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August seemed to have been a month to celebrate the youth, with the recently concluded World Youth Day in Madrid, which drew young Filipino delegates from Barcelona and the Philippines, as well as thousands more who attended the vigil in Ateneo to listen as the Pope addressed the youth to be firm in faith and to build their lives in Jesus Christ. August was also when RFM Foundation recognized the nation’s Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. Truly, we cannot underestimate the youth and their capabilities. And at Go Negosyo, this celebration and recognition continues. On Sept. 23 at the World Trade Center, we are holding our third summit for the youth called the 2011 Go Negosyo Young Entrepreneurs Summit.
Indeed, age has never been a drawback for many of our entrepreneurs. Who knew that someone like Mr. Mang Inasal Injap Sia would become one of Forbes Asia’s 40 Richest in the Philippines, the youngest addition to the list?
I admire this generation’s creativity, innovativeness and ambition. In fact, visit any of the online stores at Multiply.com and you’ll find various unique products. Multiply founder Peter Pezaris never thought that young Filipinos would turn a social networking site meant for blogs, photos and making friends to become a venue to showcase their merchandise.
Technology today is dominated by the young. Many of the founders of social networking sites started in their teens or 20s, and many of them have not even finished college. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is just one iconic example. It’s the same thing for the founders of Google, Apple, Microsoft and so many more, all of whom started their venture as young, bright and highly creative individuals.
Even the entertainment industry is dominated by the youth, especially with the likes of Justin Bieber. I got dragged to watch Taylor Swift in concert while in LA with my daughter Magsy and our youngest Isabella. Taylor Swift is another teen who has dominated the pop world, with millions of young girl fans who adore her for her talent in composing her own songs and playing various musical instruments.
Yes, the young kids today have immense creativity and we should help develop this while we also build their confidence. Unfortunately, education and exposure to the world wide web and accessibility to computers are limited in the Philippines, and with today’s generation, these technologies are important for the youth to develop their talents. The Internet is a source of so much information today, that it’s unfortunate that the penetration of computers and the Internet in the country is so low at about 30 percent.
In the country, we have a few pioneers who seized the entrepreneurial opportunities of the Internet with the likes of RJ David, founder of Sulit.com, a Pinoy version of eBay and one of the successful e-commerce sites. Just that, shows how enterprising and opportunity-seeking our youth is. Last year’s Inspiring Young Entrepreneur Awardee Anton Diaz, creator of Our Awesome Planet, is another example. Two decades ago, blogging was an unthinkable business. Today, bloggers like Anton have inspired thousands of other writers to harness their skills and create blogs that stand out, to attract advertisers and make a living from it, investing only in their writing skills, a laptop, and internet access.
Apart from innovation and creativity, one other thing to note about this generation is how socially conscious they are with their enterprise. There are so many young entrepreneurs with social enterprises that in last year’s Youth Summit, we decided to award three inspiring Young Filipino Social Entrepreneurs. Two of the awardees are partners Bam Aquino and Mark Ruiz for their social enterprise Microventures, through which they introduced the Hapinoy Sari-Sari Store Program. Let me grab this opportunity to congratulate the duo for being the United Nations Project Inspire Grand Winner with Hapinoy, besting about 400 social enterprises around the world!
Even my son Christian, who is just 24, decided to set up a store with his cousin Mikey, and it is not solely for making profits, but for creating awareness through fashion, addressing various social issues such as animal rights, caring for the environment and poverty. Reflecting the social objective of their business, they named their store Greater Good.
Tapping the not-so-conventional way of doing business as well as adding a kind of nobility to their enterprise show the mark of a young entrepreneur. And to continue to salute such entrepreneurs, we are again going to award this year’s exemplary young entrepreneurs at the Youth Summit. We are calling the 15 awardees our Young Starpreneurs, after our partner The Philippine Star. PLDT SME Nation is also
selecting three Junior Bossings and BPI Family Bank will give an award for Business Excellence. Multiply.com will also recognize its Outstanding Young Multiplyneur.
This year’s youth summit will hopefully be graced by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa. We will also feature motivational speakers whom the youth can surely learn and find inspiration from. These include Manny Pangilinan, Bro. Bo Sanchez, Gibo Teodoro, Mike Enriquez, Josiah Go, Henry Tenedero, Roselle Ambubuyog, RJ David, Undersecretary Leon Flores and Michael Angelo Lubrin. We’ve also invited young entrepreneurs and personalities that will excite and empower the youth such as Injap Sia, Bam Aquino, Cristalle Henares, Kenneth Cobonpue, Dylan Wilk, and Illac Diaz. Other celebrities would be Phil Younghusband, Sam Concepcion, and Morisette Amon.
The Young Entrepreneurs Summit is open to all. Call 637-9229 or 637-9347 for more information.
Join our Negosem sa QC on Sept. 8 at the Amoranto Theater, Quezon City. Registration starts at 11 a.m.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top rating entrep show GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! on GMA News TV, Saturday and Sunday 8 to 8:30 a.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips in your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910.