My MBA Diaries: Awesome Takes on Filipino Entrepreneurship

The Filipino Entrepreneur

The observed characteristics of the Filipino entrepreneur is very much alike to the Eastern philosophy of yin and yang: someone who has strengths and weakness. It is no secret that the successes of today's wealthiest Filipino businessmen was largely influenced by their traits, values and experiences as they rise above their adversities in life and did what they have to do to survive. They have turned their negative practices and attitudes into entrepreneurial assets.

It is very relevant to my life in a sense that we all need role models growing up and learning the ropes of entrepreneurship.

With the current business climate, it makes sense to learn from the best to be the best. 

Industry’s key players could be a rich source of information if you wish to be one of them some day. Their frugality, self-discipline and undying thirst for learning, made them accumulate wealth in the process.

  • Henry Sy, the Philippine’s top retail magnate has grown his investments exponentially that he begins to conquer other markets and potential industries that complement his current undertakings.
  • Lucio Tan has built multiple empires in airline, banking and tobacco through hard work as he was exposed to harsh living conditions as soon to a poor immigrant family.
  • John Gokongwei taught me to “save money instead of spending all of it.” His perception on expenditures has catapulted him to riches beyond his wildest expectations. As chairman to the country’s biggest conglomerates, he shares that we should “love what we do.”

Their stories inspire the rest of us, the aspiring entrepreneurs, as we venture out into harsh business terrains, unknown industry territories and unexpected undertakings that will test our values, patience and knowledge.

The Philippines' SME and the government

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) is defined in terms of total assets and liabilities but could encompass a lot of industries as long as it provides products and services that the market would need.

It is very crucial that the class discussed it since as startups, our business undertakings would most likely begin in this sector before graduating as a large enterprise.

SMEs play a major role in economic development because it helps in the industrialization of rural areas with business potentials. It also creates employment and other opportunities. But the most important contribution to nation-building would be the fact that it makes equitable income distributed well amongst players.

It is also assuring that the government has taken big steps in ensuring the sector’s growth and development with the formation of MSMED Council. The agencies that work hand in hand as well as the LGUs participation that ensures that businesses would be sustainable, fair and would thrive in the long run.

The government addresses business enterprises’ concerns in this country:

  1. the high cost of doing business, 
  2. business registration and licensing procedures, and the 
  3. lack of start-up incubation.

Most SMEs also suffer from limited access to information and funding since they are not able to set up research and development teams as well as the usual rejection from financial institutions who flag their proposals as high-risk.

Another thing that hampers SMEs’ growth is the inability to be competitive enough to expend their markets locally and globally.

Training is organized by government agencies to address this and ensure the marketability would penetrate a wide range of prospective clients. DTI, DOST and UP-ISSI has provided assistance for this sector to ensure that

  1. financing, 
  2. technology transfer, 
  3. production and 
  4. management training helps them achieve targets and expand business.

Government gives tax incentives and easy processing of application for registration to these businessmen to help them grow their investments.

But one thing unknown to the consumers is that the government is keeping eye on top performing businesses in the provincial and regional level through the Rising Star and Star Elite award respectively.

Knowing that the government 

  1. goes out of their way to help these industries sustain, 
  2. encourage excellence and 
  3. help foster business climate 

makes it a very good time to contribute in building the nation through setting up business that has latent qualities to expand and grow people’s lives along the way with wealth accumulation coming at second in priority.

We have laws that make sure that the interest both of the consumer and the business is protected. Such laws discussed were the BMBE Act of 2002 and Magna Carta for MSMEs. These regulations ensure that viability and unprecedented growth of such enterprises.

The country has cooperatives, skills and technical education arms, livelihood resource centers that is ready to provide the necessary resources for would-be entrepreneurs to grow and learn, you just need to have the heart and passion to make a difference.

These are all my modified version of my reflection sheet for my Entrepreneurship 103 class while taking up an MBA at University of San Jose Recolletos - Cebu.

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