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Go Negosyo and the US Embassy’s successful partnership has resulted in several wonderful projects such as last year’s Youth Entrepreneurship and Development Workshop (YEDW) during which we discovered and honed the potential of young entrepreneurs.
This year, the embassy continues to support our advocacy by sponsoring Go Negosyo’s Mentor Me: Innovation Forum and bringing it to Cebu. This forum is tied to the YEDW program. It is a gathering of innovators and enablers whose expertise cover major topics such as innovative products or services development, operation processes and innovative business models. YEDW-MMIF gathers participants from the youth sector, micro and small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs), aspiring young entrepreneurs, and the academe to enhance their innovation models as a way to take the business to a higher growth plane.
We are expecting around 2,000 people to attend the forum.
As an entrepreneur, I know how important it is to consistently innovate. Over the years, I have seen brands perish, businessmen fail and companies close because of their failure to innovate. If the world of business has a golden rule, it would be ‘innovate or die.’
The whole notion of innovation reminds me of the Nokia story. When Nokia was acquired by Microsoft, its CEO Stephen Elop ended his speech in tears saying, “We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost.” In my opinion, they did do something wrong: they did not innovate. While Apple and Samsung were at each other’s throat all the time, competing to pioneer new features in the mobile and computer industry, Nokia kept it safe. It did not take risks. It did not try to compete with the best and that resulted to their downfall. This event made the world realize that even a company as big as Nokia can go down, if they fail to innovate.
Some of our Go Negosyo entrepreneurs take on the challenge of innovation. There is Joseph Calata of Calata Corp. who first introduced a computerized system in their agribusiness in Bulacan. Through this innovative system, he was able to monitor sales, inventory and expenses. Another innovative entrepreneur is Sherill Quintana who uses rice bran in her Oryspa beauty products. Jasmine Basuil (Bake & Churn), on the other hand, developed ice cream cakes to cater to Filipino’s sweet cravings. Destileria Limtuaco led by Olivia Limpe-Aw also innovated on their alcohol products by incorporating fruits such as dragon fruit, kalamansi, dalandan and mangoes.
Even in Go Negosyo, we strive to innovate to meet the needs of our followers. In fact, we are developing an online bookstore that will sell digital books to our readers. This is to make sure we also tap the demands of ‘digital citizens.’
Aside from businesses, we also see innovation in other areas such as entertainment, social media, transportation and even public governance. The K-12 educational system is a proof of this. We needed to change the system to keep up with international standards.
I hope we exceed the expected number of participants in the MMIF today. We have a great roster of speakers and panelists like Paul Rivera of Kalibrr. Paul is a Filipino-American who came back to the Philippines to found Kalibrr, a technology startup that’s been transforming how people find jobs. A year after its launch, Kalibrr now helps 500,000 jobseekers find opportunities in 10,000 of the best companies in the Philippines.
Another speaker is the world-renowned and multi-awarded furniture designer, Kenneth Cobonpue. Kenneth is the designer and CEO of Interior Crafts Of The Islands Inc., a furniture design and manufacturing company founded by his mother in 1972. Known for his pieces of functional art and innovative handmade products, he has earned recognitions both here and abroad. Under his own brand, he has made exceptional pieces for Hollywood celebrities and royalties.
JV de Dios is also in the speakers’ line-up. He is the CEO of GE Philippines since 2012, and has deep business expertise and experience in the energy sector. JV has successfully served in various leadership roles, including managing director of Nido Petroleum Ltd. in Australia, chairman of the Philippine National Oil Company Exploration Corp. and undersecretary of the Department of Energy in the Philippines.
Lastly, one of Go Negosyo’s Angelpreneurs will speak: Carlo Calimon. He is the CEO of the tech company Mobkard and has been a mentor to many aspiring entrepreneur and MSMEs through Go Negosyo.
More importantly, we will also be joined by Senator Bam Aquino and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.
We will also be joined by other innovators such as Manny Osmeña, Jay Aldeguer, Wilson Ng, Jefferson Tan, Julita Urbina and Pete Delantar. Innovation enablers from different organizations will also join us such as Tina Amper (TechTalks.ph), Nonoy Espeleta (FAMCOR Franchise Management and Development Corp.), Joselito Limjap (PLDT Innolab), Jeffrey Montecillos (CebuinIT), Miriam Bacalso (DTI GIZ-ProGED), Nelia Navarro (DTI) and JP Deloso (A Space Philippines).
Young innovators like Albert Padin (Sym.ph), Anya Lim (Anthill), Jojo Tiongko (San Jose Bakeshop), Slater Young (Litecrete Corp.), Wesley Chiongbian (Mynimo.com), Gabino Abejo Jr. (Abejo Waters Corp.), and Vikki and Paulo Rodriguez (Detalia Aurora and Co-creative Studios) will also join the discussion!
Go Negosyo supports Philippine Franchise Association’s Franchise Asia Philippines 2016. With the theme “Building Inclusive Growth in a Hypercompetitive World,” the biggest franchise event hopes to reinforce the role of franchising in economic development and nation-building. We encourage you, Go Negosyantes, to visit this three-day expo of successful business models and franchise concepts.