Appreciation and thanksgiving

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!


Mentor Me e-learning

Go Negosyo partners with Singapore Polytechnic for the first online entrepreneurship program entitled Mentor Me e-Learning.

Not everyone can be entrepreneur, but everyone can be entrepreneurial.

Since 2005, Go Negosyo has been advocating for a shift in the entrepreneurial mindset and attitude. We truly believe that we can address poverty in the country by engaging Filipinos in entrepreneurship and developing an optimistic, innovative, resourceful, and persevering character. While not everyone can be a businessman, there’s much that we can benefit from if we embrace an enterprising attitude and apply it to our lives.

We believe that this mindset should be cultivated and nurtured at an early age, allowing a new breed of creative and innovative entrepreneurs to be developed. Go Negosyo takes pride in leading this revolution, making mentorship more inclusive by bringing it to the younger generation here in the Philippines. Now, through the Mentor Me e-Learning powered by Singapore Polytechnic and Go Negosyo, a 15-week online entrepreneurship program, we aim to teach the skills and values needed for young entrepreneurs to succeed across Asia.

Mentor Me e-Learning is an the first e-learning entrepreneurship program which is developed and managed by partner schools and universities from all over Asia. The program provides students from partner institutions the platform and the relevant business, technical and creative skillsets needed to start, sustain and scale-up a business. The program culminates with the student teams pitching their businesses to key partners and investors with the aim of bringing the product, solution or service to a wider market.

For as low as 15 SGD per student for 15 weeks, a student taking any major can have the opportunity to access this online learning education. Schools can integrate entrepreneurship in their existing curricula providing the students mentorship, skills training, shared services and workspaces, access to market and potential investors not only locally, but even across Asia.

Through this course, students are made to identify real world problem statements and evaluate their business savviness and commitment to successfully sustain and scale up their entrepreneurial ventures. The program is delivered using the “blended learning” approach, a combination of tutorials directed towards traditional learning and online learning.

After identifying the problem statement using the Design Thinking (empathy, ideation and prototype) process, students are encouraged to find an opportunity in the problem. Online tutorials then guide the teams on how to apply the concept of a lean startup (build, measure, learn and pivot) to their business model.

Mentors will play a crucial role in the students’ entrepreneurial journeys. Weekly face-to-face mentoring sessions will be conducted by the academe mentors, who are also trained by Singapore Polytechnic, and teams will also be paired with entrepreneur mentors of Go Negosyo based on their industry. Go Negosyo’s existing pool of about 700+ mentors nationwide will participate, lending their wisdom and experience.

The program is highly experiential in nature and will entail research and fieldwork. After the first week, students will have to do regular engagements and meetings with external stakeholders relevant to the project. Within the 15 weeks, students will have gone through the whole process, from ideation to final demo day where they are required to pitch their business models and product prototypes to potential investors. Successful teams can get funded; but most importantly, they will be given constructive criticism and feedback on how they can further improve their business ventures.

After taking the program, students will be given the chance to continue incubating their ideas and they will also be encouraged to become mentors themselves to the students of future batches.

After helping entrepreneurs scale up by providing mentorship through Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) Program, Kapatid AgriMentor ME Program (KAMMP) and Mentor ME on Wheels, we at Go Negosyo and ASEAN BAC hope to provide more opportunities and expand our influence by catering to micro-entrepreneurs through this unique partnership with Singapore Polytechnic.

This collaboration will also further institutionalize the ASEAN BAC legacy project, AMEN, which we had launched in November 2017 during the Philippine chairmanship as part of the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit. We will continue to elevate mentorship on the regional level, and ensure that ASEAN BAC becomes a stronger community partner. Hopefully, as we build stronger ties and seek the support of the respective chairs of the different ASEAN countries, we can have the program implemented all the across ASEAN.

We will proudly launch this partnership at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2018 from Nov. 12 to 13 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. We look forward to all your support and your amazing ideas.

We are inviting all schools and universities to join this exciting program. For interested parties, you may get in touch with Go Negosyo through or or call us at 637-9347.


Championing MSMEs through DTI’s MSME Summit

PA Joey Concepcion with Sec. Ramon Lopez, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and President Rodrigo Duterte during the National MSME Summit 2018.

MSME development has been one of the Duterte administration’s economic agenda. That is why the Department of Trade and Industry led by Sec. Ramon Lopez has been an active force in pursuing programs that would help our micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs. And Go Negosyo is an staunch partner of DTI and the administration in helping our entrepreneurs scale up and enjoy prosperity.

Just this Tuesday, DTI hosted the 4th National MSME Development Summit held at the ASEAN Convention Center, Clark, Pampanga.

It was a very eventful day as the summit was a gathering of all entrepreneurs — majority of which are MSMEs from the country as well as the top leaders from our government and other successful entrepreneurs.

As the vice chair of the MSMED Council, I am one with Sec. Lopez when he said that we are very active toward MSME development. DTI as well as other government units have launched numerous programs in helping our brothers and sisters address poverty through entrepreneurship. These include the Shared Service Facilities (SSF), Pondo sa Pagbabago at Pag-asenso (P3), Go Lokal, Regional Interactive Platform for Philippine Exporters (RIPPLES), Comprehensive Social Benefits Program for Killed-in-Action and Wounded-in-Action Military Personnel (CSBP KIA-WIA), and of course, our Kapatid Mentor ME program from Go Negosyo.

The testimonials from these programs really affirmed that our initiatives are being felt by our stakeholders. Their inspiring stories and words of gratitude warmed our hearts. This only means that our efforts are paying off not only because of their remarks but also through the concrete changes in their lives.

I was joined by DTI Usec. Rowel Barba in the first forum for the day to discuss the role of government in fostering a mindset in facilitating the ease of doing business. We also talked about creating and empowering entrepreneurs built on a multi-stakeholder approach. In this panel, I shared that we have been strengthening our partnerships with the public and private sector to help our MSMEs especially thesari-sari store owners. People like ourselves in big corporations have been harnessing the private sector in providing the right avenues for these enterprises in terms of financial access and the right mindset. We are doing our part to help them navigate in the digital landscape.

I highlighted the importance of the 3Ms – mentorship, money, and market in entrepreneurship. I have always believed that mentorship is a very powerful tool in empowering our micro and small entrepreneurs. Finding the right mentor will enable our brothers and sisters to execute their business plan and manage their enterprises accordingly.

While the plenary has been successfully running, we also rolled out the Mentor Me on Wheels in the MSME Development Summit. In its fourth leg, we once again offered free one-on-one mentorship to the aspiring entrepreneurs in Clark. I, together with Sec. Mon Lopez, William Belo of Wilcon Depot, and Henry Lim Bon Liong of SL Agritech and more than 60 mentors shared our expertise and business advice to the mentees onsite.

PA Joey mentoring Marites Clareza during the roll out of the Mentor Me on Wheels in the National MSME Summit 2018.

I personally mentored Marites Clareza, who owns a massage parlor and sells products that promote hair growth. In our session, I found out that she runs the business with her eldest son. She sought advice on how to register her business and how to make it FDA-compliant. I hope that she will imbibe what I have told her and continuously develop her products to be of help to other people.

During this summit, Sec. Mon and I also officially introduced our Mentor Me mobile app to the public. This is the first of its kind to be launched in the Philippines which is envisioned to bring mentorship closer to all Filipinos. It is now available for download on Google Play Store and will soon be available for iOS devices. We hope that through our latest initiative, we would bring mentorship even to those who cannot personally attend our events in Go Negosyo and DTI. With this mobile app, we break the barriers in connecting our aspiring entrepreneurs to their mentors.

President Duterte also discussed the ease of doing business in his speech. He mentioned that he wants business permits to be processed within three days. Implementing a stricter regulation in providing business permits and other documents will really encourage our MSMEs to pursue entrepreneurship. He would also like to remove the “5-6” lending system as it hinders the growth of Filipinos because of its high interest rates.

I am expressing my utmost gratitude to DTI and Sec. Mon and all the hardworking people who are with us in our advocacy. We are truly one in helping the our MSMEs navigate in this ever-changing digital economy. These continuous efforts in bringing mentorship closer to every Filipino – either offline or online, are harnessed in realizing President Duterte’s vision of an inclusive economic growth in our country. It does not end here. After the successful summit, we will still keep developing our programs in championing the needs of our MSMEs.



Restaurant and cafe in one

Marita J’s Coffee Shop and Kitchenette is owned by Maria Julieta Berces. It offers an array of foods, pastries and coffee.

KMME helped Maria on how to fix the finances for her business. After the mentorship, she increased sales and production by 50%. There is also an increase in customers by 20-30%. Through KMME she also gained additional capital from the family worth Php 200,000 for the equipments she will be needing.

KMME became a big help for Maria’s restaurant. It had helped her a lot in improving her business as well on how to handle it.

The Kapatid Mentor ME (KMME) is a joint program of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship – Go Negosyo and Department of Trade and Industry which aims to help Micro, Small and Medium Entrepreneurs scale up their business through weekly coaching and mentoring by business owners and practitioners on different functional areas of entrepreneurship to be held in Negosyo Centers nationwide. New batches of KMME will roll out nationwide this 2018! #DTIGoNegosyoMentorME


PM Dmitry Medvedev says Russia ready to provide infra capability to ASEAN

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

MANILA: November 13, 2017—Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev lauded ASEAN for opening up their borders in an age of increasing protectionism during the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit where he gave a speech and answered questions related to the ASEAN Build, Build, Build panel. As Russia works towards recovering from economic hurdles such as trade embargoes or sanctions from the West, their gaze has turned towards its Eastern neighbors.

“Russia is looking for ways to adapt to the new economic reality,” Medvedev said in his keynote speech, “Growth is recovering in Russia with GDP expected to increase 2 percent by the end of the year.”

Medvedev shared that Foreign Direct Investment has also been pouring in to Russia, with a more than 100% increase reported in the first half of the year. However, Russia is now looking towards adapting to the digital economy and information age. In this end, Russia wishes to deepen its ties with the regional bloc.

“We see genuine interest within the business community of our countries to cooperate on energy, transport, agriculture, satellite navigation, high technology, financial services, and in almost all possible areas,” Medvedev said.

Connectivity seems to be a main priority of Russia with regards to ASEAN. “We are developing seaports and airport infrastructure in Russia’s Far East and are building cross-border oil and gas pipelines. The main goal of all these efforts is to ensure maximum efficiency in cargo transport between Asia and Europe and create a major transport and industrial hub in Russia’s Far East to serve the Asia-Pacific Region,” Medvedev said.

Another initiative for connectivity which Russia is spearheading is the Eurasian Economic Union—a new integration body that aims to create a large market wrought from Eastern Europe and Asia’s quest for a larger market and developed infrastructure. “Russia belongs to the Asia-Pacific Region in terms of its geopolitics, history and economy. Promoting cooperation with all countries within the region and contributing proactively to resolving regional issues is a strategic priority for us,” Medvedev said in closing.

ASEAN Build, Build, Build Open Forum

After his speech, Medvedev entertained questions from delegates of the summit. Prompted as to what Russia—with its achievements in infrastructure—can contribute to aid ASEAN in its Master Connectivity Plan, Medvedev said “[w]e are willing to provide our infrastructure capacities to all ASEAN economies. This includes airports and seaports, railways, roads, pipelines, powerlines and high-speed communication channels.”

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joins key business leader panelists for the first forum of ABIS2017, "Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future.

Russian Federation Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev joins key business leader panelists for the first forum of ABIS2017, “Build, Build, Build (Infrastructure Development): Building for the Future.

Answering another question Medvedev said increasing trade relations with all ASEAN states was the strategic stance of Russia with regards to the economic community. Seeing that developmental gaps and increasing favoritism can threaten the stability and future of the economic union, Russia wishes to solidify ties with all.

Asked about how Russia plans to attract Asian businesses to their country, Medvedev said:

In October, Russia and ASEAN agreed on a plan of action in science, technology and innovation. I hope that the business community will also find a place in these plans. We have approved an energy development programme through 2020. There are programmes on agriculture, food security and tourism with ASEAN economies. All these programmes can make an additional contribution to our interaction.

Finally, Medvedev addressed a question raised by ASEAN Business Advisory Council Chair Joey Concepcion on Russia’s plans of helping small businesses in Russia move up the value chain. He shared that Russia’s small businesses make up 50-60% of their business community which low compared to that of ASEAN’s more than 90%. Nevertheless, the country has endeavoured to support these small businesses as key drivers of growth thru pushing legislation that promotes and supports small businesses.


For full transcript of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s speech and Q&A, visit:


Aung San Suu Kyi Challenges Popular View on Development, Emphasizes Women as Key

Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

Republic of the Union of Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi

During her keynote at the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit 2017, Myanmar State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi centered her vision of prosperity for all on women economic empowerment and human capital development.

Suu Kyi was amongst the state leaders to be invited by the ASEAN Business Advisory Council to impart their own perspective on achieving inclusive growth in the region. To open the summit, Suu Kyi touched on ASEAN economic milestones paralleled with Myanmar’s distinct view on development and the central role women play.

“Since 2004, ASEAN’s GDP growth has reached 5%, outpacing that of any other region. Myanmar, as a member of the ASEAN family has been growing rapidly as we roll out rigorous reforms and structural changes in every sector. I would also like to mention that our young entrepreneurs are amongst the most vigorous of them all. I am very much happy to discover that in the recent seminar of young entrepreneurs, 49% of them are women,” Suu Kyi shared to delegates, eliciting applause.

Suu Kyi underlined the importance in investing on people-based initiatives and solutions in their nation’s course towards development and integration amidst years of isolation and turmoil. “As a responsible member of the ASEAN family, we will work together to be more connected and integrated economically and socially. In the process of such integration, human capital, and intellectual resources play a pivotal role in filling the gap between diverse ASEAN countries at different stages of economic and social development,” Suu Kyi said.

From this, Suu Kyi further elaborated on her people-based vision, founded on unleashing women’s latent economic power. “More and more women entrepreneurs have emerged to participate vigorously in [Myanmar’s] transformation, demonstrating the increasing importance of women not only in the social but also in the economic sphere,”  she said.

H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi with members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC).

H.E. Aung San Suu Kyi with members of the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN BAC).

Many women entrepreneurs are classified as MSMEs; Suu Kyi recognized the multitude of challenges MSMEs face, and for women in this sector, there is the added crutch of gender discrimination. And gender discrimination leading to a gender gap in various opportunities is a stark reality many feel in the ASEAN.

“To achieve positive changes in women’s rights, it is important to increase number of girls enrolling in primary and secondary schools , improve the participation of women in the labor force, ensure better maternal care outcomes, provide social protection measures, and promote the role of women in decision making,” she proposed as steps to move towards gender equality.

Suu Kyi wrapped up her keynote by challenging the current popular view on development. “What is empowerment for? What is development about? Is it simply to develop our countries materially or to develop ourselves to become better human beings?,” she said, “Myanmar, as a young democracy started with many, many challenges has become fully aware to the need for development of peoples as human beings not just economic powerhouses.”