Last Friday, we celebrated the third Go Negosyo Summit at the World Trade Center. We were overwhelmed by the more than 15,000-plus micro and small entrepreneurs and students who participated, with some even coming from Batangas and Laguna. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro and Manny Pangilinan for helping us spread inspiration during our event.
The summit was both educational and inspiring with the help of notable speakers that included Josiah Go, Mike Enriquez, Michael Angelo Lobrin, Henry Tenedero, Roselle Ambubuyog and Bro. Bo Sanchez.
Go Negosyo Trustee Esther Vibal and Tennyson Chen also joined other entrepreneurship advocates such as CHED chair Particia Licuanan, DTI Usec. Meryl Cruz, NYC chair Usec. Leon G. Flores III, Edgardo Herbosa, and our Young STARpreneur awardees in a morning forum, where they shared advice on how they achieved success to those starting their negosyos.
Meanwhile, Go Negosyo trustees Rosalind Wee, Prudencio Garcia and Felix Ang also celebrated with us and were part of the program to show their support of the entrepreneurship advocacy.
In the afternoon, young and successful entrepreneurs Bam Aquino, Kenneth Cobonpue, Dylan Wilk, Illac Diaz, RJ David and Mr. Mang Inasal himself, Edgar “Injap” Sia II, also shared their personal stories of struggles and triumph to empower the youth to venture into entrepreneurship. Apart from the lessons, the audience was also treated to entertainment by Morissette Amon, Sam Concepcion, and Gab Valenciano. The crowd went crazy when Phil and James Younghusband took the stage to share words of encouragement and give out footballs to cheering fans.
Simultaneous with the program was an exhibit of around 400 booths featuring various business models from our hardworking negosyantes. Due to the large crowd that filled our Negosem (Negosyo Seminar) rooms in past summits, we decided to set up two areas this year. We had the Negosem Room, where the essentials of putting up a negosyo were were highlighted, and the NegoSkills room where we featured potential businesses that young people can venture into, such as online blogging, culinary arts, and tattoo, among others. We at Go Negosyo are very positive that investing in the youth, who will shape tomorrow’s entrepreneurship landscape, is worth all the hard work.
One of the highlights of the event was the awarding of the 15 Young STARpreneurs in partnership with The Philippine STAR. This year, we are recognizing 15 young entrepreneurs who have stood out in their respective fields and showed that despite the many challenges that the youth face, entrepreneurship is the way to go.
Most of our Young STARpreneurs turned their respective hobbies into businesses. Clang Garcia of Jeepney Tours is committed to providing a unique and meaningful impression of the Philippines using the jeepney, our signature mode of transport.
The concept of Old Manila Walks was inspired by Ivan Man Dy’s personal advocacy of promoting cultural heritage.
Jen Real-Lim of Orange Dance Studio graduated with a degree in interior design, but her love for dance inspired her to change lives through the discipline of dance.
Meanwhile, Alexander “Xander” Angeles of Edge of Light Studios reminds fellow entrepreneurs that it does not pay to be a jack-of-all-trades; rather, the rewards go to those who are masters of one.
GJ Jimenez capitalized on his wife Maricel’s baking skills to put up Banapple, now a famous stop for foodies looking for the tastiest Apple Caramel Crumble pie and other desserts.
Then there are those who went on and addressed what the market lacks. Kathleen Kaye Garcia provided innovation in the local undergarment industry with the establishment of Hot Pink Lingerie.
Meanwhile, Peter Chen & Juliet Herrera of Serenitea altered the beverage market by introducing tea and its benefits to Filipinos looking for a healthier alternative to coffee.
We also recognized young negosyantes who have found great success not only in business but also in helping the community. Antonio Tiu of AgriNurture revealed that his negosyo of buying and selling agricultural produce was born out of the burning desire to provide a solution to Filipinos’ everyday challenges, such as the food shortage, energy crisis and lack of access to funds.
Young moms Denise Gonzales & Monica Eleazar of INDIGObaby continue to carry locally manufactured products by fellow “mom-preneurs” like themselves who share their advocacies of attachment parenting, breastfeeding and green living.
Krie Lopez of Messy Bessy, which carries environment-friendly household-care products, aims to employ, train, and rehabilitate at-risk young adults through the organization HOUSE (Helping Ourselves through Sustainable Enterprise).
Meanwhile, Martina Manas, Enzo Banson, Katrina Tecson, and Ezra Capucion enlisted the community of women in Nasugbu, Batangas, to weave the Twillery’s Papelle, the woven, laminated newspaper bags that are pretty enough to be carried around.
Making their mark in the beauty and wellness industry are Cristalle Henares of Belo Essentials and Lourd Ryan Ramos of Creations By Lourd Ramos Salon.
Cristalle, the daughter of doctor to the stars Vicki Belo, continues to fulfill her mother’s dream of making the Philippines “the most beautiful country in the world one person at a time” by developing effective, high-quality beauty products at an affordable rate.
Lourd, on the other hand, quipped that given his name, he wanted to create beautiful things. His business mantra was to make people “happy and fabulous.”
Lastly, we have Young STARpreneurs who reaped rewards pushing on despite great challenges. Kim Lato proved that age is nothing but a number by establishing Kimstore: Your Trusted Online Gadget Store at a tender age of 18.
Meanwhile, Lester Lagos of The Urban Frog refused to allow his hearing impairment to stop him from reaching his dreams of becoming a graphic designer and successful entrepreneur.
We hope that these Young STARpreneurs will serve as inspiration for more young Filipinos who dream of being an entrepreneur one day. They are living proof that no one is too young to be a successful negosyante. Truly, success can be achieved by working hard and believing in one’s dreams.