Friday, April 26, 2019

Students attend entrepreneurship summit

LAST September 15, 2018 was an auspicious day to talk global. More than 700 entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs filled all seats at the Capitol University Mini-Theater where the 2018 Global Entrepreneurship Summit was held.

The delegates were mostly students of the Capitol University (CU) Graduate School(MBM, MPSM and DM students); Xavier University (XU) College of Agriculture, FoodTechnology, and Graduate School; Southern Philippines College (SPC); University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) with the highest number of attendees; Golden Heritage Polytechnic College (GHPC); and Gingoog City Colleges (GCC).

Dr. Edwin C. Du, the dean of the CU Graduate Program and Dr. Amor Q. de Torres in their opening remarks and inspirational message, respectively, lauded the successful project and took notice of the clamor of those who were refused tickets due to space limitations by urging the group, especially Dr. Caragos, to consider making this Global Entrepreneurship Summit an annual event.

All the speakers were young entrepreneurs from Cagayan de Oro, Camiguin and Misamis Oriental who have made a mark in business and have achieved global success by bringing their company’s products upfront and making it compete with aplomb in the global market. They talked about the culture prevailing in their respective businesses and how they refused to admit to having reached the pinnacle of their success because the road is forever long and steep and technology is constantly changing how the game is played.

First to talk was Dr. Viel Jose, a medical doctor by profession who leads the family-owned business. He is the operations manager of VjANDEP Bakeshop and the chief executive officer of VjANDEP Ventures, Inc.

Today, when you say pastel you say VjANDEP, and when you say VjANDEP, you think Cagayan de Oro. This is exactly the motivational message that underlined his talk on “Entrepreneurial Mind-setting: Starting-up and Growing a Business”. He contrasted a businessman from an entrepreneur and talked about transforming ideas, specifically by targeting your market, by name-branding, and by creating tag-lines. What also inspired the audience was when he talked about their company’s humble beginnings which started way back in 1990 with only P120.00 as initial capital.

It was good for making only 36 pieces of pastel. The product had no name then, no packaging, no brand, no tag-line. They were sold by the typical “manglalako” all around their hometown in Mambajao, Camiguin. The product was good, loved by locals and tourists alike, and as they say, the rest is history. Today VjANDEP is a big industry with two processing plants, a number of nationwide distributors, and provides employment to no less than 200 employees in the region.

Stephanie Rosalind Caragos, the lone female entrepreneur in the speakers’ line-up is the founder, president & CEO of the 18-year running IT Company, Syntactics Inc.

She has a lot up her sleeves being the founder of, Syntactics Pink (Promoting Innovation Networking & Knowledge for women), and as a sought-after speaker and mentor in various Startup, Online Marketing, Web, ICT and ICT businesses related seminars and talks. She is a staunch supporter of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises, an Eisenhower Fellowand a Young Social Entrepreneur Initiative Fellow who has been featured in the Microsoft Executive Leadership Series Book, Young World Rising. Stephanie is currently the president of the CDO ICT Business Council and a past president for the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines (NICP) and currently a national board of trustee. She is also a board director for the Eisenhower Fellows Association of the Philippines (EFAP). Her topic on “Going the Extra Mile in Customer Care: The Filipino Way” touches among others, the Filipino traits and values that have been greatly appreciated by foreign clients who continue to deal with our local industries.What piqued the attention of the audience was when she shared how Syntactics takes care of its clients, how it looks out for their best interest, and how the company puts great value on its employees knowing that clients are in good hands when the employees are happy and working in a pleasant environment.

Reynaldo Gil Lomarda, co-founder and president of GreenMinds Inc., delved on the topic “Scaling-up in the Business, Get Certified” or, as he humorously puts it, “The Hows, Exs, and Whys of Certification”.

Lomarda is a witty speaker who got a good number of laughs like when he presented slides of sample certifications and made his audience participate by guessing what the logos and words in the packaging of ordinary products and items that we encounter every day and in fact use often, meant. On the serious side however, he also showed how GreenMinds, Inc. gained from getting a certification. The demand for their organic products like the turmeric powder, various herbs and spices, banana chips, peanuts, and free-range chicken eggs increased from forty kilograms to five hundred kilograms a month. They also gained international success and increased the number of their support linkages. More than all these they were able to address their company’s vision and mission by helping their lumad partners, the farmers specifically, increase their personal income from 10 to 50 percent.

The last entrepreneur to share his ideas was Neil Francis Rafisura, vice-president of the SHAPII Foundation or perhaps as it is locally known, of the famous Salay Handmade Paper.

The company was founded by Dr. Reynaldo and Loreta Rafisura, Neil’s parents, way back in 1987. What started as a traditional way of making cards out of handmade paper with real pressed flowers adorning it has now evolved into trendier designs with new materials infused to make it more attractive and useful. From cards they have now expanded to making other stationery products, beautiful picture frames and well-made wallets and passport holders. His talk was on “How to Succeed in Going Global” something familiar and close to his heart since SHAPII has already gained international acclaim. He talked about the World Fair Trade Organization in which SHAPII has finally become a member in June of this year. It is now the fifth company in the Philippines and the only company in Mindanao to achieve this phenomenal recognition.

The rest of the speakers who shared equal importance to the Entrepreneurs already mentioned above are business partners which capitalists are most likely to encounter when they start or expand their business. The financing programs of the Development Bank of the Philippines were presented by its assistant vice president and head of the Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon Lending Center, Shirley Mae B. Serate. The Credit Program of the Land Bank of the Philippines was presented by Necele Jone C. Oclarit, the acting account assistant of the Cagayan de Oro Lending Center.

There were a total of 15 corporate sponsors and 22 MSME Sponsors. (Melanie Rosalind P. Caragos-Talimio)


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