The Challenges of Inspiring

The Philippine economy and general climate of optimism has improved dramatically over the past 12 months. This is quite evident from the number of foreigners you will see at different hotels, many of them investors wanting to be part of the growing economy of the Philippines. Peso appreciation has been around 20 percent, GDP growth is now forecasted at 6.1-6.7 percent after the robust economic performance of 7.2% in the first half. The Philippines Stock Exchange Index has climbed 58 percent since January 2006, and real estate values in high-end villages have also gone up from 35 to 65t per sqm, while it has gone up from P90 thousand to the latest P150 to as much as P180 thousand per sqm in Fort Bonifacio. The US stock market is also on a rebound due to last night’s beyond market expectation half percentage point reduction in fed rates.

One cannot question that Filipinos are finally gung-ho about our country. The optimism has finally rubbed off which resulted to people becoming more confident in seizing opportunities such as starting a negosyo. Unfortunately last Tuesday, we have this bombshell expose of Joey de Venecia exposing Mike Arroyo as the mystery man behind the NBN-ZTE controversy which quickly affected the stock market. Somehow some camps find his story questionable as he was the losing bidder and some may even go far as saying he is just a sourgraping. Some groups however would believe in his statements. What is clear is the immense power of media in covering controversial news like this, and again it’s like a reality show at play. Unfortunately if not handled well, this can reverse the gains that we have accomplished in the recent months. We must end this cycle of misery that has been haunting us for so many years. I hope and pray we do not get back to our cycle of misery. I hope we focus on the economics, the good momentum we have, the vibrant business environment, the excitement and competitive spirit among Filipino entrepreneurs. I hope our Senators, as they do their investigations, keep in mind the importance of keeping the spirit of hope among the Filipinos and encourage them to not give up on this country as we are still on the road to a great future.

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Go Negosyo is trying to keep the ball rolling as it spreads further the entrepreneurship advocacy and optimistic mindset thru the Go Negosyo caravans in the provinces. We will have the Go Negosyo sa Pampanga on October 8 at the Bren Guiao Convention Center and the Go Negosyo sa Cagayan de Oro on October 19 at the Atrium in Limketkai Mall. We are still continuing with our Bigtime TV show every Monday at 10:30pm in RPN9, the interactive mentoring website and the Go Negosyo book which is now a best seller in National Bookstore. We are happy to inform you that with the high hit rates, is now at the top of the list in the Google search on Negosyo. All of these activities including this column are all part of our goal to change the mindset of Filipinos into being more entrepreneurial in character.

We are also continuing to spread the advocacy through innovative means. We will have another communication campaign featuring celebrity entrepreneurs. We are coming out with a series of print ads, which will eventually be compiled into a Go Negosyo book – Celebrity Edition, featuring portraits and write-ups on the entrepreneurial side of your favorite celebrities. Ace photographer and visual image expert Jun de Leon has agreed to work with us on this project. Some of the famous celebrities who have already pledged their support include Jolina Magdangal who owns a fashion gallery, Joyce Jimenez who has Private Joyce stores all over the Manila, Marvin Agustin who owns Japanese restaurant Sumo Sam, Piolo Pascual, Judy Ann Santos, Fanny Serrano, Diether Ocampo, Tweety de Leon, Sara Black, Arnel Ignacio, Tessa Prieto and Tim Yap, just to name a few. The list is growing as of this writing. We are expecting to get more and compile at least 50 celebrity entrepreneurs before the year ends.

We are also working on the second Go Negosyo book which we will now call Joey Concepcion’s and Nanay Coring’s Book of 50 Inspiring Entrepreneurial Stories. Book 2 will feature other equally successful entrepreneurs in the country today, along with some of those who received the Go Negosyo Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs award in different sectors/ cities. A new addition to Go Negosyo Book 2 will be the lessons learned written by Vivienne Tan, Myla Villanueva and Johnlu Koa.

Another project we are also working on is the Ed Morato’s “How-To Go Negosyo” book. It is in partnership with Bayan Foundation’s President and Entrepreneurship guru Prof. Ed Morato. The book will cover basic concepts on entrepreneurship, marketing/opportunities-seeking, product development and financing/ financial management that will serve as good starting guide for any aspiring entrep. This will be complemented by a video material on each of the 168 modules on entrepreneurship.

As Go Negosyo moves on to more projects, we hope to inspire more and more Filipinos to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, give them the tools, empower, inform and mentor them and hopefully fulfill our dream of becoming an entrepreneurial nation.

The road is still far and we still need to overcome a lot of challenges. But Go Negosyo was born during the darkest times in the country and it will always be a duty and honor for us to inspire people. For every person that will succeed in life and move out of poverty is an accomplishment beyond material terms. Let us never lose hope.