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The pandemic has dealt a heavy blow to different businesses, but more so to micro and small entrepreneurs who are struggling to make ends meet. When entrepreneurs are suddenly forced to stop their business, some inevitably lose hope. But Go Negosyo is here to provide MSMEs the support, assurance and hope that they can overcome this economic crisis.
To serve our MSMEs amid the pandemic, we brought our flagship mentorship program, Mentor Me Online (MMO), to Facebook last March 23. This digital shift allowed us to expand our reach to 1.5 million followers. Currently, we have over 700 mentors who are guiding our small business owners to navigate this new normal.
MMO is held three times a day and features segments like “Financing opportunities for MSMEs” (loan assistance); free live one-on-one mentoring sessions; the Balik Kabuhayan series (navigating in the new normal); and Puhunan Pang-Negosyo raffle promo.
Since March, Go Negosyo has produced more than 260 episodes of online mentoring sessions. Every Friday, we hold a raffle for loyal followers of the program and electronically select 10 winners of between P5,000 to P25,000 each. This is powered by our many long-time partners and sponsors. In addition, entrepreneurs who participate in the daily mentorship sessions get a chance to win pandagdag puhunan.
We hope the financial assistance will help MSMEs who have been the driving force behind Go Negosyo for the past 15 years. Let me share the testimonies of some of our winners.
With the financial assistance of Go Negosyo, Precious Hernandez was able to buy the necessary accessories to deliver her fresh fish products all over Cagayan de Oro. “Thank you Go Negosyo for your initiative to help small entrepreneurs like us. It has always been part of our prayers for God to bless us so we can bless others in this business. Now, we can expand our business so we can hire more riders and be a blessing to the community as well.”
Mandelle Rabi sells meat at a public market in Iloilo, but was forced to temporarily close her shop. Upon coming across Go Negosyo’s pandagdag puhunan program, she immediately signed up and was one of the lucky winners of P5,000, which she is setting aside to use as capital when she reopens her business.
On the other hand, Rachelle Paraiso is using the funds from her raffle win to make and sell minatamis na ube in Maragondon, Cavite. “Malaking tulong po ito sa aking pamilya. Ang napanalunan ko po ay pandagdag puhunan sa aming munting negosyo. Malaking tulong po ito na pandagdag sa balak ko pong mag tayo ng kahit na maliit na sari-sari store.”
“Napakalaki po ng halagang ito dahil sa kakulangan ng aking puhunan at sa kalagayan kong PWD. Tinitiyak ko po na ang bagay na pong ito ay mapupunta sa negosyo ko at sa anak ko na ako lang ang bumuhuhay. Di po ako makahanap ng tamang salita na magbigay pugay po sa inyong lahat ng bumubuo ng Go Negosyo. Pagpalain po kayo ng Panginoon!” said Francis Yoro.
Street vendor Juanito Pereña also expressed his gratitude for the financial assistance which he plans to split between supporting his business and daily needs. “Napakalaking tulong po sa katulad naming mga street vendor, lalo na sa panahon ngayon nang pandemic na halos lahat nadapa ang mga hanapbuhay. Nang nanalo po ako, sobrang saya ko po dahil para po talaga ito sa aming negosyo at sa pang araw-araw na pamumuhay. Sobrang salamat sa Go Negosyo. Hulog po kayo ng langit.”
“Upon winning P5,000, I decided to continue my e-loading business, which helps a lot of our neighbors have access to data. Through this, they were able to continue with their online business and communicate with their customers,” shared Nicole Cordero from Cagayan de Oro. “I was able to tap into new markets and new products that will be part of the essential goods during this pandemic, too.”
In addition to the financial assistance, entrepreneurs expressed their appreciation for the free mentorship and business strategies offered by Go Negosyo through its Facebook page. Ma. Indira Alunday, who owns a loading station and direct selling store in Pateros, explained that she was able to gain valuable tips and learnings from the experience of her mentors.
“Malaking bagay po sa amin ang mga natutunan naming aral sa mga magagaling na mentors. Ito po ay nagsisilbing daan namin upang makabangon muli mula sa pandemya, at ang dagdag puhunan na bigay ng Go Negosyo ay malaking tulong po sa amin upang makapagsimula muli sa aming mga hanapbuhay,” added Ana Grace Sarmiento, a food vendor from Olongapo.
Hearing the stories of how we are able to support SMEs during this challenging time gives us the strength to continue our mission. For 15 years now, Go Negosyo has advocated for a shift in the Filipino mindset and attitude to achieve prosperity through entrepreneurship. We have come a long way since 2005 and we promise to do more to help our SMEs emerge stronger from this crisis.