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It was only a few weeks ago when we last had a successful Agri Negosyo summit, and now we are gearing up for another exciting negosyo summit dedicated to the young aspiring entrepreneurs that will focus on creativity and innovation.
Entrepreneurship is not an easy track and that is what we have been saying in the last nine years of our advocacy. Not all can be entrepreneurs but everyone can be enterprising. The reality is that not everyone has the opportunity to start on their own but the key to success is a mindset that is enterprising; finds ways, spots opportunities, market-driven and creative. In other words, an attitude that continuously innovates and improves the status quo.
Of the total number of enterprises, we have over 99.6 percent micro and small enterprises. Imagine, only 0.4 percent are large enterprises and yet the micro SME only accounts for around 32 percent of our economy. The 68 percent of the economy is accounted for by the very few large companies. In other developed countries, the contribution of the micro SMEs can go up to around 50-55 percent.
Why is this so? It is no secret that most of the enterprises we have are the micro: sari-sari stores, peddlers, street vendors and others who we see in all places. We see low value-adding in many of these businesses. Don’t get me wrong. That is not at all bad. Our kababayans are making a livelihood out of a very meager resource. They are survival micro entrepreneurs. We admire their passion to live independently and earn from decent means.
But what can make their current livelihood succeed more is to explore new ways of doing things, new products that are not offered by the vendors, or value-adding. It can simply be adding beads or accessories to a simple shirt or pants, new designs for their crafts, or unique and useful ingredients for their products.
The kind of entrepreneurship we have been promoting is one that is value-adding, idea-based, unique and differentiated. It must not be the usual products that others are offering. One can tweak and improve the products with newer and more relevant benefits. One can also improve on the processes of how things are done. Yes, innovation must be continuous.
This is a process that must continue in any business, whether you are a start-up, a micro or SME, and more so if you are a large corporation. Creativity and Innovation never stops. There is always the excitement to be the first mover. It is always exciting to be the game changer.
To further promote an idea-based and value-adding negosyos, we are doing another Creativity and Innovation Summit, a summit we did last year with our programme partner Josiah Go, the country’s innovation and marketing guru. Josiah, who is a Go Negosyo advocate and volunteer, shares the vision with us to push innovation and creative mindset to all aspiring and established entrepreneurs.
Our trustee, Justin Uy, has an excellent story of innovation. He transformed mangoes to a high-value product and is now the biggest dried and processed mango exporter. His Philippine Brand of dried mango is the only brand from the Philippines that you can find in mainstream supermarkets in other continents.
Aside from the summit, we are also hosting a private dinner for 300 top entrepreneurs of Cebu. It will be a productive dinner as there will be a mini forum led by French Baker’s John Lu Koa, Profood’s Justin Uy and DHL’s Yati Abdulah.
We are fortunate once again to have Sen. Bam Aquino in the dinner and summit to inspire the young audience. He will be updating the entrepreneurship community on the landmark laws that benefit entrepreneurs, particularly the newly passed Go Negosyo Bill. He is sharing other ideas in store to help SMEs. We will be joined as well by renowned and creative Cebuano entrepreneurs Kenneth Cobonpue and Jay Aldeguer. Another excellent youth role model is Maria Ressa, who is leading the social media and broadcasting through Rappler.
We will also be awarding young and inspiring entrepreneurs who have exemplary stories of how they have integrated exceptional innovation and applied exception creativity to their crafts and passions. We will be releasing the final list of awardees on our next issue of this column.
This summit targets the youth to spark the inspiration and unleash their potentials to become entrepreneur. Today, the youth is a constant source of brilliant ideas. Their minds are exposed to a variety of resources. With the technology, they are open to more possibilities and opportunities. They stay away from the usual. They are unconventional.
Let me invite everyone not only in Cebu but also those who are in the nearby provinces to join us and be empowered in our Creativity and Innovation Summit.
For more information, you may contact us at 637-9229 or visit www.gonegosyo.net/CISVisayas