Just saw on TV the GO NEGOSYO awarding of Manila entrepenuers. One of the awardees is Carlos Celdran for his walking tours. Congratulations Mr. Celdran.
Other awardees include Mr. Gerry Chua for his hopia busniess, Ms. Alejandra Clemente of Rajah Tours, Ms. Alice Guerrero of Tesoros, Robert Kuan of Chow King, Ms. Willen Mai of Masuko, Mr. Jose Reyes of Arisctocrat, Dra. Elena Benitez of Philippine Women's University. Posthomus awards for Dr. Nicanor Reyes of FEU and Ms. Betty Go Belmonte of Philippine Star.
Being an entrepenuer myself, and I do business with one of the awardees, entrepenuership is very close to my heart but it is not really part of my advocacy. Not yet. Our collective mindset is not geared towards entrepenuership. Our
collective mindset is more about a future working oversees.
GO NEGOSYO is a government program that promotes entrepenuership. Their website is exactly tha of the DTI. I wonder why. Being a government initiated program, I doubt if people will really take this campaign seriously.
As we all know, entrepenuerhsip is not just about capital and profit. It is also about vision, passion and commitment. But it doesn't end there. It includes trade secrets, contacts, marketing savvy, product development, cash flow, technology and commuication. More importantly, entrepenuership is about calculated risks, honesty, integrity and hard work. Entrepenuership therefore is about values, good values, that is.
The world of business is a dog eats dog world. To survive, you have to be ruthless. You must be cunning. You must protect your trade secret with your life or else gagayahin ka. You must spy on your competition. Sulutan is the order of the day. You must know how to barat your suppliers to get the best deal, no matter what. You cheat on your taxes to increase profit. You do under the table transactions to get juicy deals. You underpay your employees and over work them to be able to buy a new car. You may even hire children who are very willing to work for a few bucks. You don't improve the working conditions as this will add to your overhead. That is the reality of the world of business. It sucks.
What GO NEGOSYO attempts to do is to inspire people to go into business. People are invited to share their success stories. Most of the time, we hear the same thing from their speakers; hard work, motivation, inspiration, perserverance, dedication, commitment, etc. But once people engage in business reality sinks in.
Registering a business name is a walk in the park. It is getting a mayor's permit is where the nightmare begins. Fees are subjective depending on the type of business you are putting up. A fixer will make life much easier. The rest of the nightmare will follow. Saints who succeeded in business are more of the exception than the rule. Palakasan, sipsipan, siraan, sulutan may bring better deals. Most of the reported corruptions we read in newspaper is about doing business with government.
Because of this reality, I won't advocate for entrepenuership. Not yet. What we need is a change in values, a change in attitude, a change in mindset before we encourage people to go into business. Let us first be good citizens before we can become good entrepenuers.