Let’s get in touch.
We’d love to hear from you.
I must have shared this in the past, but let me mention once again the importance of developing micro/small enterprises if we are to have an inclusive growth in our country. Helping them flourish is like giving a big break to the bottom of the pyramid to fight poverty. They become at least self-employed and a productive member of our society. Enhancing their businesses leads also to further job creation as they employ more people. The MSME sector accounts for over 90 percent of enterprises and generates around 70 percent of employment. This is the reason why Go Negosyo and other organizations are focusing efforts to level-them up.
Last week, I attended the 12th Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards (CMA). For the past years, I have been part of the national selection committee and it is a privilege to be a part of this effort. This awards program is organized by Citi Foundation in partnership with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Microfinance Council of the Philippines (MCPI), to recognize outstanding microentrepreneurs who use micro finance in funding their enterprises, which improved their lives and their communities. This is led by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Gov. Amando Tetangco and Citi Philippines CEO Batara Sianturi.
Let me share with you the story of the national winner who I think is a great inspiration to many. Teresita Valdez did not finish her schooling because she needed to help her family. She started working at the very young age of 13 in a factory making sautéed shrimp paste or locally known as bagoong. At 13, she was given menial and easy tasks such as removing the fish heads, but because of her excellent performance she was promoted to become one of the sauce makers.
Maximizing her opportunity in her new task, she experimented on a recipe to extend the shelf life of the bagoong. She then left her job and started her own small factory. But it wasn’t a smooth sail for Teresita. She encountered a bad client who did not pay her P2 million. Realizing that she could still continue despite that challenge, she borrowed P10,000 to start anew. Since then, her enterprise grew and is now providing employment to 22 individuals in their community. She values the hard work of her employees, giving them their salary on time. She has also given educational opportunities for her employees’ children.
More than 5,000 overseas Filipino workers and their families joined the 4th OFW and Family summit. This is a partnership with Villar Sipag Foundation and Go Negosyo.
Teresita’s story is indeed inspiring as she started with nothing and was able to scale up her operation. After facing adversities in her entrepreneurial journey, she is still determined to succeed in life.
That is how many entrepreneurs started. They were employed at first, but after learning and gaining the right skills and knowledge about the industry, they established their own businesses. But what is important is the attitude towards change and development. An entrepreneur must be open to changes and must strive to improve and develop. They have to level up to face competition and be different from the usual. And that is what Teresita did, she saw the problem and found a solution to the problem.
Aside from Teresita, other CMA winners this year are: Ernanie Llema of REL Seafoods Buyer and Dealer (Luzon awardee); Teresita Nicanor of Paning’s Squid Rings (Visayas awardee); Edamil Patta of Wonderland Coffee Shop and Sari-sari Store (Mindanao awardee); Johnny Larano (Special award for Agri Micro-business); Purification Tagulinao, manufacturer of native items made of pandan (Special Award for Innovation); and Rosma Cabillon (Special Award for Community Leadership).
After 12 years and 100 CMA awardees, CMA continues to honor micro entrepreneurs who helped themselves and triumphed over poverty. Just like what Batara Sianturi said in his welcome remarks, “It is very clear that there continues to be great wealth in this country, when it comes to men and women who through sheer grit and determination escaped extreme poverty and brought prosperity to their families and to their communities. “
A day after the Citi Microentrepreneurship Awards, we opened the 4th OFW and Family Summit along with the Villar Sipag Foundation headed by Sen. Cynthia Villar, former Senate President Manny Villar and Rep. Mark Villar. It was another successful OFW Summit which was jampacked with more than 5,000 participants. As early as 7 a.m., OFWs and their families lined up around the venue. Inspirational speakers empowered the audience with their stories and tips on business. Even former OFWs such as Rebecca Bustamante, Zarah Juan, Vicky Wallace-Sandidge of Bohol Bee Farm, Fe Vidal and Van Villaraza shared how they became entrepreneurs after they served overseas. Franchising Angelpreneur Butz Bartolome, Joey Sarmiento and his colleagues at the Direct Sellers Association and Financial literacy Angelpreneur Armand Bengco all shared their expertise to the thousands of attendees.
OFWs and their families are encouraged to save and invest their income so that when the time comes, they need not part ways to earn a living. They would also no longer need to remain employees, but would already be employers here and abroad.
Let me greet one of Go Negosyo’s advocates and trustee, GMA 7’s chairman, Felipe Gozon a happy 75th birthday. Our best wishes and congratulations on your autobiography.