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Since the Go Negosyo advocacy started, we have inspired countless Filipinos to work hard and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. I believe that each of us can take part in our country’s progress, no matter how small our contribution is. And if we put all our efforts together, it will create a wave of change that will surely move the country forward.
This is where our TV show is heading. After five years of airing, we have once again come up with a new format. SME Go!: Powered by Go Negosyo is a 30-minute show that is aired on GMA News TV on Saturdays and Sundays at 8 to 8:30 a.m., with replays on PTV 4 on Tuesdays at 8 to 9 p.m. This show is entirely produced by the Go Negosyo team.
SME Go! is hosted by Bam Aquino, whom I featured before in my other column. He is touring the country in search of inspiring stories of small and medium entrepreneurs, which are categorized into the basic entrepreneurship attitudes that people must have. As entrepreneurs, Bam and I knew that negosyantes needed a little push every now and then, especially if they are faced with problems related to their businesses. Inspiration sustains their drive to work harder and continue their journey in entrepreneurship.
People mistakenly think that I’m the one doing the interviews, maybe because of our eyeglasses. But what is important is we also share the same vision of supporting entrepreneurs towards their goals.
These are the entrepreneurs we’ve featured in past episodes. I am sharing their stories here to make everyone aware that it is possible for small and medium enterprises to succeed.
Bulacan’s Apolonia Encarnado came from a family of kakanin makers. But it was only her mom who thought of putting up a store where they could sell their products. When Kakanin ni Aling Citang was passed on to her, it already had its own loyal customers. Though she managed to improve the quality of how they do the kakanin and expanded the business by putting up an eatery, she never altered the recipe that was handed down by her great grandparents. Apolonia recognizes that their originality was their selling point over their competitors.
Crocheting has been a form of therapy for Cavite’s Ester Sawal since it helped get her through a personal tragedy. One day, she bought a crochet pattern and after a couple of tries, was able to replicate it. She got hooked on the hobby, and eventually thought about selling her creations. But she had a problem since she didn’t know where to sell her product. With the help of their local government’s livelihood officer, who saw her potential, she was referred to a local resort that would sell her creations. Ester dreams of seeing her crocheted products in other resorts and tourist destinations like Boracay.
Coconut has been used and reused as different materials for decades now, and the challenge is to give it a new twist in order to appeal to the market. The women of Candelaria Coconut and Others Products Manufacturing Association, Inc. (CACOPMAI) took this on as a test of their creativity, and with the help of government agencies like DOLE, DTI, and their local provincial government, they have processed coconut into every product imaginable. They added a touch of their ingenuity that makes their product stand out among other coconut processors, while helping their members and families have a sustainable means of living.
Getting into business involves taking risks, and Leo Dator has made his share of sacrifices to establish Ang Tindahan ng Itlog ni Kuya in Laguna. He and his wife were offered to take over his father’s duck business, but this would mean that they would have to give up their jobs in the corporate world. After just two years of managing the business, however, the number of ducks they grew rose from 500 to 6,000. Leo’s goal is to encourage duck growing in the country and have more entrepreneurs inspired by his story.
Speaking of taking risks, Milagros Canuto has leaped from being a factory worker to an owner of her own manufacturing business. She was exposed to the craft since the age of 13, and her expertise became her motivation when she decided to put up MM Enterprises in 1994. At present, she not only does what she loves to do best, but was able to help her community by employing them as walis makers. And up to this day she is still making walis, which inspires her employees to do better at work, because their boss is literally working together with them.
Lastly, it is her composure that made Ellenita Ramirez successful in her furniture business. Her pieces have been featured in furniture shows and exhibits here and abroad, but they were subcontractors for a company at that time. When that company closed down, she was left with the challenge of either looking for other local buyers or exporting their products themselves. Ellen remained calm and faced these trials. Now her products can be seen in condominiums and hotels in the country and other parts of the world.
I would like to invite you to support our campaign. We are continuing to look for sponsors for the show, including ad placements and segment buys. Call 637-9229 or 637-9347 and look for Carie or Mina.