Archive for the ‘Go Negosyo sa Radyo’ Category

‘Dads’ to Riches: Mga Tatay ng Negosyo

Tuesday, June 20th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 12 Tatay
On June 14, 2017, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Manny Valencia, Joel Yala and Rey Lapid – 3 inspiring men who’ve kept a balance between being negosyantes and fathers as well.

Before being a full-time entrepreneur, Joel Yala was once a construction worker, a tricycle driver and an ordinary employee. His wife, Marissa, was also an employee before they decided to quit their jobs and start their own business. The idea of Chocovron started when Joel was grocery shopping with his wife and was fascinated by all things coated in chocolate. He then thought of producing a similar product and called it Chocovron in 2003. Joel shares that starting Chocovron was definitely not easy. He had to make the products “mano-mano” with his wife while his taste testers were his neighbours and co-workers. Joel would place his Chocovrons at the locker for people to taste in the factory where he was working at and perform an inventory every break time. “Sobrang sacrifice talaga pero mahal ko ginagawa ko” Joel said. In late 2004, Joel decided to get a DTI permit to make his business official. DTI called for a meeting since they were intrigued with the product, they were soon asked “willing ba kayo lumaki yung business”? Today, Chocovron is importing their products to the United States and Canada and has market exhibits in Thailand, China and Hongkong. From the small enterprise, Chocovron now employs 50 employees, all hailing from Surigao – the same province of Joel and Marissa since it has been their mission to help improve the lives of fellow Surigaonon. Everyday, they are producing a total of 5000 packs of Polvoron of different variants; from the class chocovron to the flavoured polvoron (cookies and cream, milk), nutrivon (sugar free, ampalaya, malunggay). What makes men different from women in his experience in business? “Stricto ako, weakness ng mga babae mga sale lagi may distraction, pag lalake, naka lista dire diretso kung ano sadya” Joel says.

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Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Manny Valencia, Joel Yala and Rey Lapid – 3 inspiring men who’ve kept a balance between being negosyantes and fathers as well.

At an early age of 12, Rey Lapid was already about getting down to business.  Rey’s father used to work at a public market and he would always come along especially during summer, “Gusto kong binibigyang halaga ang oras” he said. Rey noticed that whenever people would buy meat, “Very observant ako, pinapatanggal yung balat. Sayang yung balat kaya inipon and tinabi ko yung tirang balat” Rey said. From there his dad started making chicharron to be sold at the public market. In 1974 Rey started his own business, R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbeque, at a small stall in Quiapo. Rey and his wife sold chicken barbeque, longganisa, tocino and his best selling chicharron. Today, Lapid owns more than a 100 branches of R. Lapid’s Chicharon and Barbeque around the country. He even owns 2 resort hotels in Laguna and managed to put up a six-story mansion for his family. Rey plans to re-name his famous chicharron to “Manila Fries”.

In a business, it is inevitable for entrepreneurs to encounter obstacles. Manny shared that his biggest challenge was when he had little to no capital but this didn’t stop him because of his strong faith in the Lord, “naniniwala naman tayo na may plano si God. Nagpray talaga ako. Based on Romans 31. Sumipa bigla yung business, nabayarn ko yung 3 milion na utang. Yung resto na pinapagawa ko natapos. Tiwala lang talaga and sundin and instruction ni Lord”. Joel recalled, “nung ilang months na chocovron, na hold up ako. Parang sabotage kasi alam niya pwesto ko. Natrauma ako, 1 week di ako makatulog. Tinutukan kasi ako ng baril. Inicip ko Lord pano mga anak ko. Mula nun, di ako nagpakita 1 week sa trabaho. Sinabi ko sa misis ko na itigil to kasi baka dito pako mamatay. Pero parang may bumulong sakin na ituloy padin. Icipin mo we started sa 35 sqm ngayon may factory na”.  As for Rey, he went to America because he was invited by a friend to venture into a restaurant business. “I became so aggressive. May gusto mag partner sakin from USA. I became too excited, pumayag ako kaagd. Malaking good obstacle is opening up restaurant in san Francisco. Pagdating ko dun, nag invest ako. Ako tuloy nag operate lahat mag isa. Operated for 3 years ako lang mag isa. With that good experience, marami akong nalaman na tama at mali. Bumalik ako ng Pilipinas pero wala akong nabalik sa Pilipinas. Bago ko sinarado yung resto, nag trabaho ako dun bago umuwi para magka pera. Nung naka ipon nako, umuwi ako. I had to start from zero again. My wife was continuing my business for me here”.

How to balance being a father and a negosyante? All 3 answered that it was important to keep a good relationship with your wife and children. “Dapat may time sa asawa at pamilya. Ingatan ang relasyon sa pamilya, hindi yung puro negosyo tapos mapapabayaan yung pamilya” Manny said. As for their children, they make sure to train their children well before letting them in the business. “Tumutulong mga anak ko sa business, pero binabayaran ko sila parang empleyado” Joel said. “Mga anak ko very independent. Sabi ko subukan mo muna yung business natin dito, pag ayaw mo dun ka mag abroad” Rey told his children. “May bilin na sila ang mamana ng business, pero pinapa pasok ko muna sila sa ibang companya para makita and makasunod sa mga policy ng isang company” Manny shared.

As the segment came to an end, the 3 fathers left a few pieces of advice in how to be a father and negosyante at the same time. “May tatay din tayo sa langit na nakakakita satin at tutulungan tayo”, “Umasa sa taas pero wag kakalimutan nasa Diyos ang awa, nasa tao ang gawa” and “Always keep a balance between negosyo and family”.

Partner sa Negosyo, Partner sa Buhay

Friday, June 9th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 11 Partners
On June 7, 2017, Go Negosyo sa Radyo (GNSR) hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Voltaire and Cholly Magpayo and Yok and Angie Calungcaguin – two couples that not only make a great couple but great business partners as well.

Yok and Angie Calungcaguin have been married for 7 years. Their story started when they met while working at a restaurant. Since they’ve been exposed to working in a business environment, both wanted to start their own business as well. Yok and Angie first opened up a catering business in 2009.  With their success in the catering business, they thought it was time to give back.  Yok and Angie wanted to become social entrepreneurs for them to share their blessings with others.

In 2014, they opened Make Peace Cookies. Yok and Angie would give the funds they made from Make Peace cookies to orphanages.  More than falling in love with each other, Yok and Angie fell in love with crafting and baking. This drove Yok and Angie to expand their Make Peace Cookies into a bakery. Angie has always liked baking and she wanted to hone her skills by attending seminars. In 2015, Yok and Angie attended The Social Business Summit at Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm. They decided to embark on their journey and set-up their enterprise, The Make Peace Bakery in 2016. Yok and Angie’s main advocacy is to help former out of school youths. “We want to share our skills and what we learned para maging negosyante din sila sa tamang panahon, gusto naming gumawa ng impact sa buhay ng mga tao” they said. Yok and Angie’s priority is to help those in need before earning for themselves. At present, they have already trained 12 youth members.

Sen. Bam Auino, Angie and Yok Calungcaguin and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

Sen. Bam Auino, Angie and Yok Calungcaguin and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

The second couple interviewed are the owners of Sweet Corner, Voltaire and Cholly Magpayo. Voltaire was in the agricultural business when he met Cholly who just graduated. As they were starting a family, they realized they needed a fast business. They first started with 3 branches of a franchise but decided to start their own business after 6 years when they’ve already learned the ropes of business. Voltaire and Cholly first thought of the most basic and staple food next to rice — corn. Soon enough, they were able to establish connections. They wanted to get direct suppliers for their business because not only is it cheaper but also it would help the Philippine farmers in need of an alternative market. Why snacks and not a restaurant? “Its easier to manage, we want to start small but think big. Damihan ang stalls.” Voltaire answered. With the success of the corn business, they also opened a Takoyaki stall. Sweet Corn now has over 100 branches in the Philippines and 2 in Melbourne.

Voltaire and Cholly Magpayo.

Voltaire and Cholly Magpayo.

“What are the challenges being in business with your spouse?” DJ Cheska asked. “Nagtatalo is normal but we meet halfway with both of our ideas” Yok said. “The biggest challenge is how to sync our minds and hearts into something since we came from 2 different regions.” Both couples said that they have different set of skills and responsibilities but its important to fill the needs of each other. “Each of us have our own roles, we help each other fill each other’s needs. We teach each other.” Voltaire said.

Their advice to couples who want to start a business together? “Trust is important and a good foundation especially in business. Kailangan may tiwala sa isat isa, and wag kakalimutan ang pag ibig na meron sa isat isa na bumuo sa business din. Also, never fight about money and always make sure to keep a balance between business, love, and family.” Yok and Angie said.  “The couple should have a fixed and shared income. There should be transparency. You cannot do it alone, fill each others’ weaknesses and strengths. Kailangan magbigayan. Give and take. Tiwala sa isa’t isa. Find enjoyment in what we’re doing. Napapaaral ko mga anak ko, nakakatulong sa ibang tao, ang sarap sa pakiramdam.” Voltaire shared.

The future seems big and bright for Make Peace Bakery and Sweet Corn with their plans to expand further. Make Peace Bakery’s goal is to go to provinces to look for a market to open more Make Peace Bakeries. Sweet Corn on the other hand plans to put up a bakery in a mall ‘pang masa’. Truly these 2 couples are not only successful entrepreneurs but also have a heart to help those in need.

Agri Enablers: Empowering Farmers

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Radio Synthesis 10 Agri Enablers
On May 31, 2017, Go Negosyo sa Radyo (GNSR) hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by two agri enablers namely, MFI Farm Polytechnic Institute Campus Manager Rita Macabuhay and SL Agritech President Henry Lim Bon Liong. For this episode, the four gave a glimpse into the current state of Philippine agricultural development through the lens of education and innovation.

To kick off, Sen. Bam and DJ Cheska discussed the growing need for our agricultural industry to advance. Sen. Bam shared that in other countries, farmers are rich and not struggling like the ones in our country. This is sad mainly because agriculture is the backbone of the economy. Without farmers, how will people eat?

Rita Macabuhay of MFI Farm Polytechnic Institute believes that education and involvement of the youth is imperative to improving the agri industry. In MFI Farm Polytechnic Institute, they have students who have travelled across Negros to take up their courses in agriculture. The Farm Business Institute teaches these students to be full-fledged farmers and capable entrepreneurs. This, Rita shares, is because the youth today are more interested in agribusiness, seeing that profit is an essential part in sustaining any agricultural endeavor.

DJ Cheska asked Rita whether a lot of the youth are turned off by agriculture because of the poor plight of today’s farmers. Rita says that in their program, they hope to combat this stigma by showing the students big and small successful farms. In fact, the school’s approach to teaching agriculture is a combination of mindset and values formation for an agripreneur and the technical skills training for farmers. The school believes that attitude is just as important as the technical information. Senator Bam agreed and said “kahit anong skill ay maaring matutunan with the right attitude.”

While Rita and the Farm Business Institute is focused on education and engaging the youth, SL Agritech President’s advocacy is on research, development, and innovation to further growth in the agri sector. Henry Lim Bon Liong is credited for his research into hybrid rice, which could revolutionize the rice industry in the country. From his own painstaking work from years of research and development, Henry has tested about 75 varieties before landing on SL-8H—a hybrid variety that is high-yielding and sustainable. Aside from producing SL-8H to compete with regular rice, Henry was also able to produce premium rice varieties. Today, these premium rice are sold in supermarkets locally and internationally under the brand Doña Maria (Henry’s mother’s name).

Henry believes that if rice farmers will begin to adapt hybrid rice and are taught how to maximize their crops, both farmers and society will benefit. For farmers, they will be able to harvest more rice for much less and thus, earning more. For society, it can decrease our dependency on importation of rice and possibly make us self-sufficient in the future.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by two agri enablers namely, MFI Farm Polytechnic Institute Campus Manager Rita Macabuhay and SL Agritech President Henry Lim Bon Liong.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by two agri enablers namely, MFI Farm Polytechnic Institute Campus Manager Rita Macabuhay and SL Agritech President Henry Lim Bon Liong.

Challenges

Rita and Henry share that there are still mounting challenges when it comes to empowering the agricultural sector. Henry shares that a lot of farmers are still scared or are misinformed. Because of this, they are hesitant to try new technologies such as hybrid rice. However, Henry says that when they are shown the real benefits of adopting new practices/technologies, it becomes very easy to coach and train farmers. Henry is also positive about the future of agri. He shares that this administration has been very aggressive in promoting and empowering farmers through trainings, knowledge sharing, and many other programs.

Rita is also positive that more of the youth will become interested in agriculture with the diversity of programs and applications of the subject. Many of the school’s graduates immediately get absorbed into businesses they interned for. However, she shared that there are also examples of students who delved into entrepreneurship. An example is a recent graduate of theirs who has set up an urban farm in Metro Manila. His business involves setting up other urban farms in the metro and he has been able to grow 30 strawberries in 1 sqm plot of land, in any weather.

Truly, there is a lot of work that needs to be done in Philippine agriculture development—it is a great thing that we have enablers like SL Agritech’s Henry Lim Bon Liong and the Rita Macabuhay from Farm Business Institute leading the way.

Byaheng Negosyo

Monday, May 29th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Having Little to No Capital is Not an Excuse

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Going Global: ASEAN and the Future of MSMEs

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Radio Synthesis 07 Dr
Last March 29, 2017, Go Negosyo Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC) Executive Director Gil Gonzales and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Malaysia member and former Chair, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid for the weekly episode of Go Negosyo sa Radyo on DZRH.

The prominent guests who are experts in the topic of business and the ASEAN, took upon the task of explaining the ASEAN, the ASEAN Economic Community, and integration to our listeners. Oftentimes, the nuanced and complex structure of the ASEAN can leave many Filipinos confused and consequently, misinformed of what the ASEAN and the forthcoming economic interdependence implies.

Many Filipino negosyantes wonder — how can foreign entrants into the Filipino market be beneficial for a small business like mine? Isn’t it anti-Filipino to make it harder for us micro and small enterprises to compete globally?

In the discussion between our hosts and guests, Executive Director Gonzales and Dr. Munir Majid shared insights to help Filipinos understand the real benefits and challenges presented by the changes brought about by ASEAN. Addressing the fears of the Filipinos, Dr. Munir Majid said “Why are you afraid? It’s not just ASEAN countries, but the whole integrated movement is worldwide. It’s happening everywhere — so we really must compete. Don’t be afraid—if you’re afraid you will lose. Take advantage of the financial advances and technologies that will be made more available.”

Gonzales also weighed in on the matter, saying “The fear is there because there is a lack of awareness of knowledge. But we have the support of the government and the private sector. The conversation about ASEAN needs to be alive and widespread, but we also have to progress; we have to move the conversation to how we can take advantage of the changing and opening market.”

“We have to be tough, we have to wish to be competitive! But there’s also lots of support especially from DTI and other government agencies,” Gonzalez added.

When asked how businesses can start to prepare for the changes, Gonzales said “First things first, you have to ask: who are my competitors? Go to PCCI and look for the association that corresponds to your business. Then look at who else in ASEAN does the same thing as you. The thinking should be partnerships rather than fighting for the market. We have to partner to raise our quality, standards, and production so we can reach global standards and penetrate the global market.”

Dr. Majid added “The various standards that different countries have could become a problem. To address this, one initiative is that we should have common standards. Agri-food business is something we’re concentrating on. For example, we’re removing certain tariff barriers. You really have to look at other countries and look at your competition. Assess how you can be efficient in your area because only then can you expand.”

In terms of the different institutions the MSMEs can approach for help, Dr. Majid said “Go Negosyo’s mentorship program is something great that [The Philippines] has because you get to sell and provide for an existing supply-chain. Another, is GAX a loan platform form Malaysia. Trade associations and your local chambers of commerce are also good starting points to look for assistance and to map out businesses similar to yours. Everybody is involved in the ASEAN Economic Agenda.”

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid

Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid

In photo (L-R): ASEAN BAC Malaysia Member Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid, DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla, ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales and Sen. Bam Aquino.

In photo (L-R): ASEAN BAC Malaysia Member Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Munir Majid, DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla, ASEAN BAC Executive Director Gil Gonzales and Sen. Bam Aquino.

So, what’s next for the ASEAN?
Dr. Majid posits that the “downside when your market is big, is that you sometimes want to get out. Philippines is quite behind in terms of tourism compared to other ASEAN countries and that’s something we can focus on.” Also, important events focused on business are the ASEAN Business and Investments Summit and the upcoming MSME Summit entitled Prosperity for All (read: ASEAN Summit on MSME Development in Manila).

Other future initiatives that were discussed was the ASEAN Mentors for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), which takes inspiration from the Kapatid Mentor Me Program and its capacity to link up the supply chains of the big and small.

Dr. Majid and Gonzales shared that the ASEAN, at its current rate of growth, could be the 4th biggest economy in the world by 2030.

The final question addressed by the ASEAN-BAC Executive Director was the supposed isolation of the Philippines. Gonzales agreed that the PH is a little isolated “It’s a little like Britain in the EU. But the distance is now being reduced and the markets are being brought closer together. So the distance will become less and less significant. That’s why there is a growing need for architects and engineers in order to boost the infrastructure development of the region.”

Dr. Majid, who was the previous ASEAN-BAC Chair, was asked what advise he had for current ASEAN-BAC Chair Joey Concepcion. “Joey is an old hand, he’s a great guy and he’s pursuing the MSME and shared prosperity targets. He has the support of Gil who’s a great management man. We have a lot of support from this council. If I can say one thing: Go Get! Make it Happen!

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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 or  info@asean-bac.org, or visit www.gonegosyo.net. 

How Women Work, How Women Succeed

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Radio Synthesis 06 Women A
To kick of National Women’s Month, Go Negosyo sa Radyo aired a femme-powered episode on March 1 with two phenomenal women entrepreneurs as guests. Hosts Sen. Bam Aquino & DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes and Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center. Both have been previously awarded by Go Negosyo (Imperial in 2015 and Llenado in 2016) for being women entrepreneurs worth emulating.

On March 30, Go Negosyo will award another batch of women in the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur Awards 2017 which will be held in the prestigious Malacañan Palace. Much like Imperial and Llenado, the women who will be given recognition are those who have sparked significant progress and inspired change in the entrepreneurial community.

Sen. Bam and DJ Cheska began the episode by setting the tone for the listeners. At the end of the hour, they hoped to have uplifted the listeners and opened their eyes to the nuances of women entrepreneurs’ experiences.

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awardees Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes (left) and Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center (right).

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur Awardees Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes (left) and Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center (right).

Imperial Homes Group of Companies

Emma Imperial was the first to share her story. She is a well-decorated and respected CEO in the realty industry wherein her male counterparts mostly dominate. Imperial shared that at the onset of her career, she had to prove herself as someone worth paying attention to. “Big developers are usually male and the engineers that work for me are mostly male as well.” Despite these odds, Imperial has managed to lead her company to becoming well-recognized globally. With recognitions under her name like Biz News Asia 2016 Entrepreneurship Awardee and Filipina Women Network’s 100 Most Influential Filipinas 2015, it is an understatement to say that Imperial is at the top of her game.

Likewise, her company is equally laudable and has even received international attention. Imperial Homes Group of Companies was awarded by the CEO Asia Awards 2015 as the ADEC Innovation Green Company of the Year, certified by IFC-World Bank Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) for Green Building, and recognized by the Financial Times in 2016 as a nominee for the Transformational Business Awards. “You don’t have to be big to be counted in the global community. It’s about innovation and how you believe you’ll help your country; it’s not about the size but the idea,” Imperial shared.

Her big idea manifested when her company decided to construct solar-powered small houses. It was for them, a way to address the backlog of housing in the country as they were low-cost and efficient. In a country where solar power is somehow relegated to more expensive projects, Imperial homes saw the potential for them to be ideal for the provinces where brownouts were frequent. The switch to solar meant that these areas would never have to suffer from power cuts and solar at scale would actually be energy and cost efficient. It was a revolutionary idea: solar power for low-income families. After her company started this project, many took notice. “Ginawa tayong poster child ng World Bank,” Imperial proudly says.

With her story, Imperial wishes to impart to other women entrepreneurs that working in a male-dominated business doesn’t have to be a struggle. Although you have to prove yourself worthy at first, she shares that strict implementation and being consistent with your policies ultimately makes others listen. She’s proud that her organization is now seeing a lot of interest from the youth because the youth she says, are intrigued by innovation (like Imperial Homes solar-powered low-cost houses)

Not to take away from the men in her industry, but Imperial shares that she believes women have more heart than men. “ I had more chances to make my business high-end, but I chose to cater to the low-end group. I can also honestly stop doing business now and I’d be okay but I can’t stop because of my employees.”

She also shares that it’s important for women in business to have camaraderie. She shares that when she was starting in her industry, it was hard to be part of bigger projects because the men would already have a so-called “boys club” and she would be left out. Today, she happily shares that women entrepreneurs have already set-up similar groups to support each other and they often meet about projects related to nation-building.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo airs every Wednesday, 2:00 Pm on DZRH 666 kHz and Radyo Natin with guests Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

Go Negosyo sa Radyo airs every Wednesday, 2:00 Pm on DZRH 666 kHz and Radyo Natin with guests Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla.

AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center

Rosanna Llenado was the second guest who shared her story and insights on what it means to be a successful woman entrepreneur. She was named as one of the 100 Most Amazing Filipinas by Summit Media in 2012 and received numerous awards from the Philippine Marketing Association, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Entrepreneur Magazine. Her business, AHEAD is one of the most venerated tutorial and learning centers in the country. As one of the first tutorial centers to offer college entrance exams review programs,  Llenado eventually expanded their services to offer a wide range of programs to complement students’ learning.

Recently, they’ve put a center that focuses on teaching Singapore Math— a method that she believes is more functional and practical which eventually makes student’s more proficient at the often dreaded subject. They’re also offering courses on speed reading and mind-mapping which are valuable skills for any student tackling difficult and lengthy reading materials. From a small business started at her home, AHEAD has now risen as the go-to tutorial center in the metro because of its quality and comprehensive programs that position students for excellence.

When Llenado was asked about her opinion on Filipina entrepreneurs, she says that a lot of Filipinas are still scared to enter into business. But what most Filipinas don’t know, she said, is that we’re relatively lucky compared to women from other countries. She discovered this fact when she conducted a research on women entrepreneurs across the world. She found out that the Philippines was ranked #5 on the list of women-friendly countries for business. She further shares that there are some countries wherein women aren’t allowed to have properties or businesses registered to their name and would have to put them under their father’s or husband’s.

She recognizes that there are a lot more women entrepreneurs now compared to when she first started AHEAD. But she says that despite this increase, women will still encounter struggle or discrimination, especially when they’re just starting out. “I also had an experience when I struggled with doing business as a woman; I was invited to do business with these group of guys.

I noticed one of the men was trying to pulling one over us, and I called him out. They eventually met without me and kicked me out. True enough, that man I called out did deceive all of them.”

Despite the welcome positive change of more women entering business, Llenado wishes however, that more women in our country would hold positions in different boards. She noticed that most board of directors and trustees are still predominantly male. “Women can lead. We’ve had two women presidents! And in the senate and company presidents, ang dami rin babae.” So, why should the boards be different, right?

Llenado and Imperial’s stories are just two amongst a plethora of inspiring success stories of FIlipina entrepreneurs. They are a testament to the woman’s ability to lead and succeed. So, if you’re a woman, currently aspiring to turn that business dream into reality, but afraid to start, here are choice words from our two guests yesterday:

“Do things for the greater good of the country. Imperial Homes never really intended to become a social enterprise, but because we had the heart to think of the communities that other competitors weren’t thinking of, we were able to distinguish ourselves from them. We profited of course— but that naturally follows when you do good work” – Emma Imperial

“If you don’t know where to start, ask yourself— whats the right business for me? ano ang kailangan ng kababayan ko? If you can answer these two and somehow the answer is one thing then that’s a good place to start.” – Rosanna Llenado

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.