Let’s get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
Go Negosyo has been forwarding the importance of having a positive mindset and an enterprising character for seven years already, and now is the time to push it further. The positive economic and political changes that we are having now, which I really cannot stress further, are encouraging us to maximize our efforts so we can benefit greatly from it. It seems that our country is at a point where our actions will reap rewards, and we are looking forward to a brighter future, free from poverty, from one Filipino to the other.
Since we are in the topic of maximizing efforts, let me share the story of one young individual, whose life has been devoted to serve others. He has been making the most out of his time and talents to contribute to a positive change, just like what his famous relatives did for the country.
He will also be the face of the Go Negosyo TV show’s new format. I chose him because of his contributions as a social entrepreneur, his experience as a seasoned TV host, and as an individual whose vision is to empower Filipinos starting from the grassroots level, making them happy as they are given the chance to positively contribute to their respective communities.
I was kidding him that we also chose him because some people say we almost look alike, and when he goes around, some people thought that he was me.
Paolo Benigno Aquino III, or Bam as we know him, has been exposed to the mission of serving his countrymen ever since he was a kid. A few years after his uncle was assassinated, People Power unraveled before his eyes. The realization that Filipinos can transform and fight for something greater than them inspired him, which made him decide on the path where he is now.
When most children his age are playing and watching cartoons, he is already delivering political speeches before hundreds of people. At the time when he was studying at Ateneo, he represented the students for various causes within the Ateneo Community as the president of the Student Council.
After graduating with a degree in management engineering, he opted not to take the corporate route. Bam worked first in a non-government organization, and then he accepted his appointment as the commissioner, and later on as chairman of the National Youth Commission. His experience made him work closer with the youth, who served as another inspiration for him with their bravery, innovation, and generosity.
While he enjoyed working with people of his age, Bam longed for something that is more grounded. As he shared his ideas to his friend Mark Ruiz, they discovered that they can transform many lives by investing on an idea that will help empower people in the communities. This is how Hapinoy was born.
Combining Bam’s background in public service with Mark’s corporate orientation in dealing with consumers, they plotted an outline that will capitalize on the most basic retail structure that the country had – the sari-sari store. Hapinoy, which is a play of the words “happy” and “Pinoy”, seeks to help microentrepreneurs, who are mostly stay-at-home mothers, to improve their businesses through easier access to goods and financial aids, with the help of their microfinance institution partners.
Just like any other venture, the project encountered problems every now and then. As a social entrepreneurship venture, Hapinoy has to make sure that the business is profitable and functioning, and that the market is responding as planned, while ensuring that the communities, individuals, and families are benefiting and developing.
But the improvement in terms of income and livelihood of these mothers made all the hard work worth it. More than increasing their earnings, the nanays who are part of the network have increased their self-esteem. The journey in entrepreneurship brought out the best in them, while fulfilling their desires for their families. This is why Bam continues to grow the program by extending it into the far-flung areas in the Philippines.
Since we will be driving Filipinos further with our new “Pilipinas, Now is Our Time!” theme, I thought of coming up with a new format for our Go Negosyo TV show that will emphasize this call. And I have thought that the show needed an anchor that is as passionate and as credible as Bam.
S.M.E. Go!: Powered by Go Negosyo is a whole new series which features the winning characteristics and inspiring stories of Filipino negosyantes, from the small and medium entrepreneurs up to the big-time and celebrity ones. The show also features practical business tips and the latest negosyo news and updates. With this show, I hope to steer the minds and spirits of our viewers and encourage them to move towards a more sustainable level of success, proving that Filipinos can start small and dream big.
Over the weekend, I asked Bam if he believed that now is really our time. And if he does think so, how will he continue to do his share and engage other Filipinos, especially social entrepreneurs like him, to work together? This is his reply:
“More than in recent years, we have a definite window of opportunity to take the necessary steps to transform our country and move it forward. Leadership at the top is important, but in truth, transformation from the ground level is just as crucial. In Hapinoy, we work with women to improve their livelihood and their micro businesses. Increased revenue is important; but a more positive outlook, self-esteem, a winning attitude and an entrepreneurial mindset are also essential. And as we transform one sari-sari store owner at a time, we know we are doing our share, from the ground up, to contribute to the change that we need and the change that is already currently transpiring. The time has definitely come for our country to take the leap forward. This means, in our paradigm, that the smallest and most marginalized entrepreneurs of our country are empowered and have the wherewithal to stand on their own feet.”
I call on other young leaders to join the cause as we push our boundaries a bit further. We need a lot of young people who can inspire their peers to heed the call and hopefully be enterprising Filipinos. Now is the time to inspire each other and work together towards something that is greater than ourselves, and this is what we call “success”.
I am inviting you to attend the Negosyo sa Barangay: Next Level in Palawan on May 30 to June 2, 2012. Contact the Center for Future Leadership at (02) 383-3154 to register.