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For the past eight years, Go Negosyo has been at the forefront of an advocacy to change the mindset of Filipinos to have an entrepreneurial climate in our country. Recently, Go Negosyo held the 6th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center. The one-day summit, in line with the international celebration of Womenâ€™s month, was attended by over 7,000 participants from different colleges and universities, public and private institutions, SMEs, and young and aspiring entrepreneurs in the country.
During the summit, I saw thousands of attendees, mostly women, who were very eager to learn and be inspired from the roster of very good Filipinas like Sen. Grace Poe who delivered the keynote speech and shared how her father, Fernando Poe Jr., managed to be successful and to positively affect other people through his hardwork, competitive knowledge, and creativity as an entrepreneur. She pointed out that creativity is the key to success in todayâ€™s world, for if one lacks creative talent then he will not be different from the rest.
Kris Aquino, who gave a special message, did an unusual thing when she went down to interview some people in the audience, which she is really good at, and asked them about their aspirations on becoming an entrepreneur. She asked a student â€œwhat kind of business do you want to have when you graduate?â€ and said that â€œyou are lucky that you are here in this summit.â€ Rep. Leni Robredo also graced the summit.
In the afternoon, Korina Sanchez shared that doing what you love is the key to success. Radio DJ Nicole Hyala kept the crowd alive during her witty talk about her successful journey. She noted that there is no such thing as an accident, everything that she achieved was a combination of fate and part of a great big plan. She shared how she turned her life around after a major heartbreak and how she turned adversities into opportunities.
The summit also featured successful and inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs who started small and were able to further grow their business. We then had a forum on women of substance and positive influence who shared their stories and gave tips on becoming successful and fulfilled in life. We had Senator Cynthia Villar, Alice Eduardo of Sta. Elena Construction, Rapplerâ€™s Maria Ressa, Hyundai Philippinesâ€™ Fe Agudo, Yati Abdullah of DHL Phil., Convergys Corp.â€™s Marife Zamora and Universal Harvesterâ€™s Milagros Ong-How. Forums on food, restaurant, retail, information technology, and fashion, beauty and wellness were also held.
My vision for the participants is for them to learn and get inspired. To achieve success is very challenging, there is a path to success and there is a right way to achieve it. It starts with a value system â€“ the foundation of being optimistic and being passionate about their work and what they do.
We have a lot of micro and small entrepreneurs, 90 percent of whom are women. God has given women the gift of motherly instinct to ensure her familyâ€™s safety and to provide their basic needs. Thatâ€™s why a woman is very important to a manâ€™s life.
Filipinos were never destined to be poor. I am very optimistic that the Filipino can. During one of the forums, a woman from Tacloban stood up and shared her experience as an entrepreneur. Her name is Marivic. In fact, she mentioned that she was inspired to start her business after attending the Go Negosyo Forum in Tacloban which we held twice in the past years. She is a mom to four kids and her small carinderia business in her hometown was destroyed because of the havoc brought about by Typhoon Yolanda.
She mentioned that it was really difficult for her to get back on her feet especially as her carinderia was their bread and butter. Amidst the crisis, she travelled all the way to attend the women summit to get inspired and gain knowledge from it. She said that she got the courage to start again after hearing from the roster of very inspiring speakers. She believes that God has a purpose in bringing her to the summit and nothing was an accident for it was all Godâ€™s plan.
True enough, Godâ€™s plan has a way of helping her get back on track. Sen. Cynthia Villar gave her practical tips, like concentrating on what she is good at and to harness her skill. Co-chair of this yearâ€™s women summit, Alice Eduardo also invited her to be the resident food provider for more than 4,000 construction workers in her firm. A ray of light shone upon Marivic during that day.
You see, it is never really easy to tread the path of success. One has to undergo a lot of trials and difficulties before advancing to the next level. As an entrepreneur, I have also experienced many failures in life, but it did not stop me from pursuing my dream and strengthening my passion to succeed. You may fail many times but you learn from your mistakes, you move on, and you become better.
It is very good to know that thru the efforts of Go Negosyo, we get to inspire a lot of Filipinos to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur and or by being the best in their careers and move up in life. My advice to all the young and aspiring entrepreneurs is to choose the path of creating your own negosyo because everything is possible. Donâ€™t be scared. Determine what you are good at and after doing so, study hard, do research, use the tools available to gain more knowledge, and harness your strength.
Filipinos are not destined to be poor. Everyone can create wealth and eventually use it to help others. Thatâ€™s the Go Negosyoâ€™s advocacy.