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The Christmas season is here, and we Filipinos celebrate because of two things: to commemorate the birth of Jesus and to be thankful for the blessings that we have received in the past year.
Go Negosyo has achieved many milestones, and even if it’s been seven years since we started the advocacy, we continue to go further. Aside from successfully mounting our Women Summit, the Youth Summit caravan, and the Negosyo seminars throughout 2012, we were also able to discover entrepreneurs whose stories of passion and hard work are truly remarkable and worth sharing with those who aspire to be successful someday. These negosyantes are the faces of entrepreneurship —individuals who proved that success is really achievable, especially if one is willing to work hard for it.
Let us go back and recall their stories.
Last March, Go Negosyo awarded 12 outstanding women and women enablers who have carved their niche in their respective fields. In partnership with The Philippine STAR, this is the fourth year that Go Negosyo has honored Filipinas, especially women entrepreneurs, for successfully establishing their own businesses and for their contribution to the economy.
This year’s Women STARpreneurs are Lourdes Ragas of Carolina’s Lace Shoppe, Olivia Limpe-Aw of Destileria Limtuaco, Rubby Sy of Forever Flawless, Sari Yap of Mega Publishing, Putlih Kumalah Sug-Elardo of Sulu Royal Coffee, Susana Guerrero of Cravings, Penk Ching of the Pastry Bin, Erlinda Bartolome of GMB Franchise Developers, Desiree Duran of Basuit Farmers Cooperative, Marife Zamora of Convergys Corporation, Maritel Nievera of Cabalen, and Antuza Refalda of Kalinga Brew.
The Sipag Awards that was held last September is a yearly recognition of the country’s inspiring microentrepreneurs who were able to move up from poverty with their hard work, dedication, and the help of microfinance. Go Negosyo, through its executive director Mon Lopez, has been supporting this activity for three years now as a member of the board of judges.
Four National Winners emerged this year: People’s Bank of Caraga of Agusan del Sur (Most Outstanding Rural Financial Institution); Taytay sa Kauswagan, Inc. of Iloilo (Most Outstanding Non-Government Organization); Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative of Agusan del Norte (Most Outstanding Cooperative); and John F. Cabillon of Iloilo (Most Outstanding Microentrepreneur). Despite him being differently abled, John started his entrepreneurial journey by making yema and polvoron. Now he has a diverse line of businesses, including a squid dealership, orchids and flower garden, and a jewelry business.
This year, Go Negosyo decided to do the annual Youth Summit across the Philippines as a caravan. During our Cebu leg, we have awarded 10 young and inspiring entrepreneurs who have shown that age does not stop anyone from making it in his or her chosen field. The awardees are Renault Lao (Loft), Jan Rodriguez (Ilaputi), Don Edrian Tirol (93rd and 1st), Ken and Kaz Onozawa (Rhipstop Soul Clothing), Rachel Arandilla (Sprockets Cafe), Diane Uy-Ang (What a Girl Wants), Wesley Chiongbian (Mynimo.com), Jandrick Climaco (Fushu Shoes), Dan Legarde (Japengo/Beat), and Derek Dytian (Creative Cuisine Catering Services).
Then, last Oct. 18, the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2012 awarding ceremonies was held. This year’s search produced 17 finalists, and six of them were announced as winners in different categories. The winners are Jaime Ayala of Hybrid Social Solutions, Inc. (Social Entrepreneur award), Jose Victor Paterno of Philippine Seven Corp. (Master Entrepreneur award), Tommanny Tan of Fern, Inc. (Emerging Entrepreneur award), Jonathan Suy of Jomaray Pulp Packaging Industries (Small Business Entrepreneur award), Venus Genson of Art ‘N’ Nature Manufacturing Corp. (Woman Entrepreneur award), and Marvin Agustin of SumoSam Foods, Inc. (Young Entrepreneur award).
From this group, Jim Ayala turned out to be this year’s EOY Philippines 2012 awardee. His win is really unexpected but is definitely deserved, because he was able to successfully engage in a profitable but meaningful negosyo. Let us hope that he brings home the glory as he competes in the World.