ASEAN 2017 Chair President Rodrigo Duterte together with ASEAN Business Advisory Council 2017 Philippines Chairman Joey Concepcion, and members George Barcelon and Tessie Sy-Coson and the AMEN pioneer mentors during the launch of AMEN last November 2017.
The result of a nationwide survey conducted by Pulse Asia indicated a high trust rating among Filipinos for ASEAN compared to APEC. This is a positive effect of our recent and successful chairmanship last 2017 which focused on inclusive growth. The Philippine chairmanship resulted to many positive outcomes including investments, partnerships, and also programs that empowered more ASEAN members. One of the outcome is our legacy project in ASEAN BAC which is the ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN) which aims to provide an public-private partnership platform where mentors and world-class teaching modules for MSMEs can be developed and actively shared among ASEAN member-countries.
Just recently, we received the approval of AMEN from the Japanese government through the Japan-ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF) and moving forward, the programs under AMEN will soon be supported and funded by JAIF for a duration of nine months. This is one of the major developments for AMEN.
This development comes after the successful launch during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit in November 2017 together with President Duterte who expressed his strong support for the program and commended the mentors for devoting their time and sharing their expertise. In 2018, AMEN was also launched in Australia, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand.
We are proud that the mentorship program, which started in Go Negosyo, is now going global and helping more micro and small entrepreneurs.
I remember when Go Negosyo started in 2005, not everyone was open to the idea of entrepreneurship. Doing business was not the first career choice out of college. But today, many are already jumping into the bandwagon of entrepreneurship. But how can one become an entrepreneur immediately? While it is terrifying but equally fulfilling to start your own business, some start their entrepreneurial journey by franchising.
Franchising is basically an arrangement for a franchisor to give rights and license to use his business trademark, including its processes and systems, to a franchisee in order to sell a product or service to a certain market. These franchise models are well-known brands that have a proven system of operations and have already established a demand and market for their products and services.
Despite having tried and tested business models, a franchisee must still be committed, focused, and passionate in leading the business. After all, a franchise must find the right business model based on his interests and passions. The good thing today is that almost all businesses can now be franchised. From the usual food businesses to services like salons, water refilling stations, spas, and others.
In the past mentoring sessions we had, we met several aspiring entrepreneurs who are taking their first step towards entrepreneurship through franchising. Some small and medium entrepreneurs are also growing their business by making them available for franchise.
To better guide aspiring franchisors and franchisees, Go Negosyo collaborated with two of the biggest franchising organizations in the country. Our long-time advocacy partners Philippine Franchising Association (PFA) and Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) are coming together for the first time to mentor aspiring entrepreneurs on Jan. 29 at the Event Center of SM Megamall for the Go Negosyo Mentor Me On Wheels.
From the successful 13 launches last year catering to around 4,000 mentees, our Mentor Me On Wheels will start its series of launches this year in one of the busiest malls in the country. We expect a large crowd of possible franchisors and franchisees to be mentored by more than 100 successful franchise owners such as Samie Lim, chairman emeritus of PFA; Alan Escalona, chairman of PFA and CEO of Fruit Magic; Richard Sanz, president of PFA and CEO of Bibingkinita; Joyce Co-Yu, president of AFFI and owner of True Blends Tea & Coffee; Eric Caeg, chairman of AFFI and owner of Retail Academy Philippines; and Jorge Wieneke, vice president of AFFI and president and CEO of Tokyo Tempura.
We invite everyone to be part of this free one-on-one mentoring session. Interested participants may register at: www.tinyurl.com/MMOWMandaluyong.
Everyone has a chance to become an entrepreneur. Some will pursue their business ideas, while some can become franchisees. Whichever path one chooses, with a positive mindset, trained skills, and good mentors, one can be successful!
PA Joey Concepcion together with business chamber and digital platforms heads during the meeting yesterday to discuss market digitalization. In photo: (Standing L-R) Coco Alcuaz, Makati Business Club; Martin Yu, Shopee Philippines; George Royeca, Angkas; Angeline Tham, Angkas; Catherine Avelino, Honestbee Philippines; Ng Ying Keng, Kaodim; Jopin Romero, ABAC PH; Dino Araneta, Quad X; Brian Cu, Grab Philippines; and Ray Alimurung, Lazada Philippines. (Seated L-R) Mon Fernandez, MAP; Riza Mantaring, MAP; PA Joey Concepcion; George Barcelon, PCCI; Dannah Majarocon, Lalamove Philippines; Dominiq Dizon, GawinPH; and Merly Cruz, Go Negosyo
Yesterday we had an insightful discussion together with the heads and leaders of business organizations to hear their programs and concerns. We were joined by Angkas, Grab, Lazada, Shopee, Honestbee, Lalamove, GawinPH, and Quad X, who all shared the details of their enterprise to the business chambers in order for them to better understand and support digitalization.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, led by Governor Nestor Espenilla, focuses its efforts on digital transformation on money. As for us, this is the start of a more concrete collaboration focused on the market that would eventually lead to a bigger group for the benefit of micro and small entrepreneurs. This is following the meetings with different digital platforms and finance technology institutions last year in our pursuit to create more programs for the market and money. The role that we would like to play is to try and make the older generation and the government understand that digital transformation will really force inclusivity.
One concern raised was the lack of a framework and a governing body that would regularize and monitor various platforms and their partner-members. While there are existing laws that would support micro and small entrepreneurs, such as Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBE) Law or the Ease of Doing Business Law, there must be a further collaboration between government and these digital players for accreditation that would implement security and regulation in their processes.
There must be, as well, a middle ground where both parties can agree on which areas to regulate and monitor. For example, if one seller in Lazada is reaching higher sales, he can now apply for business registrations and permits that would enable him to further improve his sales using the platform. Eventually, every entrepreneur using these platforms will be properly documented. Moving forward, this is where the stronger partnership between the government and digital players can take place.
Imagine a typical low-income family who has a basic skill set and education, but wants to earn a more sustainable income. For one, the father is a licensed driver, while the mother sells small items. The older kids are licensed motorcycle riders and have enough time to do some part-time work. While it is still a hard competition to apply for a job, this family can earn more through the use of digital service platforms like Grab, Angkas, Lazada, and Shopee, among others.
Just like how our old family driver joined Grab instead because of higher income rates. Or how Angeline Tham of Angkas shared that some are even managers who joined them as riders. On the other hand, some housewives have joined Lazada or Shopee and earn by selling products or becoming personal shoppers for Honestbee. These are just some of the many stories of Filipinos who left their jobs to become self-employed entrepreneurs.
This is why digitalization can create greater impact in the lives of many Filipinos today. The digital transformation that we are experiencing helps achieve the goal of the government on inclusive growth and development. Through these digital service platforms, they are actually turning Filipinos into self-earning entrepreneurs by providing marketplaces for services and products.
For example, GawinPH is a marketplace for service providers like plumbers, technicians, electricians and others. Their concept is to keep skilled people in our country and offer their services to fellow Filipinos. Honestbee eases the burden of grocery shopping through the help of their “shopper bees” who will deliver the goods right to the doorstep of every customer.
Lazada and Shopee technically provide a platform for micro and small entrepreneurs to sell their products to a wider digital market without the need for a physical store. Angkas and Grab provide transportation and delivery services without having to own any of the cars or motors.
These are just some of the many digital platforms today which democratizes the market, offering better access to both consumers and micro and small entrepreneurs.
Together with the rest of the private sector, we would like to influence and educate more Filipinos about digitalization. This is the 4th Industrial Revolution and this is where we are all headed towards. Some countries have embraced this well – just like in Hong Kong where they have cashless payment schemes in most stores and even transportation. We should empower more people to go digital and enjoy the convenience, efficiency, and effectivity of these platforms.
With this, I can say that digitalization is pro-poor where people from low-income communities can benefit and achieve prosperity!
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I would like to congratulate one of Go Negosyo’s partner advocates – Feliciano Torres, president and CEO of Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Corp. – for being conferred with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon by Emperor Akihito of Japan. The Order of the Rising Sun is Japan’s first honor system and is the highest distinction bestowed by the Japanese government. He was recognized for his contribution in creating a stronger economic relation between Japan and Philippines.
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After more than a decade of recognizing Filipina entrepreneurs’ capacity to be agents of change and progress in the country, Go Negosyo will once again celebrate women and their entrepreneurial prowess through the annual Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards 2019. For interested participants, you may click the button below to download the application form or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
To all those who have followed this column since 2006, I wish you all a happy new year! It’s been 12 years since I started writing for The Star, and with over 800 columns, written every Thursday and another bi-monthly column.
This year, Go Negosyo also celebrates 14 years of active entrepreneurship advocacy. I have served two presidents as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, a pro-bono role that has led to the creation of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, also known as Go Negosyo.
It’s been a long journey, but God has blessed us to keep on going. In return, we have blessed others, most especially our micro and small entrepreneurs. But this journey is far from over. We have put inclusive growth and micro and small entrepreneurs’ development at the forefront of our mission
We are fortunate to have Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez as a great partner in this advocacy. He worked with us in RFM Corp. and Go Negosyo prior to serving government and is knowledgeable about the needs of MSMEs. After working with me for 22 years, he’s now the first secretary who’s putting much needed time and effort in helping our entrepreneurs and see everything happens as planned.
Despite the challenges the country is facing, I’ve always been an optimist. I believe that there will never be a perfect president, but we can strive to be better citizens and take an active role in nation-building. I pray that every leader will have the courage and wisdom to guide the country towards prosperity.
In the New Year’s message of our parish priest, he said that life would always have its ups and downs. While we are blessed with our happy lives today, we need to find purpose – no matter how small, as all of us can contribute significantly. For us Catholics, it’s our spiritual faith that we turn to when challenges come. For those of different faiths, I am sure it’s the same. Our respective gods will always be our source of strength and support.
Some people ask me why I support President Duterte; it’s because of his vision of an inclusive economy wherein no Filipino will be left behind. I think I’m not the only one, as seen in the President’s ratings, with over 70 percent of our countrymen sharing the same view.
We need to invest in the Philippines as if it were a business, with the government working as its manager. We are embarking on a massive capital expenditure through the infrastructure program Build Build Build. There is no other way to move forward without first laying down the foundations for progress through such projects.
While the government ensures that the big-ticket projects are executed, the private sector must also invest as well. Since all Filipinos are shareholders of the country, we must be optimistic and should support and participate in nation-building. Negativity will not lead to success. But I’m happy that most entrepreneurs are positive in nature.
Let us all claim 2019 to be a great year for our country! Let me share the views of some of our government partners in the advocacy:
“This 2019, my wish is for us Filipinos is to love and respect our beloved country even more. Tourism is an industry that champions inclusivity, as exhibited by the jobs and livelihoods created for the local communities, and that is why we must be more responsible with the way we treat our beautiful destinations. Taking care of our tourist sites will not only preserve them for the next generations, but it will also sustain the growth and development of both urban and rural areas, and all sectors of society.” – Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
“I wish for more Filipinos to be happier, as they feel and experience a better quality of life, with more job and business opportunities during the Duterte administration. We hit record level BOI-approved investments, two years in a row, 40 percent and 47 percent growth in 2017 and 2018, creating more excitement in 2019.
“As more jobs and negosyos are generated, opportunities also abound for micro and SMEs, coupled with the comprehensive DTI support on training, mentoring, P3 micro financing, Go Lokal market access, more and more Filipinos are empowered and given a chance to prosper. Trabaho at Negosyo Kabuhayan para sa lahat, leading to a more inclusive growth.
“Growth is also becoming more inclusive as our kababayans feel the other socio-economic reforms such as free education, healthcare, investment, ease of doing business, financial reforms, plus the aggressive infrastructure program that have started to improve the way we live.” – Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez
“My wish is for the Muslim rebellion and communist insurgency to end and for most of our people to get free education from elementary to college. Inclusive economy can come in only when we allow foreign investments to come in with the least restrictions, when peace and order is constantly maintained and the greater population has been educated. We have to do it the Singapore and the Chinese way.” – chief presidential legal counsel and presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte together with the Pilipinas Angat Lahat Alliance members. (Seated L-R) Sec. Ramon Lopez, Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President Rodrigo Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion. (Standing First Row L-R) Domingo Yap, Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, Paul Santos, Armando Bonifacio, Benjamin Castillo, Ramoncito Fernandez, George Barcelon, Ma. Alegria Sibal-Limjoco, Feliciano Torres, Ma. Asuncion Golez, Rex Daryanani, Bobby De Ocampo, Ma. Victoria Espano, and Richard Sanz. (Standing Back Row L-R) Josefino Sarmiento, Michelle Cordero-Garcia, Monette Hamlin, Catherine Salceda-Ileto, Joyce Co-Yu, Arlene Padua-Martinez, Florian Gottein, Ho-Ik Lee, James Wilkins, Christine Salangad- Pardiñas, Danilo Lachica, Rhoda Castro-Caliwara, Robertson Chiang, Michelle Cordero-Garcia and George Siy.
As the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, it is my mission to hasten support for our micro and small entrepreneurs while fulfilling my role as the founder of Go Negosyo, chairman of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines and vice chairman of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development (MSMED) Council. We — along with our partners in government, especially the Department of Trade and Industry, under the leadership of Sec. Ramon Lopez — are doing our best to help our micro and small entrepreneurs. Likewise, our efforts in helping the agricultural and tourism sectors also remain a priority, as addressing these will help reduce poverty. With President Rodrigo Duterte entering the second half of his term, we need to push harder for MSME development, seeking both support and teamwork from public and private sectors.
ASEAN BAC and Go Negosyo Mentors fully supported the Mentor Me On Wheels program held last October 2, 2018. In photo L-R: Oudet Souvannavong (ASEAN BAC Lao PDR), Tessie Sy-Coson (ASEAN BAC Philippines), Sen. Bam Aquino, Okna Sok Piseth (ASEAN BAC Cambodia), Anangga Roosdiono (ASEAN BAC Indonesia), PA Joey Concepcion, Dr. Robert Yap (ASEAN BAC Singapore), Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, Dr. Mohd Munir (ASEAN BAC Malaysia), Sen. Migz Zubiri, Arin Jira (ASEAN BAC Thailand), Dr. Ramesh Kodammal (ASEAN BAC Malaysia), Moe Kyaw (ASEAN BAC Myanmar), Chanthachone Vongsay (ASEAN BAC Lao PDR) and Dr. Doan Duy Khuong (ASEAN BAC Vietnam).
DTI Sec. Lopez mentoring Genalyn Socorro of Gen Sweet Tarts.
Senator Miguel Zubiri during a one-on-one mentoring session in Calamba, Laguna.
SM Investments Corp. Vice chair Tessie Sy-Coson during the free one-on-one mentorship of Mentor Me On Wheels.
CEO of Golden ABC – Penshoppe, Bernie Liu during the free 1-on-1 mentorship.
Alice Eduardo of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte graced the mentorship program and shared her knowledge during the session.
Honeylet Avancena joined the mentoring session during MMOW held in Davao City.
President and COO of LT Group, Inc. Michael Tan shares his business expertise during the free 1-on-1 mentorship.
The latest batch of inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs were recognized by President Rodrigo Duterte and Go Negosyo. In photo [First Row] DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez, Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Dr. Lourdes Montinola, President Rodrigo Duterte, Helen Yuchengco-Dee, PA Joey Concepcion, Alice Eduardo, Aya Fernandez; [Second Row] Lydia Codinera, Abdulia Austria, Angelene Calungcaguin, Merle Paete, Mica Tan, Armanda Battad, Florencia Tarriela, Jeannie Javelosa, Edilee Omoyon, Edelyn Canero, Kathleen Yu; [Last Row] Zarah Juan, Warblitz Martinez, Mary Grace Arboleda-Young, Olivia Puentespina and Rissa Mananquil-Trillo.
Forum four highlight the stories of Norlela Suhailee, Chair of ASEAN Coordinating Committee for MSMES, Mah Khine Zaw, CEO of Earth Group of Companies, Felicia Atienza, President and CEO of Chinese International School Manila, Gaita Fores, President of Cibo, Inc., Josephine Costales, Chairperson for Costales Nature Farms, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Happy Skin, Neri Miranda, Celebrity Entrepreneur, Lenora Cabili, Founder and Creative Designer of Filip + Inna and Charisse Tinio, Owner of Nice Print Photography.
ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines named the first batch of Golden Agrow Awardees int ASEAN Agriculture Summit 2018 held last October 1 at the SMX Convention Center Manila. Awardees include: Huang Ho Agricultural Farms (Brunei) represented by their Secretary General Choo Jun Lee; Amru Rice Co., Ltd. (Cambodia) represented by their Chairman and CEO Saran Song; GarudaFood (Indonesia) represented by their Director of Manufacturing Rudy Brigianto; Burapha Agroforestry Co., Ltd. (Laos) represented by their Deputy CEO Souphayvanh Thiengchanxay; Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (Malaysia) represented by their Operations Director Samuel Teh Sar Moh Nee; Myanma Awba Group Co., Ltd (Myanmar) represented by their Chairman and Group CEO U Thadoe Hein; SL Agritech Corp. (Philippines) represented by their Chairman and CEO Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong; Olam International Ltd. (Singapore) represented by their Co-founder and Group CEO Sunny Verghese; Swift Co., Ltd. (Thailand) represented by their Managing Director Paphavee Suthavivat; and ITA Rice Fragrant Rice Research & Export Corp. (Vietnam) represented by their General Director Tran Hoang An. The awards were handed over to the awardees by Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol; ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Chair Joey Concepcion; 2018 ASEAN BAC Chair Dr. Robert Yap; ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Member and Vice Chairman of SM Investments Corporation Tessie Sy-Coson; and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines Member and Philippine Chamber of Commerce Industry Chairman George Barcelon.
The 2018 MVP Bossing awardees: Mary Grace Dimacali of Mary Grace Foods, Margarita Fores of Cibo, Johnlu Koa of French Baker, David Leechiu of Leechiu Property Consultants, Benjie and Maan Lolim of LDP Farms, Richard Sanz of the FoodAsia Group, Dioceldo Sy of Ever Bilena Cosmetics, Raj Uttamchandi of Esquire Financing Inc., Delfin Wenceslao Jr. of DM Wenceslao and Associates Inc. Doris Magsaysay-Ho of A. Magsaysay Inc. was recognized as Grand MVP Bossing, and Metrobank’s George Ty, represented by son Alfred Ty, was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement award. Also in photo are PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, Bossing Joey Concepcion, Bossing Bernie Liu, Bossing Cecilio Pedro and executives of the PLDT Group.
PA Joey Concepcion who was recognised as one of The Outstanding Filipino Awardee for his contribution in Entrepreneurship Development in the country was joined by other awardees including Fr. Benigno P. Beltran for Community and Humanitarian Service; Congressman Raul V. Del Mar for Public Service and Dr. Hilly Ann Maria Roa-Quiaoit for Environmental Conservation. Also in photo are PCOO Secretary Martin Andanar, JCI Senate Philippines 2018 National President Apollo Enriquez, TOFIL Judge Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Justice Jose Vitug.and TOFIL 2018 National Chairman Christopher Camba.
The ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network or AMEN has been officially launched in Australia in partnership with Australia-ASEAN Business Council during series of engagements last March 14-16, 2018.
AMEN Founding Chair and ASEAN Business Advisory Council Co-chair Joey Concepcion seals partnership with Korean Federation of Small and Medium Business led by Chairman Park Sung-taek and ASEAN-Korea Centre led by Ambassador Lee Hyuk. (In photo: Concepcion, President Rodrigo Duterte, Chairman Park Sung-taek, and George Barcelon of ASEAN Business Advisory Council.
AMEN launched in Thailand last September 20, 2018 with Thailand Chair Khun Arin Jira, Global Entrepreneurship Network Board Member Jeff Hoffman, and GEN Thailand Chairman Steve Cheah.
Merry Christmas from PA Joey Concepcion and family!
While everyone is busy shopping for gifts or enjoying their vacation, I’m reflecting on the many things that has happened this 2018.
It’s been a fruitful year indeed, not just for me and my family, but also for Go Negosyo, which continues to push forward our goal of inclusive growth and prosperity for all. Last Dec. 8, I took the opportunity to celebrate our milestones with our partners and mentors who have supported us and become key figures in our success this year.
These people, from both private and public sectors, gave us their full support and even helped us advance our advocacy, which are anchored on the 3Ms: Mentorship, Money and Market.
At the appreciation dinner, I also invited the Citi Microentrepreneurship awardees of 2019. Four of them were graduates of the Go Negosyo and Department of Trade and Industry’s Kapatid Mentor ME Program. They are proud testament to the success of our programs for our microentrepreneurs. With the knowledge and skills training, these successful microentrepreneurs will, indeed, have a better chance to grow and sustain their respective businesses.
During the dinner, aside from celebrating partnerships, I was also surprised by my wife, Marissa, who presented me with a heartwarming gift. It was a book she secretly put together with the help of family, friends and fellow Go Negosyo entrepreneurs, who had tirelessly worked on it for seven months. It was definitely something that I would not have agreed to do. But after seeing and reading it, I was deeply touched. The book is truly a labor of love from my wife Marissa and our children. And for that love and care, I’m forever grateful.
This gesture from family and friends has encouraged me to reflect on my own life and all the blessings that I have received. I’m grateful to God that my father is still with us — happy and healthy — and turning 87 this Dec. 29.
I’m also thankful for the opportunity of being able to help others in MSME development, which I’ve embraced as my lifelong duty and cause. Not everyone is given such a proud responsibility and I pray that the good Lord bless me with more courage, patience and drive to help my fellow kababayans.
This year has been rewarding, to say the least. For our continuous efforts on MSME development in the Philippines and in the ASEAN region, I was recognized by the Republic of India with a Padma Shri Award, the fourth highest civilian award from their government. The award — the first for any Filipino — was conferred to me by Indian President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
In addition, I was honored with The Outstanding Filipino award for entrepreneurship and most recently the People of the Year award from PeopleAsia. These awards are not solely reflective of my efforts, but all the efforts and successes of my team, our mentors, and our partners, all of whom have supported me and Go Negosyo. None of this would have been possible without them; they deserve all the praise and applause, too.
This Christmas, I’ve realized that life without purpose is empty, and I’m thankful to have been given this role to not only help MSMEs, but inspire others to find their own passion and meaning outside of their businesses.
This holiday season, I encourage everyone to take a moment from our busy lives and reflect in gratitude. Of course, let us not forget to give thanks and rejoice in the birth of Jesus Christ for he is the reason for all of this celebration. We shall thank Him for all the success and blessings we have enjoyed this 2018 and continue to pray for guidance for the upcoming year.
We at Go Negosyo look forward to helping more Filipinos by bringing more programs to our micro, small and medium entrepreneurs. It will be an exciting year ahead as we reach out to more audiences, including the youth, women, and digital and tourism sectors. I assure you there will be more conferences and summits that will inspire and empower more of our kababayans. Our greater vision and goal for Go Negosyo is to see our entrepreneurs thrive and their businesses become sustainable. This is my Christmas wish. And with the help from the private and public sectors, as well as the support of the government, I truly believe we can achieve an inclusive economy and prosperity for all!
Author Joey Concepcion was surprised with a book from his wife Marissa and their children. Christian Concepcion, Olivia Concepcion, Monica Concepcion, Catherine Concepcion, Javier Puno, Isabella Concepcion, and Magsy Concepcion.
Last Saturday, I hosted a Christmas appreciation dinner, which I do annually to foster relationships between the public and private sector and engage them in our efforts to bring about more inclusive growth in the Philippines.
Citi Microentrepeurship awardees: (from left) Mary Grace Bayalas, Youth Microentrepreneur of the year; Jesette Oquendo, Special Award for Community Leadership; Marisa Ganding, Special Award for Startup Micro Business; Rosario Amoroto, Regional Awardee for Visayas; Maria Elena Estadola, Regional Awardee for Luzon; and Erwin Ramos, CMA Micro Entrepreneur of the Year.
It is essential that both sectors have good relationships and teamwork. Our partner sponsors, fellow advocates, and mentors help us provide greater access to mentorship, money and the market.
It was made special by the presence of our Citi micro-entrepreneurship awardees, four of whom are graduates of the Go Negosyo and Department of Trade and Industry’s Kapatid Mentor ME Program. This shows that our programs are working for our microentrepreneurs.
Joey Concepcion and Sec. Ramon Lopez with the Citi Micro Entrepreneurship awardees Mary Grace Bayalas, Youth Microentrepreneur of the year; Jesette Oquendo, Special Award for Community Leadership; Marisa Ganding, Special Award for Startup Micro Business; Rosario Amoroto, Regional Awardee for Visayas; Maria Elena Estadola, Regional Awardee for Luzon; and Erwin Ramos, CMA Micro Entrepreneur of the Year.
But the biggest surprise came from my wife and children, who launched a book about me. They kept the secret for seven months, involving close friends who took part in the book production. It was something that I would not have agreed to do, but after seeing and reading it, the book is indeed a work of love from my wife Marissa and our children.