THE Philippine chapter of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) is planning to hold university roadshows as part of their initiative to encourage students to become entrepreneurs, said EO-Philippines president Steve Benitez.

Benitez, owner of Cebu-based Bo’s Coffee is the first Cebuano to lead EO Philippines, a network of successful Filipino businessmen. Under his term, he said he wants to pursue projects that will continue to promote the entrepreneurial skills of Filipinos.

The entrepreneurship campaign among students is part of the organization’s Global Student Entrepreneurs program, which, according to him, is an initiative to inspire students to pursue entrepreneurship after graduation.

“Activities such as this are part of the organization’s thrust to embrace change and be transformational; from being exclusive to inclusive, from learning to teaching, and from mere growth to growth with purpose and sustainability,” said Benitez, who has been a member of the organization for 10 years now.

EO is a global network of more than 9,500 business owners in 40 countries that was founded in 1987 by a group of young entrepreneurs. 

According to its website, the organization is a “catalyst that enables entrepreneurs to learn and grow each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life.”

Benitez said more than enrolling in postgraduate studies to develop leadership and business skills, peer to peer mentoring is an added advantage.

“This is what the organization is for. It is an avenue for members to ask advice and learn from each other’s experiences,” said Benitez. “We also mentor emerging entrepreneurs,” he added.

“I owe much of the learning I got as an entrepreneur and as an individual from EO. The peer to peer mentoring, as well as the workshops, have contributed to the success of my business. In business you learn from experiences, from your experiences and other people’s experience,” he said.

“It inspired me to continue to think big and dream big,” he added.

Benitez said he want more Cebuano entrepreneurs to become members of EO. They plan to introduce the organization in other key cities of the country.

“This is a community that offers abundant learning, once-in-lifetime experiences (and) powerful mentoring from fellow members,” he said.

Traditionally, EO membership is by invitation only, but interested entrepreneurs may apply for membership. In the Philippines, the organization has about 130 members, four of whom are Cebuanos.