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For seven years, Go Negosyo has been inspiring people to be what they want to be, and hopefully, to tread the path of entrepreneurship and succeed in it. And it is through our summits that we gather aspiring negosyantes and existing entrepreneurs in the country under one venue to reinforce an enterprising spirit in them and to empower them with relevant entrepreneurship skills. We are doing the Women Summit every March to celebrate women and their achievements in entrepreneurship and in their respective fields, while the Youth Summit is held every September to inspire our young people to adopt a positive mindset and pursue their passion in life. To say that we are successful at the end of every summit is an understatement: we might have reached hundreds of thousands of Filipinos through these summits alone, if we are to combine the number of people who participated each year.
We are at a significant point in the history of Go Negosyo, because we decided to hold not just one, but four runs of the Youth Summit, which will be strategically held in key areas in North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. Under the new banner statement “Aasenso sa Tiyaga at Galing (ASTIG) ng Kabataan,” our Youth Summit follows the format of a one-day event, featuring today’s young and successful entrepreneurs who will lend their stories of success in the plenary sessions. We have also lined up some of the most inspirational and motivational speakers to truly spark an interest among the youth to develop a positive mindset and venture into negosyo.
Last Aug. 24, we kicked off the summit caravan with the South Luzon run, which was held at the Southern Luzon State University in Lucban. It was attended by more than 3,000 students and local entrepreneurs who came from Quezon, Laguna and Cavite to as far as Marinduque. Go Negosyo’s executive director Ramon Lopez shared some thoughts about using character, competence and creativity during his speech, while Brian Quebengco of Innovent, Inc. emphasized the importance of aligning a person’s dreams and entrepreneurship with unavoidable challenges. Following their speeches was a talk by Hapinoy founder and Go Negosyo’s SME: Go TV host Bam Aquino, who shared his experiences as a young entrepreneur and encouraged the participants to cultivate an enterprising attitude while they are still young.
A forum combining the successful negosyantes of NCR and Quezon came next. We had Barnard Carlos Balquiedra (Carlos Super Drug), Gertine Valde Capistrano (Batis Aramin Resort), Zarah Juan (Panda Cleaners), Lourd Ramos (Creations by Lourd Ramos), Anthony Recio (Recio Department Store), Oliver Tan (Pooch Park Doggy Day Care), and Nova Veluz (Buddy’s Pizza) as panelists, while Chal Lontoc and Mon Lopez served as moderators. It was a sharing of their individual experiences and challenges. The forum became an eye-opener for everyone in terms of how a person’s success can be achieved through hard work and dedication, but more importantly, how one should have the passion to do the business so that he or she can move past the obstacles that come their way.
In the afternoon session, Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs Carlo Calimon (executive director, Let’s Go Foundation), Armand Bengco (executive director, Colayco Foundation), and Michael Angelo Lobrin (author, Laugh with God Today) discussed the basics of entrepreneurship, financial literacy for the youth, and the right attitude and choices in doing business, respectively. It was really amazing to see young people taking these sessions seriously. Even if the gymnasium was crowded, you could see that most of them had a pen and paper in their hands, and they were taking down notes as the Angelpreneurs laid out the basics of how to start a business.
The following Friday, Aug. 31, Go Negosyo was at the University of Pangasinan in Dagupan for the North Luzon run. Our team was amazed because more than 4,000 people welcomed us. During the morning ceremonies, Go Negosyo’s Mon Lopez gave a short message on why Go Negosyo is doing these summits, as well as the importance of adopting a positive attitude that can be useful to the youth in pursuing their individual passions. Following this was the “Pilipinas: Now is Our Time” forum, which featured Ray Gapuz (RA Gapuz Review Center), Kamela Seen (Plato Wraps), GJ Jimenez (Banapple), as well as Zarah Juan and Oliver Tan, who were mentioned earlier. In this forum, the panelists showed that an entrepreneur should always pursue what he or she loves to do most, and that he or she should have an open mind to take on major changes in their lives while running the business. In the afternoon, Carlo Calimon, Armand Bengco, and Mike Lobrin shared their expertise and explained the basics of entrepreneurship to the people of Dagupan, who stayed until the program ended at around 6 in the evening.
There will be two more runs of the Youth Summit in October: one in Cebu and the other one in Cagayan de Oro. We are also working to have a culminating summit here in Manila, which will feature techno-preneurs who have successfully established themselves and their negosyos in the field of technology. This is something that our young people can relate to and hopefully, this can inspire them to take that first step towards improving their lives through entrepreneurship. As we continue to plant the seeds of an entrepreneurial mindset among our youth, we are confident that one day, one or two of them will be invited by Go Negosyo to talk about their success.