Archive for the ‘Articles’ Category

ASEAN BAC & ASEAN Japan Business Council Established ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017
ASEAN Business Advisory Chairman Joey Concepcion and Vice Chairman of ASEAN Japan Business Council and Chairman of Sumitomo Corporation Kazuo Ohmori presented the signed Memorandum of Cooperation for the ASEAN Japan Innovation Network (AJIN). AJIN is a private sector led initiative for promoting innovation across sectors and industries including digital business platforms for MSMES and emerging industries. Witnessing the presentation are the ASEAN Economic Ministers led by the 2017 Chair, Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez.

ASEAN Business Advisory Chairman Joey Concepcion and Vice Chairman of ASEAN Japan Business Council and Chairman of Sumitomo Corporation Kazuo Ohmori presented the signed Memorandum of Cooperation for the ASEAN Japan Innovation Network (AJIN). AJIN is a private sector led initiative for promoting innovation across sectors and industries including digital business platforms for MSMES and emerging industries. Witnessing the presentation are the ASEAN Economic Ministers led by the 2017 Chair, Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Ramon Lopez.

The ASEAN Business Advisory Council, led by its Chairman, Joey Concepcion III, and the ASEAN Business Club, represented by its Chair, Tan Sri Dr. Munir, joined forces with leading Japanese private business organizations in establishing the ASEAN-Japan Innovation Network (AJIN) in Tokyo last April 7, 2017. AJIN aims to promote innovation across key sectors in ASEAN especially in support of emerging new digital driven industries through collaboration and cooperation between ASEAN-Japan businesses.

This collaboration was highlighted by the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation.  Mr. Concepcion representing ASEAN business and Mr. Kazuo Ohmori, Vice Chair of Asean Japan Business Council led the signing of the MoC.  Nine collaborating Japanese institutions co-signed the MoC namely: 1) ASEAN Japan Business Council, 2) The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 3) KEIDANREN (Japan Business Federation), 4) KEIZAI DOYUKAI (Japan Association of Corporate Executives), 5) Japan Foreign Trade Council, 6) Japan Association of New Economy, 7) Japan External Trade Organization, 8) Federation of Japanese Chambers of Commerce and Industry in ASEAN, and 9) Japan-ASEAN Innovation Support Network.

The signing of memorandum of cooperation happened last April 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

The signing of memorandum of cooperation happened last April 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan.

In the photo (L-R): Mr. Jun Hasegawa, Representative Director of Japan-ASEAN Innovation Support Network; Mr. Tsukasa Kawazu, Executive Managing Director of Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc.; Dr. Kiyohiko Ito, Managing Director of KEIZAI DOYUKAI; Mr. Satoshi Mukuta, Senior Managing Director of KEIDANREN; Mr. Kazuo Ohmori, Vice Chairman of The Japan Section of the ASEAN-Japan Business Council; Mr. Joey Concepcion, Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council; Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir, Chair of ASEAN BAC Malaysia; Dr. Yuri Sato, Executive Vice President of Japan External Trade Organization; and Mr. Takashi Ueno, Vice Chairman of The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In the photo (L-R): Mr. Jun Hasegawa, Representative Director of Japan-ASEAN Innovation Support Network; Mr. Tsukasa Kawazu, Executive Managing Director of Japan Foreign Trade Council, Inc.; Dr. Kiyohiko Ito, Managing Director of KEIZAI DOYUKAI; Mr. Satoshi Mukuta, Senior Managing Director of KEIDANREN; Mr. Kazuo Ohmori, Vice Chairman of The Japan Section of the ASEAN-Japan Business Council; Mr. Joey Concepcion, Chairman of ASEAN Business Advisory Council; Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir, Chair of ASEAN BAC Malaysia; Dr. Yuri Sato, Executive Vice President of Japan External Trade Organization; and Mr. Takashi Ueno, Vice Chairman of The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The signed MoC was thereafter presented formally at the start of a full packed ASEAN-Japan Open Innovation Forum with the presence and strong support of all the ASEAN Economic Ministers led by the 2017 AEM Chair Ramon Lopez of the Philippines.

The AJIN initiative was a culmination of Japan’s private sector engagement and dialogue with new industries which started in Naypyidaw, Myanmar in 2014 (on Green Healthcare), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2015 (on Venture Start up) and Bangkok, Thailand in 2016 (Service Sector).  For 2017, the AJIN serves as an ideal platform to bring about concrete programs in support of the Philippine government’s theme of an Innovation-driven economy and ASEAN BAC’s focus on MSME Empowerment and Inclusive Business towards Prosperity for All.

Are We Up For It?: Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid from Malaysia Weighs in on ASEAN Integration and MSME Development

Monday, April 17th, 2017
dr_munir

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid of ASEAN BAC Malaysia.

On April 28, 2017, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid will join ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Chair Joey Concepcion, Philippine Senator Miguel Zubiri, ASEAN-BAC Member Tessie Sy-Coson, and Filipino Tycoon and Philanthropist Manuel V. Pangilinan as panelists for a session moderated by BBC World News anchor Rico Hizon entitled Call to Action: Initiating ASEAN Mentors for Entrepreneurs Network at the Prosperity for All Summit in the City of Dreams, Manila.

A well-recognized figure in ASEAN discourse, Dr. Majid was the previous Chair of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, Malaysia.

The ASEAN Mentors for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) is a private-public partnership platform where mentors and world class teaching modules for micro, small and medium enterprise empowerment can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN Member States (AMS).

“AMEN is an excellent initiative by Go Negosyo and the Philippines,” Dr. Majid says, “The concentrated effort and focus will help MSMEs reach out and expand their businesses. There is no free lunch of course, but the guidance afforded them can provide linkages if there is a business fit. The mentor with his suite of activities may even find MSMEs that can supply, produce, market and sell goods and services for his business empire.”

Indeed, AMEN will open up a world of opportunities for entrepreneurs all over the region. “Information is king. First, to market is not just an expression. We must be aware that what ASEAN is into is free market and competition. This is the ethic of the ASEAN Economic Community,” Dr. Majid shares. “What initiatives like the mentorship program and the ASEAN MSME master plan are trying to do is to create as level a playing field as possible. But there is no avoiding there will be winners and losers. Are we up for it?

This raises the query of how exactly can MSMEs be further capacitated asides from mentorship and skills training. “Access to finance is key,” Dr. Majid stresses. “New forms of availability beyond the banks through e-finance platforms domestic and cross-border should be encouraged if ASEAN is serious about helping MSMEs.” Dr. Majid depicts a pragmatic picture of why finance is a primary focus area for the ASEAN. “[Financial services’] availability at reasonable rates would provide a solution to many other areas in which MSMEs are weak: good management and account-keeping; better use of technology in internal systems, production and sales; improving the standard of English, which is ASEAN’s business language (although there should be assistance through translations of more important information) – many of the things the mentorship program is designed to achieve.”

Prosperity for All Summit Web Image
The Prosperity for All Summit is organized by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, headed by its current Chair and the Philippine Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. The summit is a one-day event focused on “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, and will be held in the City of Dreams, Manila, Philippines on April 28, 2017.

To register, accomplish the online form at www.tinyurl.com/AseanProsperityforAll-Public. For additional information on the Prosperity for All Summit, please contact: (+632) 6315001, email info@asean-bac.org, or visit www.gonegosyo.net.

A Celebration for Women as Catalysts for Change

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

filipina photo 1
March 30, 2017—Women from across the Philippines flocked the Malacañan palace, in a display of support for those who were recognized for their capacity to be catalyst for change and progress in the Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards 2017. The event was aligned with the first national celebration of Women’s Month under President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s administration. The President, as the guest of honor that night, gave a short message on women and their role in the much needed change we seek in our country.

“More Filipinas are becoming leaders of their respective industries, contributing significantly to their institutions and making remarkable major strides that uplift the living conditions of their families and communities.”

The President then proceeded to highlight women’s role in nation building—underscoring the overarching theme of women’s month: We Make Change Work for Women.

Other notable attendees were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, SM Investment Corporation Vice Chairman and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Member Tessie Sy-Coson and Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez who gave a a brief address about women and their instrumental role in change. “Women are an inspiring breed because they are agents of change and progress. 80% of enterprises are started by women entrepreneurs. They are resourceful, very entrepreneurial and they find ways to augment the income of their families. We have several role models of entrepreneurship that provide for us a revolution of mindset—the change they inspire is something to look up to and aspire towards,” DTI Sec. Lopez said.

In the photo (L-R): President Rodrigo Duterte; Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion; and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

In the photo (L-R): President Rodrigo Duterte; Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion; and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

Of course, in attendance and the head of the event was Founder of Go Negosyo and Presidential Adviser for Entrepeneurship, Joey Concepcion.

“Filipinos are not destined for poverty. We really have to put our work, heart and passion to become successful. The awards [the women entrepreneurs] will be receiving will inspire youth entrepreneurs because we need more of them. And they will be drawing inspiration from all of you,” Concepcion said. “One in a million [women entrepreneurs] will become one of the Legacy Awardees in the future. Hopefully, through these really inspiring, hardworking women, we all will learn never to give up,”

For many years, Joey Concepcion has been at the forefront of honoring women entrepreneurs across the nation. In fact, since its inception in 2005, Go Negosyo has already awarded over 200 outstanding women entrepreneurs for serving as inspirations in their respective fields. The Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards highlights the strength and perseverance of women entrepreneurs in the ever developing landscape of entrepreneurship in our country. The awarding ceremony celebrated the women who have greatly contributed and excelled in various ways in their respective fields. The new laudable batch of awardees were selected from an impressive pool of nominees and classified into seven categories: Youth, Inclusive Business, Women MSME Development Enabler, Micro, Small-Medium, Large, and Legacy.

Youth Awardee Arizza Nocum of KRIS Library & Good Karma Shirts gave a heartwarming message on how the women present and honored that night will continue to be sources of inspiration for herself and other as a positive indication of the bright future of women in entrepreneurship. She considers those awarded alongside her as “moms and titas” and promised before the audience that she aspire to be a source of inspiration to others as well.

Youth Entrepreneur Awardee Arizza Ann Nocum delivers a response speech in behalf of the 2017 Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs.

Youth Entrepreneur Awardee Arizza Ann Nocum delivers a response speech in behalf of the 2017 Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs.

Here are the list of awardees for this year’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs:

YOUTH
* Arizza Nocum, KRIS Library & Good Karma Shirts

INCLUSIVE BUSINESS
* Felicitas Pantoja, Coffee for Peace
* Rachel de Villa, Cropital

MICRO-SMALL
* Honie Krizia Navor, HK Stone Craft Trading
* Evelyn Daytao. Daytao Native Cake
* Pamela Henares. BuroBuro Springs Vermi Farm
* Imelda Dagus, Dennis Coffee Garden
* Cherrie Atilano, AGREA
* Maria Lydia Lomibao, J. Emmanuel Pastries
* Arlene Mabute, Mabute Lumpia Wrapper & Cheese Stick Maker
* Ester Vitto, Bahag Footwear

MEDIUM-LARGE
* Ana de Ocampo, Wildflour Café & Bakery
* Mary Ann Montemayor, Villa Margarita Hotel & Catering
* Sheree Gotuaco, Omnimoda International
* Anne Gonzalez, Terry S.A.
* Evelyn Palomo, Great Image
* Gina Lorenzana, Unilever Philippines
* Rebecca Mills, Chalre Associates
* Felicia Atienza, Chinese International School Manila

WOMEN MSME DEVELOPMENT ENABLERS
* Pacita Juan, ECHOstore
* Doris Ho, Magsaysay Maritime Corporation
* Cynthia Villar, Senate of the Philippines

LEGACY
* Corazon Ong, CDO Foodsphere, Inc.
* Socorro Ramos, National Bookstore
* Rosalind Wee, W Group of Companies
* Mercedes Gotianun, Filinvest Development Corp.

Senator Bam Aquino’s Personal Insights on MSME Development

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017
Photo courtesy of Sen. Bam Aquino's official Facebook Page.

Photo courtesy of Sen. Bam Aquino’s official Facebook Page.

Senator Bam Aquino, as the youngest Senator currently seated in the Philippine senate, is a staunch advocate of capacitating and empowering micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country. He has authored the Go Negosyo Act in the Philippines wherein the establishment of negosyo centers (one-stop shops for an entrepreneur’s varying needs) is mandated in all provinces, cities, and municipalities. Furthermore, Senator Bam Aquino has championed other initiatives to fast-track and aid the development of MSMEs such as lowering their tax rates and consolidating MSME assistance programs.

On April 28, Sen. Aquino will be joining four other panelists in a session moderated by Cathy Yang entitled Creating an Enabling Environment in Achieving Prosperity For All. This session aims to present the current environment and ecosystem for micro, small and medium entrepreneurs from the perspective of the enablers both from the private and public sectors respectively. It also aims to present the current programs of the speakers and how these affect and shape a more enabling business environment.

In a short interview, Sen. Aquino gave his brief insights on the upcoming summit and MSME development.

Q:  In your perspective, what constitutes as an “enabling environment” for the micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs?

BA: An enabling business environment is one that minimizes barriers to success and encourages more Filipinos to build a sustainable business.

In my work with sari-sari store owners as a social entrepreneur, I found that there are 3 key areas of support that every entrepreneur needs to succeed – the 3Ms. These are Money, Market and Mentorship.

For Money, entrepreneurs – from micro to small and medium – need access to financing with reasonable interest rates to meet their capital requirements.

Access to markets, the second M, is another critical element in building a sustainable business. An environment where it easy to enter markets and where market linkage is strong is an environment that enables the growth of MSMEs.

The third M, Mentorship, refers to the training and strengthening of entrepreneurial skills. More importantly, mentorship provides moral and technical support for our MSMEs. Any entrepreneur will tell you that growing a business is not easy. Having mentors and a support group of fellow entrepreneurs to guide and push you can bring you closer to success.

To create an enabling environment, we need to ensure that MSMEs have easy access to these 3Ms.

But it’s also important to note that the government has a role to play, not just in empowering MSMEs with the 3Ms but also in ensuring that government regulations and processes do not hinder the growth of startups and MSMEs.

Government should, for example, strive to minimize red tape and simplify taxation.

Q: Can you give us an example of one of your initiatives/programs that directly contributes to an enabling environment for MSMEs?

BA: My first 3 years as a senator was dedicated to the development of the MSME sector. In fact, 6 out of 17 laws that we passed are in support of MSMEs. The very first law that our office passed, with the help of Go Negosyo, was the Go Negosyo Act.This law mandates that every municipality in the Philippines will have a Negosyo Center where Pinoy entrepreneurs can receive support from qualified business counselors – from trainings in basic accounting, to product design, market linkages, and access to financing. We envisioned entrepreneur hubs where every Filipino can gain access to the 3Ms and can be assured of success in their business.

To date, there are 470 Negosyo Centers up and running that are a joint effort between local government units and the DTI. These Negosyo Centers have serviced 750,000 Filipinos and will continue to grow and improve the quality of their service.

We also have the Microfinance NGOs Act and the Credit Surety Fund Cooperative Act to enable better access to financing for micro to small enterprises. There is the Youth Entrepreneurship Act that mandates entrepreneurship and financial literacy training in our schools so young Filipinos have the basic knowledge to start a business.

Lastly, the Philippine Competition Act and the Foreign Ships Co-Loading Act are 2 landmark legislations that help MSMEs become more competitive in the local market.

Q: What aspect/s of the Prosperity for All Summit are you most looking forward to?

BA: I’m looking forward to learning about new ways to empower Pinoy MSMEs to scale-up and penetrate the ASEAN market. I’m also excited to hear about the new opportunities for MSMEs in the region.

It will be interesting to learn from our neighbors about innovations and best practices in the private sector, in legislation, and in government. On the other hand, we are happy to share the positive experience we’ve had working hand-in-hand with MSMEs here in the Philippines.

I’m hopeful that through this summit, we can form stronger partnerships, learn together, and grow together as a united ASEAN.

Prosperity for All Summit Web Image
The Prosperity for All Summit is organized by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council, headed by its current Chair and the Philippine Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. The summit is a a one-day event focused on “Driving growth through micro and small entrepreneurs in Trade, Services and Agriculture”, and will be held in the City of Dreams, Manila, Philippines on April 28, 2017.

To register, accomplish the online form at www.tinyurl.com/AseanProsperityforAll-Public. For additional information on the Prosperity for All Summit, please contact: (+632) 6315001 or  info@asean-bac.org, or visit www.gonegosyo.net.

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:

THE LEGENDS

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.

THE SOCIAL INNOVATORS

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 zcoop.zalora.com.ph

Nanette Medved-Po of Friends of Hope. Photo courtesy of zcoop.zalora.com.ph

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 centralgroundcf.com

Photo courtesy of centralgroundcf.com

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:

FlowersbyPablo
Instagram: @flowersbypablo
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/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
Facebook: https://facebook.com/istorya.creations/
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: www.bamaquino.com/gonegosyoact/negosyocenters/


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.