MANILA — Young Filipino entrepreneurs now think out of the box. They often recommend solutions to contemporary community problems and people’s needs in a quick manner through distinct products and services, but overlook logical strategies which are vital to successful business operation.
Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Philippines chair Julie Ang said they now undertake mentoring student entrepreneurs which is deemed pivotal to raising a new generation of the country’s businessmen and businesswomen.
EO is a global, peer-to-peer network of over 13,000 influential business owners with 181 chapters in 57 countries. Founded in 1987, it aims to help leading entrepreneurs learn and grow toward success. It has opened a mentorship program in cooperation with various universities.
“We have participants from Cebu. They were not chosen to be a Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards (GSEA) candidates but they’re being mentored. We also have a single mom and a student who is baking and being mentored by our Cebu member,” Ang shared, adding they want to reach out to students who depend on their business as their livelihood.
Recently, EO Philippines held its fifth GSEA Competition where student entrepreneur, Bea Battung of University of the Philippines – Diliman won. She represented the country at the global GSEA finals in Macau last year.
Battung is the owner of Prima Facie, a firm that creates sneakers from water hyacinths. Established in 2017, it aims to help solve the problem of clogged waterways and massive flooding in the coastal communities brought about by the prevalence of water hyacinths in rivers.
“Buy a shoe, clean a river. That is our company’s mission. In every pair sold from our Ananda shoeline, a pair of slippers is donated to the less fortunate,” Battung said. Through her business, she wants to promote local industries, empower communities, and promote environmental awareness.
Another young entrepreneur Paul Andrei Medina wants to help solve the malaria problem in New Corella, Davao del Norte while providing livelihood for persons with disabilities (PWDs) through his business, Green Rubber (GRUB), and Upcycling.
We use rubber tires from scrap yards and motor shops by assigning them easy tasks like cutting the rubber and we pay them by the pair,” he said, adding that his business gives hope to PWDs and people in New Corella, one of the 32 poorest communities in the country.
“I’m a PWD myself and had a hard time applying for a job. I wasn’t accepted because I wasn’t physically fit. With this business, there’s no discrimination for me and I can encourage other PWDs that together we can do something for the community while earning,” he added. Medina is unable to fully use his right hand after an accident.
Recognizing the ingenuity of young Filipino entrepreneurs, Ang said their organization would continue to mentor the youth as a way of giving back to the community.
“We also want to raise Filipino entrepreneurs who are courageous to take risks to be able to create positive changes in the society through their businesses,” she said. (With Teresa Montemayor/PNA)