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Another year has passed. Despite the challenges that came our way, 2010 was filled with changes and blessings; not just for the country, but for us at Go Negosyo as well. Just a few weeks into 2011, we are already bracing ourselves for a busier year ahead. Before being occupied with what we have planned for the future, it’s always good to look back on the special moments that have made the past year worth all the hard work.
One of the things that encourage us to keep on going is the number of Filipinos we’ve inspired and empowered throughout the country. Five years since we started Go Negosyo, the number of people we’ve touched has already reached more than 230,000 and is still growing. These are the people who welcomed and supported the Go Negosyo advocacy through the events, caravans and summits we organized last year. We started 2010 by touring the country for a series of Negosyo Seminars (Negosems) to share knowledge and reach more people in many parts of the Philippines. We kicked off the year with a visit to Region III’s Cabanatuan City, where we held our very first Negosem for 2010. Our next stop was Puerto Princesa, Palawan, followed by more Negosems to the Bicol region, Cagayan, Baguio, Pangasinan, Cebu, Zamboanga, Leyte, Pampanga and many others, including South Cotabato.
Each region, each province, each city that we have visited is unique but it feels great to know that Filipinos from all over the country have the same desire to elevate their quality of life. They have caught the Go Negosyo fever. And now, they are all fired up to start their own negosyo and make their dreams a reality.
Go Negosyo was born out of our desire to help fellow Filipinos fight poverty by encouraging them to be more enterprising and to always adopt a positive mindset. We still have the same goals as five years ago, but never have we imagined that it would be this massive movement of change. And that continues to inspire us to do more each year.
The year 2010 was, indeed, full of blessings. It must be a sign that we are doing something good that our friends and supporters who help us in spreading the advocacy have also grown in number. We are thankful for our trustees, Angelpreneurs or “angels to entrepreneurs” and entrepreneurship enablers. They are the ones who have been supporting Go Negosyo — going around the country with us, sharing their time, wisdom, expertise and stories of inspiration. We are also very proud of the more than 700 Go Negosyo entrepreneurs whose stories we have shared to help inspire others. They are a true inspiration to others because they are living proof of what Go Negosyo strives for. Without all of their support, we wouldn’t have touched as many lives as we did in just five years.
Because change can happen faster when we continue to help one another, we established partnerships with over 60 like-minded private, government and academic institutions last year. Together, we organized events and facilitated Negosems that catered to the needs of different communities and sectors. We also strengthened our relationship with the Department of Trade and Industry, under the leadership of Usec. Merly Cruz, and developed more programs and seminars that are in line with our government’s entrepreneurship initiatives. Existing programs promoting negosyo were also intensified, including PLDT Smart Bossing, Smart Makabagong Negosyoyante, BPI KaNegosyo, Citibank Microentrepreneur of the Year, LBC Negosyo Padala, Condura Negosyo Refs, Unilever and RFM.
It was also last year that we put together two of the biggest entrepreneurship events in the country with more than 55,000 participants in attendance. The first one was the Go Negosyo: Babae, Tagumpay Ka ng Bayan — the 2nd Go Negosyo Women’s Summit last March. By September, we organized yet another massive event. This time it was dedicated to the youth, entitled Tagumpay ang Kabataan Youth Enterpreneurship Summit. Both summits were reinforcements. And it turned out to be much bigger and more successful than what we started the year before as more and more Filipinos wanted to be part of the Go Negosyo movement. We often receive calls, e-mails and even Facebook messages asking about our next Go Negosyo summits, and so for 2011, we are planning something big. We are already working in partnership with the GMA Network in putting together another special Go Negosyo Women’s Summit entitled Go Negosyo: Babae, Kapuso Ka ng Bayan, in time for the women’s month celebration in March. We welcome everyone to join us on March 4 and 5 at the World Trade Center.
Last year was also extra-memorable for us. Apart from teaching the advocacy to aspiring entrepreneurs, we were also able to share and to serve the community. We conducted special Negosems for the sector of persons with disabilities, the inmates of the New Bilibid Prison and the beneficiaries of Gawad Kalinga. It’s our way of giving back for all the blessings and the support that Go Negosyo has received. We also believe that by being enterprising and by taking on a positive outlook, anyone can achieve success despite their status, background or circumstances in life. We also embarked on another first for Go Negosyo when we hosted the very first international Negosem in Italy. Angelpreneurs Dean Pax Lapid and Ping Sotto and our very own Mon Lopez shared entrepreneurial knowledge and inspiration to about 300 Filipinos in Milan last November.
In line with our goal of reaching a wider audience, we also took advantage of all the ways we can share inspiration. Aside from the events and Negosems, we’ve continued to feature stories of inspiring entrepreneurs to more than 200,000 weekly viewers of the Go Negosyo: Kaya Mo! TV show, which can be seen on QTV 11 and NBN 4. For the past year, I’ve also been blessed to have two columns in the Philippine Star: “Ask Go Negosyo” and “Tagumpay,” which come out in the Business and Business Life sections, respectively. We also added another Go Negosyo book to our best-selling series. Our fifth book, Go Negosyo: 100 Inspiring Stories of Small Entrepreneurs, which became available all over the country in March, is a collection of tagumpay stories of small and micro-entrepreneurs who overcame poverty by starting their own negosyos. It makes us proud that our five best-selling books have already sold more than 100,000 copies nationwide and still counting.
Plenty of requests for another instructional Go Negosyo book also poured in last year. That’s why for 2011, we are releasing our follow-up to Go Negosyo: 21 Steps on How to Start Your Own Business. The second how-to book is Go Negosyo: 8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs by Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin and it will be launched and available on Feb. 8.
These are the special moments of 2010 for me and for Go Negosyo. These achievements give us a sense of satisfaction and pride but at the same time, it also helps in grounding us and refocusing our attention on what is truly important. These things that we accomplished last year serve as a reminder there are still plenty of Filipinos out there waiting for a change. And we are taking it as a challenge and inspiration to do more for 2011.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or my Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top-rating entrep show Go Negosyo: Kaya Mo! on QTV every Saturday and Sunday at 8-8:30 a.m., with replays on NBN every Tuesday from 9:15-10:15 p.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips on your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910.