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It is common to hear this quote. But it was a revelation yesterday to hear from Sec. Mon Jimenez who was our keynote speaker at the Entrepreneurial Creativity and Innovation Summit at the SMX Convention Center, which in a way, is a dangerous quote.
Sec. Jimenez made all of us think that this thinking seems to run against the creation of an innovative society. He is correct. We should think the reverse, as many innovators have gone beyond the norm and the standard way, and developed innovations along the way. They are the game-changers.
It was a great way to start the Global Entrepreneurship Week this week with our huge summit last Tuesday, when The Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship â€“ Go Negosyo mounted the Creativity and Innovation summit in partnership with the British Embassy Manila.
It was very uplifting to see over 6,000 aspiring entrepreneurs troop to the SMX wanting to learn how creativity and innovation can level-up any business. We had about 300 micro and small entrepreneurs and the rest were college students from more than 60 schools offering business courses. Some school delegates even had to travel from Ilocos Norte and Pangasinan. The summit focused on reinforcing the entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipino people by engaging them to harness creativity and innovation as a way to take the business to a higher growth plane.
As I have said before, one can have an originally unique idea or it can come from what we see overseas and even around us, but problem is one canâ€™t just copy these ideas. One has to find its own differentiation, and it has to always be a relevant concept that has commercial demand, so that the business model becomes sustainable.
Our entrepreneur friends were very eager to share their success stories with the participants and how creativity and innovation helped their business grow and prosper. Senator Bam Aquino, even on a tight schedule, managed to attend the opening of the summit and gave a very inspiring message to the attendees.
UK Ambassador Asif Ahmad was applauded after giving his message in Filipino and English. A part of the message that I found very relevant was when he said, â€œIn class, donâ€™t spend 100 percent just listening. Spend 1/3 listening, 1/3 asking â€˜Why?â€™ until you exhaust all explanations, and 1/3 concluding with your inputs or action by saying I think. ….â€ Students should take their education seriously, and he encouraged everyone to come up with one idea today that will help the country later.
Marketing guru Josiah Go of Mansmith and Fielders Inc., our program partner for this summit, talked about the key elements of innovation and how the framework can help a business systematically come up with innovations that are relevant to the market.
Also present were Sulit.com.ph co-founder Rj David, who shared how he developed the most popular selling sites online; Anna Meloto Wilk, president and co-founder of Human Nature, and Tommanny Tan, president and CEO of FERN, likewise narrated how they are innovating their products and adjusting their selling and distribution models.
â€œSurround yourself with people with ideas, and you can create something from a small crazy ideaâ€ said Jay Aldeguer, president of The Islands Souvenirs during his talk on customer bonding strategy. He also said that innovation need not come in big boxes. He gave interesting tips like listening, being your true self, adding value to your service and being responsible for the community for a lasting bond with customers among others.
Johnlu Koa, president of French Baker, shared how French Baker made it big here and how it became internationally recognized. He challenged everyone to be sensitive to the concerns of their customers. â€œDonâ€™t bury themâ€, he said.
Dr. Edgar â€œInjapâ€ Sia, founder of the fast growing Mang Inasal, and now property developer through Double Dragon and Hotel 101, shared his struggles in putting up his inasal chicken fast food business and how he managed to stay strong for the success of Mang Inasal. His talk focused on achieving greater customer satisfaction thru process innovation.
Earl Valencia of IdeaSpace foundation shared how to turn innovative ideas into a commercial reality. Mitch Padua from Smart Voyager Innovation, shared about tackthis.com, one of the latest innovations on the online store platform that will benefit thousands of SMEs, while UK social enterprise expert, Philip Tulba talked about innovative social enterprise models in UK and the framework behind their successes.
It was a fulfilling day as I got positive feedback from many young attendees on how they got inspired and learned a lot in this one-day activity. We shall carry the momentum through tonight as we join PLDT award the new batch of MVP Bossings at the NBC Tent. The Bossing Awards recognizes inspiring entrepreneurs who serve as role models and mentors to SMEs.
Tomorrow, we continue to empower more of our kababayans, as we mount with the Villar SIPAG, the OFW and Families Summit at the World Trade Center.
I believe it is our way to really give back and empower the youth of today to be the best that they can be in their respective passion or talent. Success is for those who want it most and everyone has that equal chance, if they really work on it. Thanks to all the partners and supporters who participated in this very first ECI Summit. Thanks also to UK Deputy Ambassador Trevor Lewis, our partner DHL managing director Yati Abdula, Go Negosyo trustee Harley Sy, the Angelpreneurs who mentored for free that day, Butz Bartolome, Jorge Wieneke, Vix Madlangbayan and Cholo Gonzales.
These activities will be a nice cap for the year, before we move on to our new set of summits and seminars next year.