Recognizing outstanding Filipino entrepreneurs
PA Joey Concepcion, together with US Embassy charge d’affaires John Law, Carlitos Cruz of SGV & Co., and Finance Undersecretary Antonette Tionko, presented the Master Entrepreneur and the Entrepreneur of the Year PH award to Benjamin Yao of Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. during the SGV Entrepreneur of the Year PH Awards last Oct. 15.
Recognizing outstanding Filipino entrepreneurs
GO NEGOSYO PILIPINAS ANGAT LAHAT! - Joey Concepcion (The Philippine Star) - October 17, 2019 - 12:00am

Through my position as the presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and proactive role in Go Negosyo, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with many entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs, big and small alike, have helped shaped the society we live in today through their own unique ways. Their keen eye for innovation, tireless spirit, and exemplary vision have helped drive and lead our nation forward.

Last night, I had the pleasure of meeting several more entrepreneurs who are making waves in the industry today. Ernst & Young and SGV Foundation Inc. have brought together outstanding Filipino entrepreneurs from across the country for their Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2019 Awards.

One of the Filipino entrepreneurs recognized was our Go Negosyo long-time advocate Jose Magsaysay Jr., who leads Cinco Corp., was chosen as the winner for the emerging master entrepreneur category. Cinco Corp. is the company behind the global food franchise Potato Corner.

The small business entrepreneur award went to Zark’s Food Ventures Corp. led by Rolandrei Viktor Varona. Zarks is a leading burger chain in the country offering huge and fresh burgers at an affordable price.

MediLink Network Inc., headed by Esther Wileen Go, won the woman entrepreneur award. Go initiated various innovations in MediLink, which is now an industry leader in providing data mining and machine learning solutions in the country.

The master entrepreneur and entrepreneur of the year awards, on the other hand, were brought home by the Steel Asia Manufacturing Corp. Steel Asia, led by Benjamin Yao, is currently the Philippines’ flagship steel firm serving the country’s biggest property development companies.

Other finalists included our big brother SL Agritech Corp., Destileria Limtuaco & Co. Inc., XRC Mall Developer Inc., Contempo Property Holdings Inc., DTSI Group Inc., Excelsior Farms Inc., Oneworld Alliance Logistics Corp., Regan Industrial Sales Inc., SBS Philippines Corp. and The A-Institute.

The capacity of our local enterprises to compete with other firms abroad is also something all Filipinos should take pride in. I have been with the ASEAN Business Advisory Council-Philippines for two years. And with each year, I still get amazed at how Filipino entrepreneurs can easily contend with international companies, such as in the council’s very own business award-giving platform, the ASEAN Business Awards (ABA).

ABA, launched in 2007, has recognized more than 100 companies throughout the region. This year, I am proud to announce that the Philippines will send 12 finalists to Bangkok, Thailand on Nov. 2 for the ASEAN Business Awards Gala Dinner, where they’ll be recognizing the winners.

ABA is the first of its kind in the region, with dual objectives of recognizing outstanding ASEAN enterprises and serving as a platform to spread information concerning the ASEAN economic community. In addition, ABA also brings to the spotlight promising ASEAN small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have the potential of becoming global economic players.

One of the Filipino enterprises that was chosen as a 2019 ABA PH finalist is PetroSolar Corp., a power generation firm that supplies electricity for the Luzon grid. PetroSolar’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) program, which is anchored under a framework called We Power HELP (Health, Education and Livelihood Programs)”, bested other applicants from the region.

Our big brother, International Container Terminal Service Inc. (ICTSI), garnered the Priority Integration Sector - Logistics award. ICTSI is the undisputed top container operation in the country, with port projects and terminal concessions located in different regions across the globe. ICTSI goes beyond adopting a more inclusive business model that enables them to ensure that as the organization grows, the people grow along with them — taking part in the success and progress of the company.

Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. bagged the Priority Integration Sector under the Infrastructure category. MPTC is an investment holding company that engages in the development, operations, and maintenance of tollways and allied businesses in the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Thailand.

A new name emerged as Natura Organics Skincare Trading received the Green Enterprise Award. Natura Organics cleverly crafts products using certified pure organic plant ingredients and vitamins. It boasts improved organic formulations, some with new sugar-based surfactants, for its range of shampoos, conditioner, shower gels, and body lotions.

FERN Corp. led by Go Negosyo staunch supporter, Tommanny Tan, opened its door to the competitive global market through the launch of I-FERN. Continuing the legacy of its mother company, I-FERN believes in a very simple concept: spreading good health while giving lucrative business opportunities to its members. The company received the Sustainable Social Enterprise award.

Both Tsuneishi and Acuatico Beach bagged the awards for the skill development category. Tsuneishi is a shipbuilding and technical service provider that has consistently brought forth innovative ideas for the development of their employees. Acuatico Beach, on the other hand, stands by the corporate philosophy of providing a friendly and premium leisure experience for all its guests.

Acudeen Technologies Inc. won the Digitalized MSME award while Mageo Consulting Inc. was hailed under the women entrepreneur category winner.

Jeron Travel and Tour - through the leadership of one of our Go Negosyo mentors, Chal Lontoc- was honored in the Employment and Growth category. Additionally, Go Negosyo mentor RJ Ledesma’s Mercato Centrale won big in the SMC Excellence category, under the Innovation category.

Moreover, another ABA winner is the education technology startup platform, Edukasyon.Ph. The online platform, which caters to more than 10 million Filipino Gen Z youths each year, allows users to search through its database of schools, courses, and scholarships, and have them apply without leaving the site.

Congratulations to all our Filipino entrepreneurs who are transforming the nation through their foresight, courage, and innovation. May your dedication and commitment to provide solutions for the evolving needs of our people remain strong and unwavering.

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