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Let me share with you two photos taken in 2005. This was the launch of Go Negosyo with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the first supporters of Go Negosyo way back then. It was held at the Victory Auditorium, one of the biggest facilities which can house more than 2,000 people. In fact, the Victory management had to restrict entry when we reached close to 2,500 in number for their fear of structural issues. We felt that their worries were unnecessary as the building was built to handle much more.
Harley Sy, the youngest of the Sy siblings and one of the owners of SM, is a childhood friend since we played for the same inter-village team, was also there to support. During the launch that day, Henry Sy Sr. was still strong enough to attend and receive the recognition bestowed on him. Vivianne Tan, daughter of Lucio Tan, Nanay Coring Ramos, Vicky Belo, Arthur Yap, Roland Hortaleza, Henry Lim Bon Liong, Les Reyes, Felipe Gozon, Cecilio Pedro, among others believe that entrepreneurship was the way forward to help Filipinos who struggle to have a better life.
Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who appointed me as presidential adviser for entrepreneurship, was very supportive of the initiatives and attended most of the events we had during her term. At that time, she believed that inclusivity or shared prosperity was very important. Before former president Macapagal Arroyo became president, she worked with my father who was the trade secretary then. Sec. Ramon Lopez also worked then in the Department of Trade and Industry. I have always deferred my role today as having been inspired and mentored by three people – my father Jose Concepcion Jr., former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and Tony Meloto of social enterprise Gawad Kalinga.
Fast forward to today, 2017 has become a milestone year for me and my team as we took on our role as host of the ASEAN activities for ASEAN Business Advisory Council. When I was appointed as chairman of the council, I somehow knew the intense work the position requires. ASEAN BAC Philippines was commended for its great performance in hosting ASEAN.
For our chairmanship, we strongly advocated for the micro and small entrepreneurs’ development and inclusive prosperity which are the core of our advocacy, Go Negosyo since 2005.
I believe all our efforts are still aligned to our mission 12 years ago. Go Negosyo’s presence is still felt nationwide as we taught mentoring in all Negosyo Centers and agriculture training hubs. It is still in the core dream of our organization to have an entrepreneurial country. With the recent launch of ASEAN Mentorship for Entrepreneurs Network (AMEN), ASEAN BAC Philippines is now in the forefront of MSME development in the region and will be integrated to the Go Negosyo advocacy as we pursue the mentorship beyond its chairmanship.
On top of our brick and mortar development programs, we are working on strengthening our mentoring programs and developing digital platforms for money and market by next year. These digital platforms will better aide our entrepreneurs scale up and move to the next level. As you all know, most of our entrepreneurs are survival entrepreneurs, only living day by day. But with the programs that we are working on, we hope to turn them into sustainable entrepreneurs.
As we are only a few days away from Christmas Day, I wish that you may all find your passion to pursue. Like how I pursued my passion to help fellow entrepreneurs.
After all the stress and pressure the engagements and events that have been held this year, may this Christmas season provide you relaxation and recreation time for your family and loved ones as we prepare for the coming year.
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas and may God bless us all!