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That was a strong typhoon that directly hit Metro Manila. As I was finalizing this column, the wind was banging our windows and door, and water seeping through the openings. I called Samie Lim of the Philippine Franchising Association (PFA) since we were supposed to open the Franchise Asia Philippines 2014 at the SMX Convention Center. His group has prepared so much for this biggest franchise event in Asia. But unfortunately, the typhoon was hitting directly our direction and so he said they had no choice but to cancel the program for the day. It was unfortunate since I know that they prepared a rich program that will empower the many stakeholders in the franchising industry.
By today, the franchise conference is expected open and we hope the impact of the storm wont hamper the participation of many interested stakeholders. The conference will run through today, while the expo with over 500 franchise brands and exhibits will open tomorrow until Sunday. These exhibits include local and international franchise concepts, and those under incubation and emerging concepts that will also showcase business opportunities with low franchising investments.
Different resource speakers such as industry leaders, international and local franchisors, franchisees, business solution providers and established and aspiring entrepreneurs will share their insights and expertise towards franchising and related topics.
As we in Go Negosyo promote an entrepreneurial culture in the last nine years, encouraging new kinds of business ideas based on market opportunities combined with passion, the reality of course is that new business concepts are not easy to build and pure start-ups have bigger elements of risks. This is where our friends from the franchise industry fill a gap as they present tried and tested business concepts that aspiring entrepreneurs can choose from.
This week will be very busy manifesting the kind of entrepreneurship revolution we are having nowadays. Aside from the Franchise Asia 2014, we are working with our key partner PLDT SME Nation in mounting tomorrow’s Future Talks: “Ready for 2015: Future-Proofing SMEs for the ASEAN Economic Community. This will be at Solaire Resort in Parañaque, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We are a partner of this program along with the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN-BAC) Philippines.
With our partners from PLDT Eric Alberto, Kat Luna Abelarde and Gabby Cui, we have programmed the sessions in the Future Talks to be practical and to give prescriptive knowledge on how to gear up for the integrating ASEAN Economic Community. The ASEAN integration is inevitable and all our sectors, especially the SMEs must be prepared. They have to have relevant and competitive products and services that can serve the market, and possibly link-up with other companies in the region, that in the end will provide them the continuous demand for their products.
What we expect from this integration is how SMEs can form part of the ASEAN value chain, to be part of a system and not be against or adversely affected by it. ASEAN integration means we think not only as a Philippine product but an ASEAN product. Intra-ASEAN trade will grow and local enterprises will have to grow with it.
I will join the forum with PLDT head Manny Pangilinan or MVP, who by the way celebrated his birthday recently. A belated happy birthday to MVP. Our session will also be joined by Penshoppe’s Bernie Liu, who was a PLDT SME Nation Grand Bossing last year, and also with marketing guru Dr. Ned Roberto. In the afternoon, there will be breakout sessions to tackle more specific sectors such as manufacturing, retail, and a session of women in business.
The programs are here, it is now up to us to maximize and learn from all these sessions to level-up our business and always move forward.
We are also a few days away from our Agri-Negosyo Summit which is taking place next week, July 25. This summit will be packed with keynote forums, and important learning sessions on how we can maximize growth and profitability in the agriculture sector. As we say, there is “money in agriculture”. We just have to know how to do it well. Our farmers have to think like entrepreneurs. The success stories of our various speakers and panelists will surely inspire and educate us how to make it big as well in this sector.
This will be next Friday at the World Trade Center and we expect over 3,000 participants from the agri sector, as well as aspiring youth attendees from various agriculture colleges and universities.
We are glad to announce that Secretary Kiko Pangilinan, Presidential Consultant on Food Security and Agricultural Modernization, has confirmed to address the crowd, together with a keynote message to be given by our dynamic entrep advocate and now chair of the Senate Agri Oversight Committee, Sen. Cynthia Villar. We are fortunate as well to have the founder of the largest micro finance institution in the country, and a Ramon Magsaysay awardee, Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip of the CARD-MRI group. Other empowering sessions with various enablers and agri entrepreneurs will share with us how to have a fulfilling agribusiness.
Go Negosyo would like to congratulate Manila Broadcasting Center’s dzRH for their 75th anniversary. A pioneer in the industry and one of the most trusted stations in the country today, dzRH has supported as well the entrepreneurship advocacy by partnering with us to have a Go Negosyo sa Radyo program every Friday at 3 p.m. Thank you dzRH and more power to your group!