When talks of organizing NegoSems (or Negosyo Seminars) with the Department of Trade & Industry started in mid-2009, we weren’t entirely sure about the response we would get from the community of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs). For Go Negosyo, it was a natural next step in the journey; all part of the advocacy of changing the Filipinos’ mindset and promoting entrepreneurship as an alternative to employment.
But when the NegoSem for DTI OTOP MSMEs kicked off at Davao City in December 5, 2009, to say that it was well-received would be an understatement. The 5th floor of the Lioc Kui Fraternity Building, with a capacity of 500, was filled up as early as 9:00 AM despite it being a Saturday. Lines of people had spilled to the street. That early, the DTI Region 10 staff were forced to turn away some walk-in participants out of the inability of the venue to accommodate more.
The program started at around 8:45 AM, opened by DTI Undersecretary Merly Cruz, who emphasized the benefits of the innovative private and public sector partnership. She was followed by Go Negosyo Executive Director Ramon Lopez who gave give an overview of Go Negosyo programs, and the NegoSem in particular, including a presentation on the entrepreneurship framework, from which the seminar “curriculum” was based on.
From there, we proceeded with the seminar proper, covering the topics of mindset, opportunity-spotting, product development, marketing, and finance. Our resource persons were Go Negosyo’s Angelpreneurs – seasoned speakers, educators, and entrepreneurs who have the heart to share their knowledge in starting and running a business. Present in this first leg were Efren ‘Ping’ Sotto, self-help guru and HR consultant; Francisco ‘Pax’ Lapid, Dean of the Entrepreneurs School of Asia; Nonoy Espeleta, former COO of Julie’s Franchise Corp. and business consultant; Jonas George Soriano, Director of Philippine Social Enterprise Network; and Marites Dimaculangan, Managing Partner of Dimaculangan, Dimaculangan & Co. CPAs.
Participants had a chance to ask their questions after each topic. Many grabbed the opportunity to consult the speakers, while others, on the side, commended the organizers on the quality and relevance of the seminar. Some reserved their reactions for the written feedback form:
“Naliwanagan at nadagdagan ang aking kaalaman tungkol sa negosyo. Thank you very much po sa lahat ng speaker.”
“I really appreciate the topic that we had already discuss regarding the topic on how to start business or enlarge market opportunity in a different sectors and innovation.”
“Maayos yung flow ng program at magaling yung mga speakers. I acquired knowledge that are important on making and building up a business. The topics that were discussed gave me the knowledge that I need.”
“The seminar is really a great help and gave me a paradigm shift. As a graduating student I longed to have a good employment alone, but after today, it injected a good invitation to enter the entrepreneurship life. Thanks and God bless!”
By the end of the day, a total of 650 participants were counted for the Region 10 NegoSem. Undersecretary Merly Cruz, who stayed throughout the day, was blown away by the strong attendance and participation. The whole organizing committee – including our team – felt proud and delighted.
And as Go Negosyo hopped from one region to the next, the outcome was always as astounding and gratifying, if not more. As our experience in organizing the NegoSems grew, the result also got better and better, either in terms of audience size or quality of interaction. Even companies such as Citibank Savings, BPI Family Savings Bank, PLDT SME Nation, and Smart Communications have joined the bandwagon, infected by the spirit of the initiative.
One recent addition to the Negosem program is the Tagumpay Mula Sa Kahirapan Forum, which features inspiring entrepreneurs of different sizes. The forum is held at the start of the program, to set participants’ mood and stir their minds and hearts with stories of triumphs. Through the forum, we also get to impart actual business experiences, especially on how these entrepreneurs were able to grow their businesses, their best practices, and strategies that worked for them. All these maximize the knowledge that participants take away from the NegoSem.
To date, areas that DTI and Go Negosyo have visited are (in this order):
- Region 10 (Davao City) – 650 participants
- Region 3 (Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija) – 763 participants
- Region 4B (Puerto Prinsesa City, Palawan) – 889 participants
- Region 5 (Legazpi City, Albay) – 630 participants
- Region 2 (Tuguegarao City, Cagayan) – 654 participants
- National Capital Region (Pasay City) – 539 participants
- Cordillera Administrative Region (Baguio City, Benguet) – 655 participants
- Region 1 (Dagupan City, Pangasinan) – 450 participants
- Region 7 (Cebu City) – 608 participants
- Region 9 (Zamboanga City) – 625 participants
- Region 6 (Bacolod City, Negros Occidental) – 565 participants
- Region 4A (Taytay, Rizal) – 540 participants
So if we haven’t visited your region yet, we invite you to mark your calendars for our arrival. Be part of DTI’s first 10,000 scholars and get ready to be inspired, educated, and to Go Negosyo!
This series of 20 NegoSems is organized by the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), Land Bank of the Philippines, and the President’s Social Fund. Supported by Citibank Savings, BPI Family Savings Bank, PLDT SME Nation, and Smart Communications.
Go Negosyo wholeheartedly thanks its pool of dedicated Angelpreneurs: Ping Sotto, Dean Pax Lapid, Nonoy Espeleta, Jonas George Soriano, Marites Dimaculangan, Luis Cruz, Reuel Virtucio, Glenn Baticados, Titos Ortigas, Mylene Abiva, Randell Tiongson, Butz Bartolome, Paulo Tibig, Jorge Wieneke III, Cito Beltran, Eric Villarama, Jay Bernardo, Armand Bengco, Henry Tenedero, Ed Pilapil Jr., Benel Lagua, and Ardy Roberto.
We are also extending our sincere appreciation to our entrepreneurs who have taken the time to join our foras: Diana Limjoco, Victor Tan, Cindy Pereña, Bam Aquino, Ray Gapuz, Melody Ayupan, Donna & Bong Jiao, Angelita Dela Cruz, Rosemarie Bestre, Alegria Benitez, Jay Aldeguer, Illac Diaz, Rosalind Wee, Wilson Ng, Myrna Padilla, Bong & Beng Elnas, Mary Grace Llamas, Gerard Guadarrama, Alvin Kingston Tan, and Marjorie Ortega.