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Last week, I shared the Go Negosyo inspiring stories of our first four entrepreneurs. This time, let me talk about the remaining four stories which complete our set of eight featured entrepreneurs. This is in line with the celebration of our eight years as an advocacy.
Jennilyn â€˜Ehjeâ€™ Antonio
Ehje started as a micro entrepreneur. Her story is filled with immense dedication to wrestle poverty. Despite the financial difficulties, Ehje focused on her daily reason to work hard â€“ the call to provide their childrenâ€™s needs like tuition fee.
Being resourceful, she borrowed money from her office and sold embotido and pancit.
Then, she saw the kare-kare in a stand and noticed the peanuts. She experimented and made peanut butter. Her success became sweeter and sweeter after she received recommendations and referrals from the bakery where she used to supply peanut butter.
Currently, Ehjeâ€™s peanut butter is not only available in small bakeries. Now, it is also being supplied in SM Supermarkets, Julieâ€™s bakeshop, The French Baker and others. I am glad that Ehje and her husband are working with their own hands in their business. They are seen mostly in the bazaars managing their booths.
Ehje told us, â€œI am blessed to be a part of the Go Negosyo community since the entrepreneurs and mentors there have been very generous in giving me advice on how i can grow my business, improve my products and expand my selling channels. For instance, Mr. Johnlu of French Baker has always guided me on how I can penetrate food retail stores and even his famous French Baker where he now carries our peanut butter. He encouraged me to also come out with downsized products with nice packaging so I can get more consumers to try my products. Now, I am also given by Go Negosyo the opportunity to share my experience to other start-ups microenterprises through their Go Negosyo seminars.â€
Mrs. Esther is the great woman of Vibal Publishing. As a pair of working journalists, she and her husband Hilarion started the said publishing in 1957. Being in the industry for years, their organization has been consistently providing the high quality of educational materials in the country like textbooks.
She has been recognized by Go Negosyo in 2010 and this year for her unique contribution in the Philippine society as a female entrepreneur.
More importantly, Mrs. Esther supports Go Negosyo in publishing our books. Also, I am glad that she is always present in our most important events like women summits, book launch and special dinners.
â€œI believe deeply in Go Negosyoâ€™s advocacy of promoting and spreading the entrepreneurial spirit to all Filipinos. I personally want to be part of a movement that inspires people and moves them to action to achieve their full potential as entrepreneurs, as Filipinos and as human beings. Being part of the advocacy in itself has given me a profound sense of fulfilment knowing that I am doing my share in a very noble endeavor. Meeting people who have the same belief and feelings makes it even more meaningful,â€ Mrs. Esther said.
Dr. Vivian Sarabia
Dr. Vivian has pair of beautiful eyes in seeing that this country has a brighter future. She has always been optimistic and passionate in sharing our advocacy in entrepreneurship.
Her story of selling t-shirts in her optical clinic has always shown that there is no limit in creating a unique business. With VSS Optical Corp., she is the living proof that you can always do what you want if you have self discipline and proper time management.
Like Ehje, her story has been featured in our Go Negosyoâ€™s 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs.
â€œI believe and adhere to Go Negosyoâ€™s way of inspiring people: no matter how small your business is, you can still be â€œon top of your gameâ€ as long as you are passionate, driven and believe in what you are doing. As I journeyed in my own optical business, I found a family and a mentor in Go Negosyo, who believed in me and showed me how to discover all my possibilities. Go Negosyo is my Beacon of Light!â€ Dr. Vivian said.
Christine â€˜Tintinâ€™ Bersola â€“ Babao
Tintin is one of the celebrity entrepreneurs who have been sincere and constantly active in doing their business. She grew up having the entrepreneurial mindset to be able to help her mother. A multi-awarded host, Tintin practices her entrepreneurial skills in Precious Moments, a store which preserves valuable mementos like photos, certificates, clothing, wedding bouquets, bridal gowns and others.
She said, â€œI believe in the advocacy that every Filipino must be an entrepreneur or at least learn the skills of an entrepreneur. We should be a nation of entrepreneurs and not just rely on employment. We should ideally be the ones to generate jobs and income for our fellowmen as entrepreneurs. That is my dream. To do big in business someday! Go Negosyo inspires me and directs me towards the fulfilment of my entrepreneurship dreams. Go Negosyo also supports my annual pre-Christmas bazaars yearly to give SMEs a venue to sell and market their products.â€
â€œI have attended and participated in, as celebrity guest panelist, the many Go Negosyo Summits. And in so doing, I have learned from many experts in the field. Being exposed to the businessmen who I look up to and admire makes me feel so fortunate. I learned from Dean Pax for instance that your business should be in line with your passion and core competency.â€ Tintin added.
Yesterday, we conducted the second run of Youth Entrepreneurship Summit caravan following our successful 2013 YES launch in north Luzon last July. This is the sixth time that we brought YES outside Metro Manila since 2009. The auditorium of our Visayas partner school Central Philippine University in Jaro, Iloilo was packed with over 2,000 students from 26 universities and schools, and even representatives of local government units from all over Iloilo and even nearby provinces like Antique and Aklan. We are very thankful for the commitment of Iloilo Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog and CPU led by its president Dr. Teodoro Robles for working with us to bring the empowering summit to Iloilo. They even held a motorcade weeks prior to the event to promote the summit.
We are also thankful for our Go Negosyo angelpreneurs Dean Pax Lapid, Jorge Wieneke and Armand Bengco for joining our executive director Mon Lopez in giving the entrepreneurship talks to our youth in Iloilo. We were also joined by Visayan entrepreneurs in the panel: Ricky Sulpico and Nathaniel Canillas (4H Club), Ivy Rozina Castro (Chicken Oro Marketing), Sheilamar Joy Gascon (Mags Pipe Bending and Steel Works), Ma. Theresa Sanchez (Malones Printing Press and Publishing House/ Kawayan Marketing), and Arsenio Rafael III (A.M. Buildersâ€™ Depot).