even better foothold in the financial world.

3) Savings, savings, savings
Set a percentage of your income that you need to save and stick to it. It doesn’t have to be a big percentage – you can even start with 10%. Savings should be the last thing you touch, so make sure when you’re planning on how much of your income will go to your savings, you’ve already properly allocated your funds to cover all your expenditures.

4) Start investing your money on other things
Bengco shares his personal venture into male vanity in the form of Backalley Barbershop – a way for him to diversify his income. Savings are important but investing allows you to grow and protect your money. Imagine if you only had one source of financial security, like your savings or business. Having a diverse source of income won’t leave you bankrupt at the end of crisis.

5) Insurance is necessary
Insurance today already covers life/living benefits. Before, insurance only had death benefits. But insurance has developed and improved today and among the benefits are paying off debts, unforeseen expenses, and securing your dependents’ futures.

Overall, Mr. Bengo’s main message is to have a presence in the financial world. The 5 tips above are some of the best ways to do so. Heed Bengco’s advice and you’ll have an easier time applying for loans, checking accounts, credit cards, etc. in the future!

armand_bengcoArmand Bengco is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Colayco Foundation for Education, Inc., as well as the Co-Founder and General Manager of Kapatiran sa Kasaganaan Service and Multi-Purpose (KSK-SMP) Cooperative. He hails from a family of established financial and investment practitioners. He has a wide experience in personal finance, government, manufacturing, self-employment, and information technology. Mr. Bengco is the host of Global News Network’s Pisobilities at the Business Portal and DZRH-TV’s Pera Pera Lang Yan and Seminar School Plus. A regular also in GMA News TV’s Pisobilities TV Program and radio host in DZXL-RMN’s Pisobilities. He regularly conducts financial seminars and workshops in line with the foundation’s advocacy.

“Mga Patok na Negosyo para sa 2017”

Monday, January 9th, 2017


The first episode of the year for Go Negosyo Radio aired last January 6 on DZRH 666 kHz and covered the different types of business that would be ideal to enter into this 2017. The program’s regular hosts, Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska Diego-Babadilla, were joined by guests Asec. Bles Lantayona from DTI and motivational speaker Paulo “The Entrep Champ” Tibig. The show summed up the different patok na patok negosyos this 2017:

1) Basic Instinct
This category covers the businesses that cater to the most basic of filipino needs – food. From rice retailing, butcher shops, groceries and convenience stores, this category is primed for 2017 because Filipinos everywhere always seek to put food on their tables.

2) TLC (Tubig or Water Refilling, Laundry, Cleaning)
The rapidly increasing number of condominiums we see all over the metro confirms that the businesses seen under this category are also of increasing demand.

3) Vroom, Vroom, Groom
Because Filipino people will always pay to satisfy their vanity. From barbershops, beauty salons and beauty products, there is no doubt that making beauty your business will reap rewards this 2017.

4) Lifestyle/disease products and services
Health is definitely wealth under this category as more and more Filipinos adapt a health conscious lifestyle. Businesses such as health supplements, wellness/fitness programs, pre-packed nutritional meals are seen as having huge income potential this year.

5) Memories are forever
Creating golden memories that are immortalised is proving to be a business worthy venture this 2017. From photo/video services to events management, our memories-obsessed population is creating a vast need for more and more businesses to provide them with instagram-worthy content.

6) Agricoolture
In what Tibig calls the “infinity business,” agriculture-related businesses remain a relevant venture this 2017 as the market for this is never-ending and the diversity of products to sell are endless.

There you have it! The six categories covered for businesses to venture into this 2017. For the other categories that Entrep Champ Paulo Tibig has outlined for this year, visit the website