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In my 15 years of leading Go Negosyo, I have had the great opportunity and privilege to know and work with many talented entrepreneurs big and small alike. I’ve been witness to the strength of character and passion of many Filipinos and their eagerness to lift themselves out of poverty. However, despite their talent and skill, many entrepreneurs have not been able to achieve their full potential even with the help of existing programs at the grassroots level.
Approximately 33 million belong to the informal sector. These are the ambulant vendors, jeepney drivers, tricycle drivers, habal-habal drivers, and unpaid family members, who operate on “survival mode,” instead of earning a sustainable living.
As we endeavor to bring our advocacy closer to more Filipinos, Go Negosyo, in line with its 15th anniversary, is launching a new negosyo program, “Negosyo Para sa Bayan,” which aims to empower micro and small entrepreneurs, especially those who work in the informal economy. We are holding the first rollout of the program in Quezon City this March 17 in partnership with the local government unit.
The need for capacity-building programs for MSEs is recognized by the current administration and the ASEAN community. However, many of the current efforts of public-private partnerships are limited in terms of scale and reach and therefore Negosyo Para sa Bayan aims to supplement these programs with a more robust on-the-ground, grassroots initiative.
Negosyo Para sa Bayan will be held at different local malls, similar to Mentor ME on Wheels, which is one of our successful flagship programs that provide greater inclusivity and access to mentorship, money, and market for our MSEs.This public-private partnership has proven to be the right model for reaching many Filipinos, and we have partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) yet again for this initiative.
I would like to thank the Ayala’s, Sy’s, Gokongwei’s and Andrew Tan for their tireless support and for allowing their malls to be used as our program venues, thus, helping spread the Go Negosyo advocacy to thousands of MSEs across the country. Many of them have also joined our sessions, mentoring three to five (and even more!) entrepreneurs. Their participation gives testament that many large entrepreneurs are willing to give time and lend their expertise to helping their kababayans. Their presence serves as a great inspiration to many.
Like I’ve said before, the success of our programs depends on the support of not just the private sector, but most especially the government. Negosyo Para sa Bayan aims to spur more collaborations and partnerships among local government agencies and the business sector to help boost the competitiveness of MSEs as well as find more opportunities wherein MSEs can further be integrated into the value chains of large enterprises, eventually growing and gaining direct access to global markets.
What prompted us to initiate this program is the desire to help the constituents of various local government units. By informing them of the available options for business and by inculcating the values of an entrepreneurial mindset, we hope they are inspired to pursue greater business in their localities.
Negosyo Para sa Bayan will also gather partner banks and financial institutions as well as brick-and-mortar platforms offering participants products and services which they can explore to build their enterprises. The event will likewise offer access to credit and other market linkages and will introduce new business opportunities in digitalization.
Digitalization, I strongly believe, plays a crucial role in today’s growing economy, and it offers a definite opportunity where informal workers can leverage their skills and supplement their family’s household income. Given the ease of entry and minimal requirements for education, skills, technology, and capital in this field, exploring opportunities through digital platforms is a real option for our ambulant vendors, habal-habal drivers, and other workers in the informal economy.
Negosyo Para sa Bayan program will also host an on-site onboarding with banks, digital platforms, and other business enablers in the country. After Quezon City, Negosyo Para sa Bayan will roll out in Pasig City, Taguig City, Manila City, Mandaluyong City, Makati City, San Juan City, and Marikina City.
Ultimately, we hope to see all Filipinos, especially those living below the poverty line, fully capacitated to sign up for a better future.
Other LGU’s interested in the Negosyo Para sa Bayan may contact Eugene Eudela (Go Negosyo Programs Development Officer) at 0945 100 8026 or email at email@example.com.