Success in micro entrepreneurship

GO NEGOSYO - Joey Concepcion (The Philippine Star) - October 30, 2014 - 12:00am

Not all successful businesses started as big enterprises. Actually, many started small and faced countless challenges before they reached stability. This is the real story of micro entrepreneurship; it is a risk, a continuous process towards success.

Just like the micro entrepreneurs who are nominated in the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards. Last Oct. 20, I had the privilege of being chosen a judge once again for the said award. Along with the other committee members who include Felipe Gozon, Antonino Alindogan Jr., Marixi Rufino-Prieto, Batara Sianturi, BSP Gov. Amando Tetangco, Sec. Imelda Nicolas and BSP Deputy Governor Nestor Espenilla Jr., we learned about the stories of microentrepreneurs who maximized their resources and transformed it to produce high-value products.

Let me share with you some of the stories of the nominees and be inspired by how they are strove to not just earn a living for themselves, but also to help their community in their own simple way.

One nominee was a simple housewife who manufactures barong tagalogs in their province. Her edge over her competitors is her unique designs which are produced by her craft and artistry in embroidery. She encourages her employees to generate and contribute ideas in order to improve their products and be distinguished from the other barong tagalog manufacturers.

Another nominee, who is from Bulacan, started as an employee in a factory manufacturing sautéed shrimp paste or bagoong. While she was still in the factory, she experimented on how to prolong the shelf life of their products. Soon after discovering the right mix of ingredients, she left the factory and started her own manufacturing business. Her business is now successful because she is hands-on in the processes and knows diligently the dynamics of it due to her experience and expertise.

Just like how other entrepreneurs started, a nominee from Visayas turned her hobby into a productive livelihood. She and her husband banked on their creativity and talent in transforming different kinds of drift and salvaged wood into home furniture. Their use of drift wood does not harm the environment for they transform these useless materials into something valuable and usable. Their furniture shop now employs 12 regular employees and six seasonal workers. 

With the busy and active market in their province, another nominee made full use of this situation to make a living. She is from Mindanao and her enterprise is a local coffee shop which provides breakfast and snacks, partnered with their famous coffee, to traders in the port area. She maintains good relations with her clients, welcoming them every day.

Again, these are just some of the stories of the nominees for the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards and are not winners yet. There are others, but I cannot share all of them in this column. These micro entrepreneurs are truly inspiring; they are all determined to reach success. Aside from that, they too contribute to their community by providing their neighbors and even relatives employment and other incentives.

There will be four categories in this year’s awards which includes the Microentrepreneur of the Year, Special Awards for Community Leadership, for Agri Micro-Business and for Innovation. As much as I want to share with you the winners, I cannot. We all have to wait for the awarding ceremony which will be on first week of December.

But whoever wins the awards, advance congratulations to you. I hope that you can inspire others in your community and country to pursue entrepreneurship. It does not matter if one started small. If they do not have the money to start, enablers like Citibank and Microfinance Council of the Philippines can help them.

For all the nominees, continue your entrepreneurial journey, despite the challenges and trials. With your hard work and positive mindset, you are all winners!

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Let me congratulate our dear friends and leading Go Negosyo advocates , Johnlu Koa and Rey Lapid. Johnlu is celebrating the 25th year of French Baker. French Baker has been one of our partners in every summit we had, consistently providing us with delicious pasta and pastries. A congratulation as well to Rey Lapid for his famous R. Lapid’s chicharon which is now on its 40th year of providing us with crunchy chicharon. I am sure that all Filipinos have tried and enjoyed his chicharon perfectly partnered with vinegar!
May your businesses continue its progress and success as you continuously share your blessings to many!

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The month of November is fast approaching; we only have two weeks before we celebrate the Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014. In line with this celebration, we are launching our newest program: the Go Negosyo Building Enterprising Students for Tomorrow (Go Negosyo BEST) which I have introduced to you in my previous articles. We have received registrations from 35 schools that will send their top 10 students for the BEST program. We are all excited for the official launch of this program on Nov. 17. Towards the evening of Nov. 17, we are unveiling the 9th book of Go Negosyo in a private and intimate dinner for our partners and supporters.  

As for our Mobile App Challenge, we have 38 teams who are ready to take the challenge in making innovative mobile applications! I would like to challenge all the techies and non-techies out there; you can still join the competition as we are extending the deadline of registration.

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