Soap with a Purpose: Bath and Body Products

On June 27, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by Natureals Bath and Body owner AJ Llanes and The Soap Story’s Angelica Jizmundo to talk about their handcrafted bath and body products.

AJ shared how her class project turned into her now thriving business, Natureals Bath and Body, which offers  organic, handmade yet environment-friendly skincare products. Her business started in 2014 when she focused on creating zero waste packaging. This led her to work with local crafters who produced the eco-friendly pouches for her business. Most of her bath product lines are available in  several variants, including include coffee, charcoal, goat’s milk, tea tree, beer, and more.

Meanwhile, Angelica looked back on how she started The Soap Story in 2015. She sought soaps that were safe enough for her baby’s sensitive skin. She then studied soap making and eventually began creating her own handmade soaps. She now has 10 variants, including olive oil-based soap and wild honey. Through research, she was able to develop her own liquid soap.

Both entrepreneurs aim to raise awareness on the great benefits of handmade soaps as they are not just beneficial to the skin, but also to the individual’s health. According to them, consumers have become more interested in the ingredients of the soap they use and have started to avoid chemicals.

The rapid expansion of organic and handmade soaps is in response  to the growing concerns of the market about health and safety, and it has become one of the driving forces behind developing new product lines in the market.

Both entrepreneurs source most of their raw ingredients from underprivileged local farmers across the country to help them earn additional income.

Further helping the community, AJ holds workshops for aspiring soap makers to help them earn their own income. “Passion is what drives us to continue what we are doing.

Huwag kang matakot mag-aral, huwag kang matakot sa competition because there is always an opportunity. (It’s okay to try and fail but always learn from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to explore… don’t be afraid of competition because there will always be an opportunity.),” shares Angelica.

“Charge it to experience,” Sen. Bam concluded to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs who want to explore the soap industry.

Catch the next episode of Go Negosyo sa Radyo next Wednesday at 2:00 PM on DZRH 666 kHz and Radyo Natin FM!


Usapang kasal: Making the perfect wedding!

On June 20, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo hosts Sen. Bam Aquino and DJ Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla were joined by The Wedding Library Marketing Director Alexandra Natividad and Juan Carlo, The Caterer Assistant Vice President Juan Carlo Del Rosario to talk all things wedding.

Alexandra shared that she is the second generation manager of The Wedding Library. Since 1998, The Wedding Library has remained as the one-stop-shop for all things wedding. The company offers wedding accessories, bridal shower items, invitations, and souvenirs.

Meanwhile, Juan Carlo shared that Juan Carlo, The Caterer was established on November 11, 1995 by his dad, Engr. Alex Michael Del Rosario. Engr. Alex was trained by his aunt Mrs. Cecilia Del Rosario Pacumio. Juan Carlo shared that they are a family of caterers that’s why his dad still tried to venture in this business even he’s an engineer already.

Both entrepreneurs stated that the wedding industry is constantly changing. Over the past few years, brides are more involved in the planning. Now, it’s not — even the grooms are involved in the detailing of the wedding.

Couples wanted more personalized and one-of-a-kind wedding accessories from the invitations up to the souvenirs. It is the trend now, as said by Alexandra, that every accessory has the initials of the couples. That makes it more unique and more sentimental for the couples, she shared.

As for the food, couples wanted an array of options. Couples wanted different cuisines in their menu. Juan Carlo said that the trends as of now is that the foods are cooked in front of the guests. As for the arrangement of the venue, a more modern look is the trend this year.

Alexandra and Juan Carlo both assure that with their help, their clients can have the best and most memorable wedding for the couple and guests. And if couples have no idea on what kind of wedding will they be doing, they said that the clients could attend on bridal fairs to grasp some ideas.



[Go Negosyo Sa Radyo] Haligi ng Tahanan, Haligi ng Kabuhayan!

On June 13, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo guest hosts Faith Salaver and Paulo Tibig were joined by HR Development Consultant & Mindset Guru Efren “Ping” Sotto, Success Options Inc. President Francis Kong, and GMB Franchise Developers President & Chairman Armando “Butz” Bartolome in this week’s father’s day special episode.

The three guests shared their experiences and challenges as father-entrepreneurs. Ping Sotto recounted the moment he realized that his time for his family is being tested when his kid was not able to include him in his greeting card on Valentine’s day. He then reflected and asked himself, “What is your why?” and came to the conclusion that he must give the kind of life that his family deserves.

Francis Kong, on the other hand, said that he employs a transactional approach even when at home. He lets his kids earn what they want so they would know the values of hardwork and perseverance.

Meanwhile, Butz Bartolome advised that all business matters should only be talked about at his office and not in his home as it would alienate his children. According to him, he does not bring up the business when he spends time with his family.

When asked about their experience as mentors, Mr. Sotto recalled that most mentees inquire what is the best business to start but often forget to ask what the mentees are best at. He discourages them to start a business just because it is a fad. Businesses must be founded on someone’s passion and interest.

Mr. Sotto also shared what he usually say to his kids. “Do not abandon your dreams; do your thing but [remember that this business] brings food on the table.” He also encouraged the listeners and aspiring entrepreneurs to try their hand in business while they are still employed.

As his parting words, Mr. Kong highlighted that “I am first and foremost a father”. He advised that fathers must give their kids the freedom to choose what they want and pursue their passion. The three guests were in agreement to never force the business into their kids and to let them decide what they want to become. “They have their own minds. Sell the concept to them,” Mr. Bartolome concluded.


[GO NEGOSYO SA RADYO] Be cool for school Negosyo!

Last June 6, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Sen. Bam Aquino and guest host Faith Salaver were joined by Jacinto and Lirio co-founder Anne Krystle Yee and Cutton Garments owner Jaycee Faminialagao to discuss their products in this week’s “Balik-Eskwela” episode.

Anne Krystle Yee shared how they came up with the business when they were still doing their thesis in college. In 2009, the Department of Trade and Industry reported the problem with hyacinths clogging the waterways in South Cotabato. Together with her co-founders, Anne thought of a way to solve this environmental problem. “Paano ba natin magagawan ng solution ‘to and at the same time, magugustuhan din ng Pinoy ang gawa sa something native,” she said.

Jacinto and Lirio started out as a company with bags as the only products. The company eventually ventured into crafting refillable and functional notebooks which are part of its kwaderno line. The company showcases Filipino culture through the designs its employees embroider in its products. The products are environment-friendly as it sources water hyacinths in Las Piñas, Laguna, Rizal, and Pasig.

Meanwhile, Cutton Garments is a Filipino startup company that manufactures clothing for different companies. The company offers printing, embroidery, and assembly – be it a uniform for a school, office, hospital, airline, hotel, and so on. Jaycee Faminialagao then recalled how he came up with his business.

Without any background in garment manufacturing, Jaycee started the enterprise in 2015. Four years prior, he found it ironic that the company he used to work at could not find a supplier for the clothes that are made in the Philippines as the stores source their materials from other countries like China. After a grueling search, he was able to find what the company wanted.

He then started to resell the merchandise which eventually led him to produce the clothes on his own. Clients prepare the design they want their products to be and Cutton Garments will process it accordingly. The company also recommends which kind of materials to be used as the manufacturers already know the different kinds of fabric that will be appropriate for the expected output.

Both enterprises seek the help from the community of underserved people as they employ farmers and dressmakers in order to give them an opportunity to earn extra income for their own families. These social enterprises ensure high quality products made out of locally sourced materials as well as provide assistance to these communities.


Brand-building: Packaging for MSMEs!

On May 30, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Sen. Bam Aquino and guest host Faith Salaver were joined by DTI Region IV-A Regional Director Marilou Toledo, Design Center of the Philippines Executive Director Rhea Matuta, and Packaging Institute of the Philippines – MSME Development Board Director Clarke Nebrao to discuss everything there is to know about packaging.

Regional Director Toledo shared how DTI, through Sec. Ramon Lopez, created a national technical working group to focus on packaging. Sec. Lopez also tapped the private sector particularly the suppliers of the packaging materials as well as the associations, foundations, and advocates for packaging.

RD Toledo reported that there were three pilot runs of Pack Pinas which happened this May in Tacloban, Cagayan de Oro, and the Calabarzon region. From there, they introduced the suppliers to the small and medium business owners. This was done to alleviate the burden of MSMEs in requesting for good materials as suppliers usually require bulk orders for them to produce quality materials.

Nakakatuwa ‘yung mga malalaking companies kasi talagang nag-rreach out sila to the micro, small, and medium enterprises,” RD Toledo said. She also envisions that the collaboration among government, private sector, and the MSMEs will be strengthened through this initiative.

Meanwhile, Board Director and Go Negosyo mentor Clarke Nebrao presented that 86% of the purchases of the customers are being done at the physical stores. He emphasized that consumers consider the visual appeal of the products before purchasing.

He also said that in a recent study, “Ang ating mga produkto ay ‘the best in the world’ pero when we export it, hindi siya makapag-compete.” When it is presented with the exports from other countries, “ang ating mga produkto, napag-iwanan ng packaging,” he added.

Nebrao also said that Pack Pinas bridges the gap between microentrepreneurs, suppliers, and technology enablers. Through the program, the whole packaging ecosystem is connected. MSMEs can personally inquire and learn about packaging with the experts in the industry. Additionally, members of the Packaging Institute of the Philippines agreed to diminish the minimum amount of quality packaging request from 5,000 to 100 so these enterprises can start small.

“With this new initiative of DTI, mas maramdaman sana [ng mas marami] ang impact ng Design Center,” Director Rhea Matuta shared. She also stated that conceptualizing the design of the packaging is a matter of addressing all aspects to communicate the value of one’s product.

Director Matuta elaborated on the things to consider when designing a product’s packaging. These include the product’s uniqueness, taste and shelf life preservation, and the overall functional quality of the packaging. “It’s not a compromise of either-or. You are just making sure na kung ano yung il-launch mo sa market is talagang of quality and how you put your passion into it,” she continued.

The three guests cited some of the enterprises that their respective institutions have helped in developing a better image for their product. Among those are the Philippines’ own ube balls, coffee, and cashew butter.

They also addressed the questions of the listeners. They were in agreement that the consumers today consider if the product manufacturing and designing are environment-friendly. Nebrao believes that a zero-plastic packaging is possible in the Philippines.

Nebrao also shared that through the assistance of these organizations, the risk of the country’s products being returned for not complying with the label requirements is reduced. Through their intervention and mentoring, they equip MSMEs with the apt knowledge on packaging to build their own brand and compete with the international market.


Mentor Me on Wheels: Aarangkada na!

On May 23, 2018, Go Negosyo sa Radyo host Cheska San Diego-Bobadilla and co-host Senator Bam Aquino was joined by The French Baker Founder and CEO Johnlu Koa, Philippine Marketing Association – Consumer Affairs Director Prof. Jerry Cocabo-Yao, and Yoli’s Homebaked Staple General Manager JB Estrada to share their experiences on the recently launched Mentor Me on Wheels.

Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW) is Go Negosyo’s latest initiative to bring mentorship closer to Filipinos. Attendees got to be in a one-on-one mentoring session with the big names in the business industry on entrepreneurial mind-setting and marketing. Its first leg was successfully introduced last May 11 at Music Hall, SM Mall of Asia which was attended by the mentors and mentee who participated in this episode.

It all started with JB asking Johnlu Koa “Sir, can I show you my bread?” and the rest is history. After being mentored by Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion, JB was then introduced by Concepcion himself to Koa.

Mr. Johnlu tried the bread for the first time and gave his initial comments. He then asked JB about the basics of his bakery including its brand, logo, production space, and its legal aspects as well as the history of his business. JB recalled saying that he was wondering how would he turn his mother’s passion into business. And thus, Yoli’s Homebaked Staple was established.

JB’s mom tried out several attempts in order to get the right consistency of the bread she bakes. Without any knowledge in the food industry, JB also struggled how to market his products and attract more potential customers. He was also still deciding which of his breads would be the signature product he would feature.

From the mentoring session, JB was taught how to set realistic goals in order for his bakery to flourish. He was also able to gather helpful suggestions on improving his products. “Baking is [both a] science and [an] art. If you do not know [about it], you won’t go far,” Mr. Koa remarked. He also mentioned that budding entrepreneurs must appreciate the market opportunity.

Meanwhile, Prof. Jerry Cocabo-Yao reiterated the importance of knowing the customers’ needs and attitude. He also shared that the enterprise must not just focus on the money. “You do business not only for profit but with a purpose,” he said citing some social enterprises he was able to discover during his own mentoring session.

“Entrepreneurship is about selling an idea…everything starts and ends with the market,” Prof. Cocabo-Yao continued. He also said that passion is essential for a business to succeed.

Both Mr. Koa and Prof. Cocabo-Yao addressed questions from the listeners. They also cited some government initiatives that would help micro and small businesses to get financial assistance and tax exemptions. Additionally, they encouraged the listeners to “get [their] products out there,” by sharing them with their friends, family, and through social media.

MMOW will make its second pit stop at SM City Calamba, Laguna on June 2, 2018 at 10 AM. Interested mentees can pre-register at Limited slots are also offered to walk-in guests.