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We are only a day away from welcoming another year, and I am sure that everyone is eager to start a new chapter in their lives. Our country has been blessed with a better economy, and as we face 2013 with the newfound hope that these improvements will continue, Go Negosyo shares this feeling of optimism that we are on the right track towards progress. Our activities this year have been very successful, as we were able to widen our reach and influence more Filipinos to take the negosyo route.
The past year, 2012, has been a fruitful year for Go Negosyo. Our Women Summit, in partnership with GMA Network and The Philippine STAR, was able to bring together influential women in the country to inspire the 15,000 participants who went to the World Trade Center last March 2. The whole day was filled with inspiration, as GMA’s chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon and Sara Soliven de Guzman, board director of The Philippine STAR, personally showed their support and delivered messages to the audience. Mel Tiangco, Grace Padaca, Dr. Vicki Belo, Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin, Myrna Padilla, and Maria Mercedes Corrales shared their experiences in their respective fields. This year, we also partnered with the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and the Association of Image Consultants International Philippines to help the resident Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs offer advice to aspiring women entrepreneurs.
And since I have started talking about our summits, let me share another milestone that we reached this year. Go Negosyo has decided to hold separate Youth Summit sessions in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This is the first time that we have done this, in response to the overwhelming requests to bring our summits closer to Filipinos who are willing to participate and learn about entrepreneurship, but who cannot come to Manila for various reasons. We did two Youth Summit runs for Luzon: at the Southern Luzon State University in Lucban for our South Luzon run last Aug. 24, and at the University of Pangasinan in Dagupan for our North Luzon run, which was held on Aug. 31. Then we did the Visayas run at the J Centre Mall in Cebu last Oct. 5, while the Mindanao run was held on Nov. 16 in Cagayan de Oro. A combined number of 8,000 students attended the summit runs, and they were able to hear not only from Angelpreneurs Mike Lobrin, Carlo Calimon, and Armand Bengco, but also from Manila-based entrepreneurs like Cristalle Henares and Tommanny Tan, just to name a few.
Our numerous SME caravans, which we have continued to do in partnership with DTI and the local government units across the country, has also been successful. Go Negosyo was able to reach the provinces of Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Leyte, and Camarines Norte, as well as the regions of CALABARZON and ARMM. We also tapped our local barangay officials to lead their communities in pursuing the entrepreneurial route through the “Negosyo sa Barangay” series. We have partnered with CITEM by doing a series of Exporters’ Bootcamps to provide additional training to Filipino exporters and help them improve their businesses. Go Negosyo also held two runs of Negosem Basics in Metro Manila early this year, and we did a special Negosem Session for the students under the care of Sisters of Mary. For entrepreneurs who wish to know how to sustain their businesses, we did the Magandang Business Advice, a two-day level-up session which was held at the Asian Institute of Management last June.
Go Negosyo also opened opportunities for OFWs to learn more about entrepreneurship, starting with the Negosem sa Bahrain in June. And just recently, we did the second OFW and Family Summit with the Villar Foundation last Nov. 22 at the World Trade Center.
New partnerships were forged between Go Negosyo and several individuals and institutions this year. We did the MOA signing of the Sagip Saka project last Dec. 12 with Sen. Kiko Pangilinan and the City of Mandaluyong. Go Negosyo will also work with the Office of the Executive Secretary, TESDA, and DSWD, for the “Negosyo Mo, Bukas Ko” project, which aims to bridge the gap between the out-of-school youth and their dream to finish their education. We maintained our partnership with PLDT SME Nation, initially with the MVP Bossing Awards, and recently with the Success Talk Series, which brings top negosyantes in key areas of the Philippines to share their experiences with aspiring entrepreneurs. We also partnered with LBC through the LBC KaBiz, a program that assists entrepreneurs to effectively manage their logistics needs. In terms of media, we tapped Bam Aquino to host Go Negosyo’s TV show SME Go!: Powered by Go Negosyo, as well as DZRH to air the Go Negosyo sa Radyo. Lastly, we have established a connection with PhilDev Foundation, an organization composed of the top Filipino-Americans in Silicon Valley, to support the second Filipino Technopreneurship Summit.
It was indeed a busy year for Go Negosyo, but we have no plans of slowing down. Next year, we have lined up a lot of activities starting with the Technopreneurship Summit that will happen on Jan. 21, followed by the launch of our eighth book, Go Negosyo’s 50 Inspiring Stories of Agripreneurs, in February. We will be mounting our fifth Women Summit on March 1, and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago has already confirmed her participation, so watch out for that. We will continue to bring the Youth Summit to the different parts of the country, as well as the SME Caravans in partnership with DTI.
In the latter part of 2013 we will mount the OFW & Family Summit and the PLDT MVP Bossing Awards. Meanwhile, Go Negosyo will continue to support the NLDC’s Sipag Awards, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and the Citi Microentrepreneur of the Year Awards. Rest assured that will continue to advance the entrepreneurial mindset among Filipinos in 2013 and the coming years.