President Duterte said, “I thank Go Negosyo for its effort in providing opportunities for the country’s MSMEs, particularly for women entrepreneurship to expand and improve their business.”
President Rodrigo Duterte led the recognition of the latest batch of our Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs in our 10 th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit last March 6, 2018. Together with former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, we awarded 20 Filipina entrepreneurs who have greatly contributed and excelled in their respective fields. The awarding ceremony was the last part of the summit which is the biggest women negosyo summit of the year and was attended by more than 15,000 participants composed of entrepreneurs, advocates, and students.
Chal Lontoc and Mike Lobrin were the overall hosts of the summit and interviewed some guests from the red carpet entrance.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion in his speech said, “Don’t stop dreaming, all you have to do is work hard and continue to be passionate in what you do, and you will succeed. Filipinos were never destined for poverty.”
Sen. Grace Poe graced the 10th Filipina Summit. In her inspirational message, she shared, “Mabuhay ang kababaihang nagpapasigla sa ating ekonomiya sa pamamagitan ng kanilang sariling kabuhayan.”
Tessie Sy-Coson, Vice Chair of SM Investments, shared how she is mentored by her father, Mr. Henry Sy. She shared, “The best mentor is pressure. Of course, we learn from everyone in the organization. It’s true you can learn from everyone but the mentor I really look up to is my father.”
Dr. Vicki Belo, CEO of Belo Medical Group, related her experience in her younger years when she was bullied for her looks which pushed her to pursue her dream in dermatology.
“I think when we talk about scaling up, we need government support and networking. It delivering you product and supporting your product, and allowing the word spread by itself,” Lizzie Eder Zobel, Chairman of Teach for the Philippines.
Natividad Cheng, CEO of Uratex, shared that they started their business with a capital of only 4000.
Celebrity-entrepreneur Anne Curtis appreciated the value of mentorship as she too is being mentored by her business partner. “It’s very important that you find someone who will discipline you, kailangan merong nagguide sayo, it’s very important you find someone in your company that knows what their doing.” She is the co-founder and creative director of the 5-month old start-up enterprise, BLK Cosmetics.
“Mentorship makes a big part of the program. I learned that you didn’t need to wait for the end of your career to help the country. We can matter now upfront,” Clarissa Delgado, co-founder and CEO of Teach for the Philippines.
Merle Paete of Merle’s Pili and Native Products started her business with only P2,000 capital. Now, her product is slowly gaining attraction in the country.
Georgina Wilson was also an awardee of Go Negosyo back in 2016 for their Sunnies Studios. “The fact that we value that open line of communication is what I feel is what keep people connected to the brand.”
Issa Litton moderated the keynote forum.
Forum 2 discussed mainstreaming market access and expanding market reach and featured Inanc Balci (Lazada Philippines), Constantin Robertz (Zalora Philippines), Jeannie Javelosa (GREAT WOMEN and ECHOstore), Atty. Paul Santos (Philippine Retailers Association), and Norlela Suhailee (ASEAN Coordinating Committee for MSMEs) and was moderated by Bettina Quimson.
Marilyn Magampon-Manila (CARD-MRI), Nicole Paterno (1000 Angels), Gigi Gatti (Grameen Foundation), Joey Concepcion, Marissa Concepcion, Ana Pascual (Mynt), Lito Villanueva (FintQ), Chuchi Fonacier (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas), and RJ Ledesma.
RJ Ledesma moderated the discussion on access to money.
Forum 4 featured women innovators and disruptors including Carol Orosa (Home Care Assistance), Mah Khine Zaw (Earth Group of Companies), Margarita Fores (Cibo), Neri Miranda, Charisse Tinio (Nice Print Photography), Lenora Cabili (Filip+Inna), Josie Costales (Costales Nature Farms), Rissa Mananquil-Trillo (Happy Skin), Felicia Atienza (Chinese International School Manila) and moderated by Karen Davila. Also in photo are Joey Concepcion and Alice Eduardo.
Karen Davila led the discussion of women innovators and disruptors.
Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Co-founder and Chief Brandd Officer of Happy Skin
Celebrity host Gretchen Ho moderated the panel of young entrepreneurs.
In photo: Joey Concepcion, Angely Dub (Access Travel), Jen Diaz (Snoe Beauty), Aya Fernandez (Project Lily PH), Abbey Sy, Mica Tan (MFT Group), Helen Kaye Layco (Macho Mucho), Cherrie Atilano (AGREA), Krie Lopez (Messy Bessy), Alice Eduardo and Gretchen Ho.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion
President Duterte said, “I thank Go Negosyo for its effort in providing opportunities for the country’s MSMEs, particularly for women entrepreneurship to expand and improve their business.”
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo also graced the awarding ceremony.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, a partner in the advocacy of empowering Filipinos through entrepreneurship, is also one of the special guests.
Julieane “Aya” Fernandez, Project Lily PH – For resolutely pursuing the vision of ecological sustainability through Project Lily PH which manufactures eco-friendly charcoals and provided sustainable livelihood to several differently-abled individuals.
Kathleen Yu, Rumarocket – For pioneering an innovative way of people management by combining human wisdom with the accuracy of artificial intelligence through the technology of Rumarocket.
Jeannie Javelosa, Great Women Global Platform – For her firm advocacy for culture and women empowerment, she co-founded GREAT Women and ECHOStore which supported market access for micro and small entrepreneurs and their artisan products.
Maria Francesca Tan, MFT Group of Companies was recognized for her high-spirited drive which led to the development of MFT Group of Companies, a pioneer in providing capital funds to start-ups and helped expand more than 100 business from a range of industries across the globe.
Abdulia Austria, Kadz General Merchandise, UNODUS Tourist Inn was recognized for her admirable community leadership and innovative ideas through her various business ventures such as Kadz General Merchandise and UNODUS Tourist Inn while promoting the tourism of Palawan.
Calungcaguin, Make Peace Bakery, Bakers of Change was recognized for rising to the challenge and becoming the Founder and CEO of the Make Peace Bakery, Bakers of Change, which empowers the Filipino out-of-school youth from depressed communities through the art of baking.
Lydia Codiñera, Samahang Tubig Maynilad Inc. was awarded for answering the calls of service and founded The Samahang Tubig Maynilad Inc., which now serves the entire community with clean and potable water.
Edilee Omoyon, Milea Bee Farm was awarded for her valuable efforts in fostering sustainable agritourism and organic farming through Milea Bee Farm.
Merle Paete, Merle’s Pili and Native Products was recognized for her optimism and perseverance to transform local agricultural material into world class products through Merle’s Pili and Native Products.
Mary Grace Arboleda-Young, Cordillera Coffee was honored for her genuine compassion for the farmer communities brought about their own appreciation for their own crops which led to the flourishing of the Cordillera Coffee.
Amanda Battad, Amanda’s Marine Products was honored for her unrelenting perseverance and admirable efforts in founding Amanda’s Marine Products with the help of the government which has led it to become an established brand and supplier to well-known restaurants.
Zarah Juan, Green Life Eco Bags Inc. was awarded for endeavoring environmental conservation and protection through her fashionable eco-friendly bags and creating an avenue to help the Marikina shoemakers and preserve the dying culture of the T’bolis through Green Life Eco Bags.
Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, Happy Skin was recognized for pioneering a homegrown brand of makeup that caters and cares for the Filipina through Happy Skin which has helped enhanced the beauty and allure of many Filipinas.
Bettina Quimson led the discussion on market access and digital platforms.
Warblitz Martinez, Aqua Peace Farm was recognized for showing her passion with her Aqua Peace farm, she has fulfilled the requirement of their local market with various sea foods such as milkfish and shrimps.
Olivia Puentespina, Malagos Farmhouse was honored for being a conscientious foodie and entrepreneur, she has founded the Malagos Food Inc., the pioneer in the dairy industry in the country.
Felicia Atienza, Alice Eduardo and Karen Davila.
Edelyn Canero, Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts was honored for her tenacity to complete the transition from being a retailer of peanut to manufacturer through the establishment of Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts.
One of the intrapreneur awardees is Marcelina Ace T. Itchon, Aspen Philippines Inc. who is recognized for her keen determination and single-minded focus which led her to rise through the ranks in the pharmaceutical industry. Through her, Aspen Philippines has become a stalwart in the pharmaceutical industry today.
Another intrapreneur awardee is Florencia G. Tarriela, Philippine National Bank who is honored for her tireless dedication and service to the banking and finance industry for more than 40 years, whilst actively advocating environmental protection. She is the devoted chairperson of the Philippine National Bank, and an active mentor promoting sustainable agriculture.
One of the legacy winners is Helen Yuchengco Dee who is the chair of Rizal Commercial Banking Corp. She is honored for her strong sense of leadership; she has steered the success of the Rizal Commercial Banking Corp for more than a decade. Bent on enhancing her father’s legacy, she is known for her unmatched expertise in banking, finance, and management.
To complete the list of awardees, Lourdes Montinola, the chairman emeritus of Far Eastern University is recognized for being a well-published and multi-awarded author and educator of generations. At 90, the current Chair Emeritus of Far Eastern University, she, has remained an inspiring accomplished woman worthy of emulation.
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 Yuchengo-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, Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, and Marcelina Itchon.
Go Negosyo partners and supporters had a chance to have a photo with President Duterte. In photo are Rosalind Wee, Vivian Azcona and Steve Azcona, Angeline Tan, Josephine Gotianun-Yap, Kristine Balmes, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Myrna Yao, Feliciano Torres, Natividad Cheng, Felix Ang, Corazon Ong, Alice Eduardo, Nanette Po, and Bernie Liu.
103 Student representatives from all schools who attended had a chance to have a photo with President Duterte as well.
Dr. William Dar and Sec. Ramon Lopez
Rosalind Wee, Amb. Kok Li Peng of Singapore and Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Munir
Myanmar Amb. Win Naing with US Amb. Sung Kim.
Terry Chen, Marissa Concepcion, Angeline Tan, Myrna Yao, and Amb. Sung Kim.
Marissa Concepcion, Myrna Yao, Sen. Bam Aquino, Bing Carrion, and Rowena Matti.
Marissa Concepcion and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Amb. Win Naing, Sen. Grace Poe, and Sen. Bam Aquino.
Australian Amb. Amanda Gorely.
Johnlu Koa and Yati Abdullah
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Alice Eduardo.
Go Negosyo also had the largest one-on-one mentoring session with around 200 mentors who volunteered to give business tips to the participants who lined up on different areas of entrepreneurship.
Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion and Sec. Ramon Lopez welcomed the President Duterte to the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.
Hayden Kho, Alice Eduardo, Joey Concepcion, and Russian Amb. Igor Khovaev.
The summit was ended on a high note with the performance of 4th Impact of X Factor UK.
We are a day away from the anticipated and biggest women negosyo summit in the Philippines, the Go Negosyo’s 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit. For the past 10 years, it has continuously empowered and inspired many Filipino women to venture into entrepreneurship and pursue their passion and goals. This year’s summit features many business models and inspiring entrepreneurial stories of Filipina entrepreneurs and women advocates. We will also have the largest one-on- one mentoring session with more than 150 mentors.
We have prepared an insightful program for all attendees featuring successful women entrepreneurs, thought leaders, and women advocates.
We hope that you are all registered to attend the 10 th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit on March 6, 2018!
More than just a series of talks, this year’s Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit takes on bolder steps in resonating the importance of mentorship to women entrepreneurs. We believe that women participation in the local and international economy is fundamental to sustain economic growth. Our keynote forum will discuss WOMENtorship: Sharing of insights and advices from champion women entrepreneurs. We will have Tessie Sy-Coson, Vice Chair of SM Investments Corporation, Dr. Vicki Belo, Dermatologist and CEO of Belo Medical Group, Lizzie Eder Zobel, Chairman and Co-Founder of Teach for the Philippines, Natividad Cheng, CEO of Uratex, Anne Curtis Smith-Heussaff, Co-founder and Creative Director of BLK Cosmetics, Clarissa Delgado, Co-founder and CEO of Teach for the Philippines, Merle Arnaldo-Paete, 15th Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year, Owner of Pili nuts and pili oil production and Georgina Wilson-Burnand, Co-founder and Marketing Director of Sunnies Studios.
In addition to this, second forum which will focus on Mainstreaming Market and Expanding Market Reach. The forum will feature panelists that will discuss innovative platforms and opportunities in increasing MSMEs access not only to domestic but global markets. It will also highlight e-commerce as a powerful tool to take advantage of when they want to grow their market faster. Market access will be discussed by Inanc Balci of Lazada Philippines, Agatha Soh of Shopee, Constantin Robertz of Zalora Philippines, Jeannie Javelosa of GREAT Women in ASEAN Initiative, and Atty. Paul Santos of Philippine Retailers Association.
Furthermore, forum three entitled Access to Right and Inclusive Money will include panelists that will discuss how the financial landscape in the country will further enable MSMEs and how integrating financial technology will further promote financial inclusivity in the country helping MSMEs participate in wider economic activities. It will feature Chuchi Fonacier, Deputy Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Lito Villanueva, Managing Director of FintQ, Maria Ana Pascual, Head of Online Merchant Solutions of Mynt, Gigi Gatti, Regional Director for Philippines of Grameen Foundation, and Nicole Paterno, Founder of 1000 Angels.
To celebrate the women who have introduced innovation and disruption in their businesses and in the Philippine economy, forum four entitled, Changing the Game: Successful Women Innovators and Disruptors will 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.
Lastly, forum five entitled: Doing Business the Millennial Way will provide insights from young entrepreneurs from different industries who are pushing the boundaries of innovation, disrupting their industries and empowering their respective communities. It features young entrepreneurs like Krie Lopez of Messy Bessy Cleaners, Cherrie Atilano of AGREA, Helen Kaye Layco of Macho Mucho, Maria Francesca Tan of MFT Group of Companies, creative entrepreneur Abbey Sy, Aya Fernandez of Project Lily, Jen Gerodias-Diaz of Snoe Beauty, and Angely Dub of Access Travel.
We are only a day before we welcome 2016 and I am sure that many of us cannot believe that 2015 is about end. Looking back, I can say that it has been nothing but a great year not just for me and my family but also for Go Negosyo. Our 10th year has been blessed with good programs that inspire and empower our fellow Filipinos to strive for a better life through entrepreneurship. We are glad to have mentored and guided aspiring and young entrepreneurs who are bravely starting their entrepreneurial journeys.
As 2016 unfolds, may we all pursue for growth and development. I am saying this not only for the entrepreneurs but for the whole country. We know that there will be elections this coming May 2016 and I think that this is the first step towards continuous growth. May we elect leaders who will have a better vision for the country and will strive to turn these visions into achievements. More than the visions, it is their plan of action that we must consider the most.
With the rate of progress that the Philippines experienced in 2015, I see that the next year will be a better year for improvements. 2016 will be the year of changes, not only in the administration, but also in the economy as we see the effects of ASEAN integration and application of APEC learnings.
2016 will be an exciting year. I pray that we receive more blessings and opportunities and experience greater prosperity. Let us all strive to be better!
I asked some Go Negosyo entrepreneurs to share their expectations and wishes for 2016. Let me share them with you:
“I hope that in the coming elections, the Filipino people will vote for leaders that will work and care for their welfare. I hope that the said elected leaders will have genuine respect for the law and not for their own personal gains. And I pray for peace before, during and after the elections.” –Kathleen Dy-Go, Universal Records
“I hope that the local retail industry will be given more support by the government and the mall developers for us to show everyone and the other nations how relevant local Filipino retailers are in this growing business. I firmly believe that Filipinos are born with so much talent, and it’s a shame if we do not promote our talent and ingenuity effectively to other fellow countrymen and to the rest of the world.” – Roxanne Farillas, Plains & Prints
“I hope that our country will be able to select great leaders that will think of ensuring a great business environment for entrepreneurs, as well as have a clear agenda of prosperity and inclusion for all Filipinos.” – Mark Ruiz, Hapinoy
“We elect a new president who is assertive yet diplomatic, with business experience yet not corrupt, with vision yet unifying.” – Josiah Go, Mansmith & Fielders
“I expect a real brighter future for our country and business if our our people would elect a no-nonsense and decisive President whose integrity is unquestionable and whose priority is to serve our country and people. If this happens, I expect that good governance and optimism will be more prevalent in our midst and criminality and corruption will be minimized if not eradicated.” – Jun Manas, HenLin
“We expect more challenges to our businesses given the climate change issues facing every country, every business. Though we expect an uptick in business due to elections, we still think new challenges will be facing us especially with regards environmental issues.” – Pacita Juan, ECHOstore
“I’m very optimistic that the Philippines will continue with its upward economic growth in 2016. On the heels of a very successful APEC conference, my expectations are that ASEAN will play a big part and open up many more opportunities for young entrepreneurs and create competition that will stimulate our growth and lift our standards and services.” – Michael Deakin, Lifeline Ambulance
“As an avid supporter of Go Negosyo, I wish that more entrepreneurs would support this cause. I also wish that whoever gets elected as President this 2016, may be able to lead the country with empathy, selflessness, dedication and perseverance in uplifting the lives of our countrymen.” – Federico Moreno, Moreno Group of Companies
Christmas has always been the happiest time of the year for many Filipinos. For us, the celebration of the Christmas season starts at earlier dates, from the beginning of October or September, one can hear Christmas carols in the radio. The celebration lasts up to January. This only shows how much we value all the things that this season means for us: love, family, and most especially, the birth of Jesus Christ.
This year, we are blessed to have Pope Francis at the start of the year in January. I can say that our 2015 has been blessed by him. During his short visit, we are reminded of the Christian values we must possess which include love, mercy and compassion. He reminded us that our Lord showed us perfect examples of love for others which we must follow. We must do all things out of love for one another by showing kindness to all and extending help to the needy. May the love of the Lord transcend to us as we share our blessings to others.
It was a once in a lifetime experience for our family to have met the Pope for a few hours but what is more important is his lasting reminders to all of us. I’d like to share with you a simple message from Pope Francis when we had a chance to meet him in Mall of Asia Arena along with thousands of people. In his message, the Pope mentioned, “I would like to rest in the Lord with all of you and to reflect with you on the gift of family.” To us Filipinos, our families are the center of our lives. We work for them, doing our best that we can do just to give them what they deserve. Many of our kababayans even sacrifice for their family, leaving them temporarily to work abroad and become OFWs. Despite the hardships that they are facing, they continue to strive to provide for their families. Our family-centeredness is definitely one of the best Filipino traits that we are recognized for. I see entrepreneurs of today putting correctly their priorities centered on the family, for what is success in business if it will lead to issues in the family.
More importantly, as we enjoy the company of our family and friends, let us not forget that the real meaning of this season is Jesus Christ. God has sent us his Son, Jesus Christ, and we have received so many blessings because of Him. His birth has truly brought joy and meaning to our lives.
As we wrap up the 2015, let me briefly recognize our partners in the advocacy. Go Negosyo was blessed this year as we celebrated our 10th year of building an enterprising nation. We have forged new partnerships and welcomed entrepreneurs who share the same advocacy. Our 10thyear has been meaningful after knowing that we have touched and inspired the lives of many aspiring, young, and even established entrepreneurs. Their entrepreneurial growth and journey mean so much to us as we continue to guide them in their paths. And even those not in business, we are pleased to see them succeed as well in their careers, more inspired and more innovative and positively enterprising in spirit.
Our programs, from the Filipina summit, APEC SME Summit we did with APEC Business Advisory Council up to the OFW and Family Summit with the Villar group and the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshops with US Embassy, and the fora and seminars in between have been instrumental in guiding many Filipinos towards entrepreneurship. Seeing them eagerly listen to the talks of our entrep-mentors shows us their eagerness to have a better life by having an enterprising mindset and knowhow. Our way to spread a success-mindset.
My wish for this Christmas is to have peace and prosperity in our country where everyone move up in life. Inspiring and empowering the bottom of the pyramid is key to poverty alleviation and real inclusive growth. We experience a better economy compared to the last few years and compared with other countries, and this has provided many opportunities for all of us. I wish that this growth and development that we are experiencing will continue, most especially with the next administration. I hope that the next president will have a clear goal and a bright vision for our country. After meeting most of the presidential candidates during our series of fora with them, I am confident that they all will continue to help in building an enterprising nation.
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!
I do not need to cite the very famous quotation from our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal for us to know that indeed, the future of our country lies on the youth. Investing on the youth is like planting seeds for the future. That is why we, at Go Negosyo, have always aimed to empower the young through entrepreneurship. We are fortunate to have found a partner who shares the same goal—the United States Embassy in Manila led by H.E. Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg who graced our recent event with his presence.
Go Negosyo Founding Trustee Joey Concepcion and US Ambassador Philip S. Goldberg.
In partnership with the US Embassy, Go Negosyo conducted the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) series held in Manila, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. In this workshop series which is aimed to develop businesses into innovative enterprise for continuous improvement, we gathered the most promising young entrepreneurs in the country. At the end, we chose the best among the two categories: aspiring entrepreneurs with actual business idea and practicing entrepreneurs with existing businesses.
I am proud to present the winners of this year’s YEDW series:
In the business idea category, Rachel De Villa bested more than 20 other aspiring young entrepreneurs. Rachel’s business idea is called Cropital. Cropital is a crowdfunding platform connecting anyone to help finance farmers. At 23, Rachel has always pictured herself as a problem-solver. So when she and her team noticed the lack of financial support being given to Filipino farmers, she immediately developed a prototype to address this problem. Through Cropital, anyone can finance a farmer by investing funds that will be used to provide the farmer proper equipment, training and advice from experts. In return, the funder will get a certain percentage of the profit generated after harvest. Cropital’s business model revolves around empowering farmers to increase their productivity, thus, increasing the income of their household. “We envision a world where farmers do not live in debt but live the life that they deserve,” said the young visionary.
Meanwhile, Helen Kaye Layco from General Santos City is the winner of the existing business category. Kaye, an industrial engineer by profession who considers herself as an “accidental entrepreneur,” is the CEO of SAM Holdings, the company that manages the Macho Mucho Barber + Salon. Originally conceptualized by her brother Ralph Layco, Macho Mucho is a hybrid salon that provides both barber and salon services designed specifically for men. As a young entrepreneur, the 26-year old Kaye saw the emerging and growing market of men who wish to be pampered and treated for their grooming needs in an environment where they can be truly themselves—not in an old-style barbershop that lacked innovations for the needs of today’s men, and not in the feminine salon where their wife or girlfriend goes to. “One advantage of a young entrepreneur is a higher regard of the present market’s need and wants since we can relate to the market ourselves,” shares Kaye. “We try our best to be creative, empathic, and authentic in communicating to our target market. And this is the best part: We communicate, market, and sell accordingly with so much heart.”
Both winners are grateful for the workshop series because it opened several opportunities and allowed them to build networks with mentors and fellow entrepreneurs.
(L-R) Ma. Isabel Gutierrez (US Embassy), Carlo Calimon (MobKard), Jorge Wieneke (Tokyo Tempura), Pete Davis (US Embassy), Elizabeth Lu (US Embassy) Kaye Layco (Macho Mucho), Rachel De Villa (Cropital), Ramon Lopez (Go Negosyo), Dianne Eustaquio (Ideaspace), Tess Dimaculangan (Dimaculangan and Dimaculangan CPAs) Willy Arcilla (Independent Marketing Consultant).
According to Kaye, “YEDW and its mentors guided me to an appreciation of how a business model should adapt to the requirements of the customers and what it should deliver without sacrificing the essence of the idea.”
For Rachel, she shared that “aside from the skills and learnings I got from YEDW which are all valuable and has greatly contributed to Cropital, for me, the people in YEDW believed and trusted my idea and they knew that it can really improve other people’s lives. They gave me that confidence boost and inspired me to keep moving forward and hustle every day that’s why we were able to launch in just 4 months.”
Aside from these winning businesses, there are other promising concepts that caught my interest such as: OVERHEAT burgers and KABOOM burgers and wings, two businesses that offer an innovative way of serving traditional burgers; agricultural enterprise like AgriBlocks, which sells hollow blocks made of rice hulls and AMO Solution, a 5-in-1 solution that increases the yield of farmers by as much as 100%; PHINIX footware, an enterprise that converts textile waste into fashionable footware and many others.
I am sure that YEDW is just the beginning of these amazing young entrepreneurs’ journey towards success.
The National Selection Committee of this year’s Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards. (L-R) Antonino ALindogan Jr., independent director of Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation; Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Chair of Philippine Daily Inquirer; Aftab Ahmed, CEO of Citi Philippines; Gov. Amando Tetangco Jr., Governor of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas; Sec. Imelda Nicolas, Chairperson of Commission on Filipinos Overseas; Lisa Gokongwei-Cheng, President of Summit Media; Atty. Felipe Gozon, President and CEO of GMA Network Inc.; and Joey Concepcion, President and CEO of RFM Corporation and Founding Trustee of Go Negosyo.
For the past years that I have joined many selection and awarding programs for microentrepreneurs, I have seen how many of them scale up because of proper funding and support from many microfinance institutions.
Recently, I was honoured to be part of the National Selection Committee of 2015 Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA) organized by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, Citi Foundation, Citibank, and Microfinance Council of the Philippines. This CMA is a nationwide search for the most outstanding microentrepreneurs across the country. And for the past 12 years, CMA has recognized more than 100 microentrepreneurs who have displayed passion and determination to pursue their dreams and help their families move up in life.
This year’s winner is truly an inspiration. She is a public school teacher and now a nata de coco manufacturer in Mindanao. Hailing from Davao City, Lydia Malot was named as this year’s National Winner of CMA. But what is inspiring about this Pinay entrepreneur? Few years ago, she read an article in a magazine which showed steps on how to make nata de coco. This has inspired her to try her luck in the business. With only PHP300.00 capital, Lydia and her husband started growing the business. When her husband died, she took the business under her management and became very hands-on in all its processes and growth. Indeed, business inspiration can come from anything.
From the small capital she had, she applied for a loan from Microfinance institution Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay Inc. (KMBI) for the expansion of her business.
Today, Lydia’s business caters to large food and juice producers like Profoods International, Del Monte, and Dole Philippines. Aside from these, international investors and companies also recognize her business and have invited her to join food expos abroad. Recently, her nata de coco was named as the best product compared to those which came from Singapore, Thailand, and Malaysia. Currently, she is seeking for an accreditation to be compliant with the international standards in nata de coco production in order to accommodate the demands from international companies.
With the assistance provided by CMA, Lydia will be able to get the much-needed technical knowledge and equipment in order to improve the quality of their products.
Aside from Lydia, there are other winners as well who have shown their inspiring entrepreneurial journeys.
Members of the National Selection Committee of CMA 2015 with the winners. (front row) : Special Award for Agri Micro-business awardee Laarni Ditablan, Regional Awardee for Mindanao Maternidad Salili, National Winner Lydia Malot, Regional Awardee for Luzon Ester Shiela Vitto, Special Award for Agri Micro-business awardee Victoria Bantilan. (back row) : Regional Awardee for Visayas Jordan Inalisan, Citi Philippines CEO Aftab Ahmed, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Amando Tetangco, Jr., Chairman of the Philippine Daily Inquirer Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Ayala Corporation President Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and Special Award for Community Leadership awardee Marines Takingan.
Ester Vitto and her husband Ronald started a slippers business in Oriental Mindoro. The soles of the slippers and sandals are made from used tires. They also offer a free repair to its customers. Ester received the Malikhain award from CARD MRI’s Galing Ni Nanay search for their innovative way of recycling used tires. CMA recognized her as the Regional Awardee for Luzon.
The Visayas awardee Jordan Inalisan hails from Carigara, Leyte which is known for its products made from pure carabao’s milk. This led to the establishment of his business which sells special pastillas, cookies, and other local delicacies. Jordan’s pastillas shop is known as one of the biggest pasalubong stores in Leyte. His initial loan with the MFI was P3,000 only. His business not only helps his family but also members of his community including working students.
Regional Awardee of Mindanao Maternidad Salili runs a business of fabricating coil springs that are used in machines and vehicles. With the P4000.00 loan she got, she was able to improve the quality of the products through continuous improvement of her machines and equipment. Maternidad proudly shares that there are multinational companies in the country which order coil springs from them which she immediately deliver within agreed turnaround time.
A Special Award for Agri Micro-business was also given to two microentrepreneurs – Victoria Bantilan of Negros Occidental and Laarni Ditablan of Rizal.
From sari-sari store to rice retailing and selling RTWs, Victoria and her husband decided to try agri-business by attending a three-day training program on mushroom culture. They also till a piece of land that they received from CARP which produces organic black and red rice. Aside from selling their products in public markets and stalls, Victoria also distributes their products in some hospitals, restaurants, and organic farmers’ market.
Laarni, on the other hand, is a fish breeder and knife fish trader. Laarni and her husband started their business with just three fishnets. After seeing that the business is lucrative, Laarni decided to loan for a higher capital in order to acquire necessary assets such as canoes and fishing boats. Today, they are breeding tilapias, bread bighead carps and are financing knife fish catchers in Binangonan.
Marines Takingan’s advocacy on organic farming in La Trinidad, Benguet earned him a Special Award for Community Leadership. After suffering from an illness caused by pesticides and insecticides, Marines decided to shift to organic farming and founded an association for organic farmers. Aside from the promotion of organic farming, he offers his garden as a demo farm and trains fellow members.
The winners received close to 2 million in cash and non-cash prizes including a 4-week entrepreneurship training which will better guide them in the improvement of their businesses.
I believe that microentrepreneurs like them are an inspiration to the larger part of our population. Those who want to move up in life and be successful. But the key to their growth is microfinance and mentorship.
BSP Governor Amando Tetangco Jr., said, “Our microentrepreneurs represent a gold mine of lessons and information that has been helping us transform and improve the lives of millions of Filipinos through microfinance. A significant factor in our growing harvest of successful microenterprises stories is a regulatory environment that enables microfinance institutions or MFIs to provide appropriate products and services.”
Supporting and enabling microentrepreneurs can really help change lives. They are the over 90% of the total number of enterprises, and empowering them and helping them take their businesses to the next level is helping the bottom of the entrepreneur pyramid, leading us towards a real inclusive growth.