Partners in the Government

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion (seated, center) together with DOTr Sec. Arthur Tugade, DOTr Usec. Mark Richmund De Leon, LTO Chief Edgar C. Galvante, LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III, and representatives from Angkas, Grab, Quad X, and Lalamove.


As the presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, I am in a unique position to work with the government and the private sector. It is my role to bridge the gap between the two sectors in order to work together towards achieving the common goal which is inclusive prosperity.

For almost three years, I saw that the partnership between the public and private sectors has resulted to great outcomes. One great example is the NAIA Consortium which is composed of conglomerates in partnership with the administration’s Build Build Build program. This is on top of the strong partnerships we have for our mentoring programs in collaboration with departments of Trade and Industry and Agriculture.

For the past months, we have been active in pushing for digitalization. We believe that digitalizing our micro and small entrepreneurs will help them succeed, that is why we have been talking with different online platforms offering wider money and market reach for MSMEs.

Just last week, we had a meeting with several ride-sharing and logistics digital platforms such as Angkas, Grab, Lalamove and Quad X, together with Transportation Secretary Art Tugade, DOTr Undersecretary Mark Richmond de Leon, LTO chief assistant secretary Edgar Galvante, and LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III. The meeting is a follow through of our first meeting with the digital platforms last Jan. 9, 2019.

The insightful meeting served as an avenue to openly discuss the issues concerning the platforms, as well as the position of the respective agencies involved. We discussed the challenges faced by the platforms, most especially their operations in the country. With the emergence of these platforms, more Filipinos are empowered to become entrepreneurs in their own right. Some have quit their jobs to become riders, shoppers and sellers in these platforms.

In photo L-R: TESDA Deputy Director General for Partnerships and Linkages Rebecca Calzado, Go Negosyo Adviser on Agripreneurship and Sulu and Marawi Projects Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapena, PA Joey Concepcion, and Go Negosyo Adviser to the ASEAN BAC PH Chair Jopin Romero.

We are grateful that Sec. Tugade also sees them as a game-changer. He shared, “digitalization is not only pro-poor, but pro-all. Digitalization is a great equalizer.”

While there is still an ongoing discussion on the operations of Angkas (which could affect other ride-sharing and logistics platforms too), Sec. Tugade said that he is not against any mode of transportation as long as it is efficient, safe, and comfortable. I also commend Sec. Tugade for creating a technical working group which will discuss and study the current policies and laws on these platforms.

I believe that with this meeting and the working groups created are indications that the government welcomes the idea of working together with private sector companies, more so digital platforms. This is indeed the way forward.

We are also tapping another government agency for our Mentor Me E-Learning, a 15-week online entrepreneurship program that we are doing with Singapore Polytechnic. We met with Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Isidro Lapeña to present this program and exploring the possibility of either integrating the Mentor Me E-Learning program in the curriculum of its Technical and Vocational Education Training (or TVET) courses in the day, or as supplementary materials for TVET students to study in the evening.

TESDA is also open to scout partnerships with companies on the digital platform which would allow TVET graduates to find more opportunities to work such as Gawin.ph and Zennya. As of now, they are currently running different trainings and programs for its technical and vocational education courses, although it has not yet explored going digital with its trainings.

With active participation and collaboration with government agencies, we in Go Negosyo aims to strengthen the current entrepreneurship programs that we have. We believe that with DOTr led by Sec. Tugade and TESDA of Sec. Lapeña are partners in the advocacy.

 

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2018: A Year of Awards

The Golden AGROW Awardees: Huang Ho Agricultural Farm (Brunei), Amru Rice Co., Ltd (Cambodia), GarudaFood (Indonesia), Burapha Agroforestry Co., Ltd.(Laos), Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (Malaysia), Myanma Awba Group Co., Ltd (Myanmar), SL Agritech Corp. (Philippines), Olam International Ltd. (Singapore), Swift Co., Ltd. (Thailand), and ITA Rice Fragrant Rice Research & Export Corp. (Vietnam). Awards were presented by ASEAN BAC PH Member George Barcelon, ASEAN BAC PH Chair Joey Concepcion, ASEAN BAC PH Member Tessie Sy-Coson, Department of Agriculture Sec. Emmanuel F. Piñol, and 2018 ASEAN BAC Chair Dr. Robert Yap.

The year 2018 was stellar for Filipino entrepreneurs as they won awards from various organizations for their passion in working towards success.

Go Negosyo and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council Philippines recognized inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs and outstanding ASEAN agricultural companies in the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit and 2nd ASEAN Agriculture Summit, respectively.

ASEAN BAC also had a successful ASEAN Business Awards (ABA) 2018, which was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. Filipino enterprises won big in ABA 2018, including Century Pacific Food of Ricardo Po Sr.

Our partner PLDT also recognized their MVP Bossings 2018 with the late George Ty, represented by his son, Alfred Ty, receiving the MVP Bossing Lifetime Achievement Award.

Citi Philippines, together with Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, also announced their 2018 Citi Microentrepreneurs Awardees.

I was also grateful to have received a couple of awards such as the Padma Shri Award, one of the highest recognitions given by the government of India. I was also awarded as one of The Outstanding Filipinos given by the JCI Senate. These recognitions are testaments that we are on the right path towards our goal of poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship.

SL Agritech Corporation led by Henry Lim Bon Liong bagged the Groundbreaker Award and also one of the recipient of the Golden AGROW Award.

PA Joey Concepcion, Chris Po and Ricardo Po of Century Pacific Foods (Winner of the ASEAN Family Business category) together with Malaysia Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad.

Philippines bagged the most number of recognition in the 2018 ASEAN Business Awardeess include: Pioneer Adhesives, Inc. for Priority Integration Sector (Automotive) received by John Spakowski II; Seaoil Philippines, Inc. for Priority Integration Sector (Energy) received by Francis Glenn Yu; Jollibee Foods Corporation for Priority Integration Sector (Food and Beverage) received by Joseph Tanbuntiong; International Container Terminal Services Inc. for Priority Integration Sector (Logistics) received by Arthur Tabuena; Wilcon Depot, Inc. for Priority Integration Sector (Retail) received by William Belo; CARD MRI for Sustainable Social Enterprise received by Flordeliza Sarmiento; and Coffee for Peace Inc. for SME Excellence Corporate Social Responsibility.

THE 2018 GO NEGOSYO INSPIRING FILIPINA AWARDEES. 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.

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Legacy Awardee Dr. Lourdes Montinola, Chairman Emeritus of Far Eastern University

Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Legacy Awardee Helen Yuchengco-Dee, Chair of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

Florencia Tarriela, Chairman of Philippine National Bank (PNB) received the Intrapreneur award during the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

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.

Doris Magsaysay-Ho of A. Magsaysay Inc. delivered her acceptance speech as she was awarded as the 2018 Grand MVP Bossing.

Alfred Ty of Metrobank received the 2018 Lifetime Achievement award in behalf of his father George Ty. He is joined Mitch Locsin, Jovy Hernandez, Jose Magsaysay Jr., Manny Pangilinan, Joey Concepcion, Dr. Cecilio Pedro, Bernie Liu and Vic Tria.

India government led by President Ram Nath Kovind recognized PA Joey Concepcion with a Padma Shri Award together with 14 other foreigners including Alexander Kadakin, Ramli Bin Ibrahim, Bounlap Keokangna, Tommy Koh, Hun Manny, Nouf Marwaai, Tomio Mizokami, Somdet Phra MahaMuniwong, Dr Thant Myint – U, I Nyoman Nuarta, and Malai Haji Abdullah Bin Malai Haji Othman.

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 2018 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awardees together with Microfinance Council of the Philippines, Inc. Chair Fr. Jose Victor Lobrigo, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Deputy Governor Chuchi Fonacier, Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed, Marixi Prieto and PA Joey Concepcion.

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GO SUPPORTS GO

Former Special Assistant tot the President Bong Go together with PA Joey Concepcion, Eric Caeg (Chairman of AFFI), Joyce Co-Yu (President of AFFI), Samie Lim (Chairman Emeritus of PFA). Richard Sanz (Presdient of PFA) and Am. Philippe Lhuilier.

This could be one of the catchy titles of my column but to clarify – former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go fully pledges support to Go Negosyo and our goal of micro, small and medium enterprise development during our Mentor Me On Wheels which happened last Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 at SM Megamall. He commits to helping microentrepreneurs scale up through various programs that would ease business processes.

In his speech, he said: “Napakalaking tulong itong programang Mentor Me ni PA Joey Concepcion para sa mga maliliit na negosyo at negosyante. Mahalaga para sa akin ang kabuhayan ng ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga micro, small at medium enterprises. Sinusuportahan ko ang mga kababayan natin na nagnanais na magtayo ng negosyo upang maiangat ang sarili at ang pamilya. I am really honored to speak before you and to be invited here at Mentor Me. Asahan ninyo na patuloy nating susuportahan ang programa ng Go Negosyo. Papalawigin natin ang pagkakaroon ng libreng seminar at training gaya ng adbokasiya ng Go Negosyo.”

Bong has been supportive of all the programs of Go Negosyo. He has been instrumental in highlighting MSME development in the President’s agenda. Since President Duterte’s mandate is to support inclusivity most especially the growth of micro and small entrepreneurs, Bong is one of the reasons why our programs on entrepreneurship for the past three years has been supported by the President. Basically, with the private sector and the government partnering together in helping our MSMEs in the Philippines proves that entrepreneurs is in the President’s mission.

This is not the first time he attended our mentoring session. He actually attended one of the first launches of this type of mentoring session in Davao last July 2018 wherein he got to meet and interact with aspiring and existing micro entrepreneurs in the President’s hometown.

The mentoring session was also historical as the two of the biggest franchise organizations in the country – Philippine Franchise Association and Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. joined forces in guiding our mentees. We had more than 100 franchise owners last Tuesday who mentored more than 600 mentees the whole day. We were joined also by Philippe J. Lhuiller, Philippine Ambassador to Spain; Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier, Rikki Dee, president of Foodlink Group; Henry Lim Bon Liong, CEO of SL Agritech Corp.; Johnlu Koa, president and CEO of French Baker; Samie Lim, chairman emeritus of PFA; Richard Sanz, president of PFA and Bibingkinitan; Joyce Co-Yu, president of AFFI and owner of Trueblends Tea and Coffee; Eric Caeg, chairman of AFFI and president and CEO of RAP Training and Marketing Services; and Jorge Wieneke, vice president of AFFI and president and CEO of Tokyo Tempura.

More than 100 franchise owners mentored 600 mentees during the first Mentor Me On Wheels focused on franchising.

Samie Lim, who is considered as the “Father of Franchising in the Philippines,” also gave an inspiring message which highlighted the importance of strengthening the business sector through franchising: “PFA also believes that mentorship is the key to building a strong middle class that will ensure long term growth of the country… PFA has always been generous in sharing its advocacies to all who wants to learn.”

PFA and AFFI have been active partners of Go Negosyo for the many years. Their members have been mentoring our micro and small entrepreneurs in several occasions. This is one great example of a successful mentorship.

Ambassador Philippe Lhuiller also graced the program. He said, “Drawing from my experience as a businessman, I have seen the great benefits of MSME as the backbone of the Philippine economy.  MSME creates livelihood, contributes to economic development, and allows Filipinos to be more  financially capable to provide for their families.” Ambassador Philippe is also eager to introduce and promote franchising to our OFWs abroad. “I strongly believe that franchising provides better opportunities for OFWs, as it allows them to channel their remittances into more productive ventures like investments and commercial activities that generate more wealth and value for their families back home.”

This 2019, we are targeting to reach more cities and municipalities across the country and mentor the aspiring and existing micro and small entrepreneurs through our different mentorship programs such as Kapatid Mentor Me Program, Kapatid Agri Mentor Me Program and Mentor Me On Wheels.

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Thank you, Tatang!

Tatang Henry Sy Sr. (right) was recognized by Go Negosyo as the Big Brother of Filipino Entrepreneurs during its first summit in February 2006. Also in photo are PA Joey Concepcion and then president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Last Saturday morning, the business community was saddened to know the passing of Mr. Henry Sy Sr., one of the country’s top businessmen and founder of the SM Group of companies. Fellow Go Negosyo entrepreneurs and partners mourn his passing and relived their encounters with him.

Let me share one special encounter I had with Mr. Sy, more fondly called Tatang.

In 2005, I, together with like-minded entrepreneurs banded together to form Go Negosyo, an advocacy promoting poverty alleviation through entrepreneurship. Some of our trustees then include Esther Vibal (Vibal Publishing), Socorro Ramos (National Bookstore) and Harley Sy (SM Group), among others. Harley is one of Tatang’s children who is also leading the company to greater heights.

Tatang Henry Sy, Sr. together with Go Negosyo trustees Socorro Ramos (National Bookstore), Atty. Felipe Gozon (GMA Network), and his son Harley Sy (SM Investments Corporation).

 

When we launched Go Negosyo during our first summit, I remember it was held in Victory Auditorium which can only gather around 2,000 participants but was filled to the brim of people wanting to be entrepreneurs themselves. It was a fitting venue to have Tatang as one of our special guests. His invaluable presence provided the inspiration, insight, and support to the Go Negosyo advocacy. Many admired and respected him for emulating winning attitudes of a successful entrepreneur – hardworking, persevering, humble, and kind. Because of his inspiring entrepreneurial journey, we recognized him as the Big Brother of Filipino Entrepreneurs. He is indeed a pillar of the Philippine economy.

But who is Tatang Henry Sy Sr.?

Born in China in 1924, Tatang followed his father in the Philippines at the age of 12. His father then was struggling to manage a small sari-sari store. He then contributed to the store’s growth by introducing the “tingi” concept by repackaging products into small portions that would be more affordable to the masses. War came and everything was destroyed but this did not stop him. He began selling American shoes and soon after, ShoeMart was born. This is the first air-conditioned shoe store in Manila.

After many years, ShoeMart became SM Group of Companies which is into mall development, retail, real estate, banking, among others. It has provided countless of job opportunities for many Filipinos and has also helped other businesses grow and develop under their malls and other properties.

Fellow columnist Iris Gonzales wrote an interesting column the other day wherein she asked whether billionaires are good for the country. After sharing some statistics about billionaires, she highlighted one important anecdote – that there are two types of billionaires: those who are successful because of hard work and those who are successful because of political connections.

Here’s my answer to Iris’ column.  There is nothing wrong in having wealth most especially if you worked hard for it. One can be extremely wealthy because of his innovative business model. But here is the reality, in almost all ASEAN countries, the wealthy continue to be the minority. A small percentage compared to the majority, middle and lower class group. But despite being a minority, they are also an instrument for others to be successful. I can say that what is important in being wealthy lies in what you do to make a difference – how you use your business in making it more inclusive, or how you can improve other people’s lives.

Mr. Sy has created more entrepreneurs by bringing them in his shopping malls. Entrepreneurs also have easier access to money through their financing programs in their banks. And lastly, SM also provided a venue for mentorship most especially for our Go Negosyo Mentor Me On Wheels which is attended by more than 4000 mentees since its first launch in SM Mall of Asia. During this program, we see the collaboration and mentorship between successful business owners and thousands of micro and small entrepreneurs.

In the end, we can say that those who work hard will be blessed with great wealth but this wealth should be maximized by enabling others to succeed. After all, these material things cannot be brought to the next life. And for me, the real journey of being wealthy is by being a blessing to others.  This is what Tatang has done and his children continue to do.

Beyond his business prowess, he was a great mentor to his children as they too have each continued and built upon his legacy. They have inherited his generous heart as well, initiating numerous programs to help the greater Filipino community. Harley is now SM Investments executive director. Hans is now SM Prime Holdings chairman while Tessie is SM Investments vice chairperson. Tessie is also one of my co-members in the ASEAN Business Advisory Council and has been active in joining our mentoring sessions with micro and small entrepreneurs. Aside from these, SM continues to help many Filipinos including our farmers. Together with Harbest of Toto Barcelona, SM Foundation has been training farmers through their Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan Training Program.

Tatang will continue to live on in the hearts of his children and in the countless lives he has touched and improved forever. We bid farewell to a great man and an entrepreneur with a heart of gold.

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On Jan. 29, Go Negosyo will have its first Mentor Me On Wheels this 2019 at the SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. For the first time, two of the biggest franchising organizations in the country – the Philippine Franchising Association and the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. will come together to mentor aspiring franchisors and franchisees. For interested participants, register now at www.tinyurl.com/MMOWMandaluyong.

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ASEAN and AMEN Get High Trust

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!

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Digitalization is Pro-Poor!

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 gonegosyoinspiringfilipina2019@gmail.com

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