SORSOGON UNITED

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Top Ten Business Do’s and Dont’s

THE TOP TEN DO’S WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS

  1. Live frugally and begin saving up money for starting your business.
  2. Learn your intended business by working for someone else in the same business first.
  3. Consider the benefits of starting a moonlight business.
  4. Consider the advantages of operating a family business.
  5. Objectively measure your skills and training against potential competition.
  6. Consider subcontracting to low cost suppliers if you’re manufacturing a product.
  7. Test market your product or service before starting or expanding.
  8. Make “for” and “against” list describing the specific business you are considering.
  9. Talk to lots of people in your intended business for advice.
  10. Make a comparative analysis of all opportunities you are considering.

THE TOP TEN DON’TS WHEN STARTING A BUSINESS

  1. Think about leaving your job before you have completed start-up plans.
  2. Consider starting a business in a field you do not enjoy.
  3. Risk all the family assets. Limit your liabilities to a predetermined amount.
  4. Compete with your employer in a moonlight business.
  5. Hurry to select a business. There is no penalty for missed opportunities.
  6. Select a business that is too high a risk or hurdle. Go for the two-foot hurdle.
  7. Select a business in which you must have the lowest price to succeed.
  8. Ignore the negative aspects of an intended business.
  9. Permit self-confidence to outweigh careful diligence.
  10. Allow the promise of a conceptual high reward deter reality testing first.

Via: http://www.myownbusiness.org/business_top_ten.html

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families,

My Dad is a Broke OFW (An open letter to all OFW’s)

Kumusta na kabayan!

First, I would like to thank you for being an OFW. My dad used to be an OFW and I know the many sacrifices you are enduring right now just so that you can provide the best for your family. I admire you, I appreciate you and in my book, you are a true Pinoy hero.

Second, I would like to help you. I would like to help you in the same way I helped Bobet, a former OFW. Under my coaching, from being broke and in debt, in just 12 months Bobet became a millionaire. Bobet is in fact back in the Philippines. He no longer needed to work as a nurse here in the U.S. He no longer misses his wife and kids. He can now kiss and hug them everyday. He has achieved in 1 year what most OFWs will never achieve in their lifetime. How did he do it?

I taught Bobet the Secrets of Wealth. And if you want to be like Bobet, read on because I want to teach you the Secrets of Wealth as well. But there’s a catch. You will only understand the Secrets of Wealth by understanding how my dad, an OFW like you became broke.

I’ve experienced as a child what I call a roller coaster of wealth. In Tagalog, we call this “Gulong ng Palad” (Wheel of Fortune) because there are times we’re on top of the world and there are times we’re at the bottom. When my dad comes back from abroad it is like a fiesta. The alcohol is overflowing. The whole town seems to be at our door step and my dad’s pasalubongs never seem to run out. Packets of cigarette. Bottles of whisky. Chocolates for the kids. Jewelry for my mom. It is like we’re millionaires every time my dad goes home.

But we’re millionaires only for a short time.

Two weeks later, the money’s gone. My mom and dad start to argue. And my dad seriously considers going back to the ship. He borrows money from his mom – my grandmother (we call “Nanay”). One time, my mom and dad even asked me to borrow money from Nanay because both of them were already turned down. I guess that tactic worked because Nanay couldn’t say NO to his apo and we ate dinner that night.

Then things turn for the worse. The many friends who cheerfully greeted my dad’s homecoming are no longer around. Instead, creditors start hounding us, pounding at our door. At 8 years old, I am taught to lie and tell the creditor my mom is not around even though she is just there beside me kneeling and praying the creditor goes away.

From feeling like millionaires for a few days to being dead broke 2 weeks later – describing it as a roller coaster or a wheel of fortune is an understatement. My mom and dad managed to squander all their savings and more.

So 2 months later, my dad is back at the airport again. We have tears in our eyes once again as we bid him goodbye. My dad would have to work hard on a ship 10 months in a year mostly to pay off our greedy lenders and creditors.

My dad tried to invest – buying a tricycle but the business became bankrupt as fast as it was started. My dad recalled that tricycle with pride in his voice “It was the first stainless steel tricycle in our town”. He was proud of the product but he did not take the time to understand the business.

There were many days our home is literally dark because we couldn’t pay for the electric bill. Once, as a 9-year old boy, I was devastated when I saw my books have been sold so that we will have food on the table that day. Then the worst happened: we lost our home to foreclosure because there was no money left to pay for the mortgage.

Is the story above familiar to you? I bet most OFWs have the same lifestyle cycle as my dad. Rich one day then broke another.

Have you discovered the Secrets to Wealth in my dad’s story?

At its core, it really is very simple. You will be wealthy if you do the exact opposite of what my dad did.

Don’t waste your money by throwing a lavish home coming party for the whole town – SAVE your money instead. Have a small gathering with your family and loved ones. Your children will appreciate it more because they want your presence more than your presents. Get into the habit of saving at least 10-20% of everything you earn. The earlier you get that habit the wealthier you will become or the faster you will become a millionaire.

Bobet saves 50% of what he earns. No wonder he has become a millionaire in only 12 months.

But you cannot save your way to millions. You have to learn how to invest your savings. My aunt who used to work as a bank clerk, who earned 1/10th of what my dad earned as a seaman is now a multi-millionaire because she learned to invest her money. Your savings must go to “work” for you. They must produce good returns or profit. But you cannot stop there. You have to reinvest your profits so that your wealth can grow exponentially.

My aunt started a business butchering chickens in the wet market (palengke). She saved half of her profits and lived off the other half. She then put her savings to buy a store. The profits from the store and the chicken business were then invested into a farm. The profits from the farm, the store and the chicken business were then invested into a resort. The profits from the resort, the farm, the store and the chicken business were then invested into apartment buildings.

As a result of saving, investing, and reinvesting her profits, my aunt becomes richer and richer even as she works less and less while my dad because of spending, borrowing, then spending becomes poorer and poorer even as he works harder.

The choice is yours. Bobet chose to become rich and he put in the time to learn and apply the Secrets of Wealth. Bobet is now in the Philippines employing 30 people because of the businesses he started. 30 families now rely on Bobet because he applied the Secrets of Wealth and Bobet is proving you can become wealthy even back home.

I like you to be wealthy my friend. But the choice is up to you.

Dedicated to your success,

Trace

P.S. Please forward this to every OFW you know – in fact, forward it to everyone you know for that matter. Everyone needs to learn and apply the Secrets of Wealth.

Trace Trajano is a real estate investor, author of the best selling book “Think Rich – Quick” and a wealthcoach to students around the world. His vision is to create directly or indirectly 1 Million Pinoy Millionaires worldwide by the year 2020. Trace himself is an OFW living in the Mason Ohio with his wife and 2 kids. For more information go to http://BuyFirstDeal.com

—–

To our financial freedom!

Jay Castillo
Real Estate Investor
Real Estate Broker License #: 20056
Blog: http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com
Social Network: http://foreclosurephilippines.ning.com
Mobile: +639178843882
E-mail: ph.investor [at] gmail [dot] com

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, Motivation, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training, ,

Investment, entrepreneurship seminar for Pinoys in KSA

JEDDAH – Filipino expatriates in Jeddah and nearby places who want to become successful entrepreneurs will now have a chance to learn how.

The OFW Cooperative Council (OFWCC) is set to hold an Investment & Entrepreneurship Seminar on June 18, Friday, at the Philippine Consulate Social Hall from 1 to 6 p.m.

As part of the 112th Philippine Independence Day celebrations, OFWCC said the one-day seminar would be attended by different resource speakers who would share their expertise about real estate investment and realty salesmanship techniques.

Atoy Esguerra, one of OFWCC’s Board of Directors, said Consulate Trade Attaché Paisal D. Abdullah would also give insights on Philippine trade and investment.

Expected to attend to share their ideas are the sales manager of CDC Realty and the sales consultants of Century Properties.

Esguerra added that Albert Osorio from the Cebuano Speaking Organization in Saudi Arabia would also share his knowledge regarding networking and direct selling, while a representative from the banking sector would talk about the importance of personal savings and investment.

Ronald Mangua, one of the successful Filipino businessmen in Saudi Arabia, would likewise share his experiences in business ventures in trading Filipino products.

Esguerra said one of the interesting topics included in the seminar will deal with OFWs becoming active in the new marketing phenomena.

Ruben Galamay, the newly appointed representative of PAG-IBIG in Jeddah, will share information on PAG-IBIG’s housing loan program.

He will also discuss the implementation of the mandatory membership of all OFWS.

Social Security System (SSS) Representative Erna Hermoso Magsombol will also be available for inquiries related to SSS pension and investment plan.

Jimmy Leonida, co-founder of OFWCC and the organization’s education chairman, will focus on savings and increasing cash flow, and cooperatives as an option in forming a business.

Philippine Consul General Ezeddin Tago will also grace the affair.

OFWCC current Chairman Bernie Gojo said some of OFWCC’s successful cooperatives are the Iloilo Migrant Workers Cooperative and the Biag Ti Ilocano Cooperative.

Meanwhile, the Boholano Com Jeddah Ventures is now on its second year of operating the 24/7 Convenient Store, a 24-hr grocery-store in Tagbilaran City, with future plans of acquiring lands to be developed into hotels and restaurants as part of the Bohol Tourism Industry.

Wenfred Castolome, the inter-coop & entrepreneur committee chair of OFWCC, said the FilExpat Coop was also able to negotiate through a private establishment to bring back the frozen banana brand Golden Saba to Jeddah.

Castolome encouraged other coop groups to be part of the distribution team in marketing the product throughout the Kingdom, just like what the Riyadh-based coop Global Bisaya Cooperative did last year.

He also advised other cooperatives which are just starting that the seminar will enhance their knowledge on better business prospects.

Since it was established in 1996, the OFWCC has been actively helping fellow OFWs in providing seminars and other livelihood programs.

OFWCC is an non-government organization which has been conducting seminars and other activities on establishing cooperatives.

Those interested to attend the entrepreneurship seminar may contact OFWCC chair Bernie Gojo (0508377208), vice chair Jim Leonida (0502784630) or secretary Miles Lacson (0532768851).

The seminar is free and snacks will be served along with hand-outs to be distributed to all participants from Pag-IBIG and SSS. - RJAB Jr/KBK, GMANews.TV

By RONALDO Z. CONCHA, GMANews.TV

via: http://www.gmanews.tv/story/193769/investment-entrepreneurship-seminar-to-be-held-for-pinoys-in-ksa

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Financial Literacy, ,

Former OFW runs a farmers’ co-op

A civil engineer who worked for six years in Saudi Arabia returned to his hometown of Sta. Rita, Pampanga, in 1992 and decided to make farming as his main source of livelihood by planting rice and vegetables in his own three hectares. He is Fidel David who finished his engineering course in 1987 at the Guagua National Colleges.

Knowing the difficulty of some of his barrio mates in Brgy. San Matias in making money from farming, he thought of organizing the Bangon San Matias Multi-Purpose Cooperative that initially engaged in palay and vegetable trading. He believed that by engaging in trading, his fellow farmers will have a better opportunity to sell their produce at a better price.
His cooperative is small compared to other groups. They have only 26 regular members and 15 associate members. But being small has its advantages. It is much more manageable and the members could be served more efficiently.

The members grow high-value vegetables such as different varieties of pepper, hybrid tomato, eggplant, cucumber, squash, upo, sitao and several others. Most of them usually devote 2,000 or a bit bigger to vegetables which is quite profitable. Last September, David planted Django, a hot finger pepper, on 2,000 square meters. He started harvesting 65 days later, and during the peak production month of December and January, he was harvesting 1.5 to 2 tons every five days. The price was as much as P190 per kilo but the price went down later. The plants were still productive during our interview last May 22 but the farmgate price had gone down to P15 to P20 per kilo.

The co-op is helping the members by giving production loans not in cash but in kind. For pepper production, the amount is P10,000 to P15,000 while it is P25,000 to P35,000 for ampalaya. David said that the farmer can net P70,000 to P80,000 from his 2,000 square meter ampalaya plantation.
He confesses that it is not easy to open up markets for their vegetables. He remembers they had really difficulty penetrating many public markets in Pampanga because he suspects that there are syndicates controlling the markets. He says, however, that they are concentrating on the markets in San Fernando and Guagua in Pampanga, and Dinalupihan, Bataan.

David is very thankful that the Department of Agriculture gave them a free space at the Cloverleaf Market in Quezon City last year. With this David is very upbeat about the prospects for growth of his cooperative because their products could now be sold to direct buyers.

By ZAC B. SARIAN

Filed under: Agriculture, Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, ,

7 Key Qualities of a Successful Entrepreneur

Being an entrepreneur is about more than just starting a business or two, it is about having attitude and the drive to succeed in business. All successful Entrepreneurs have a similar way of thinking and posses several key personal qualities that make them so successful in business. Successful entrepreneurs like the ambitious Richard Branson have an inner drive to succeed and grow their business, rather than having a Harvard Business degree or technical knowledge in a particular field.

All successful entrepreneurs have the following qualities:

  • Inner Drive to Succeed
Entrepreneurs are driven to succeed and expand their business. They see the bigger picture and are often very ambitious. Entrepreneurs set massive goals for themselves and stay committed to achieving them regardless of the obstacles that get in the way.
  • Strong Belief in themselves
Successful entrepreneurs have a healthy opinion of themselves and often have a strong and assertive personality. They are focused and determined to achieve their goals and believe completely in their ability to achieve them. Their self optimism can often been seen by others as flamboyance or arrogance but entrepreneurs are just too focused to spend too much time thinking about un-constructive criticism.
  • Search for New Ideas and Innovation
All entrepreneurs have a passionate desire to do things better and to improve their products or service. They are constantly looking for ways to improve. They’re creative, innovative and resourceful.
  • Openness to Change
If something is not working for them they simply change. Entrepreneurs know the importance of keeping on top of their industry and the only way to being number one is to evolve and change with the times. They’re up to date with the latest technology or service techniques and are always ready to change if they see a new opportunity arise.
  • Competitive by Nature
Successful entrepreneurs thrive on competition. The only way to reach their goals and live up to their self imposed high standards is to compete with other successful businesses.
  • Highly Motivated and Energetic
Entrepreneurs are always on the move, full of energy and highly motivated. They are driven to succeed and have an abundance of self motivation. The high standards and ambition of many entrepreneurs demand that they have to be motivated!
  • Accepting of Constructive Criticism and Rejection
Innovative entrepreneurs are often at the forefront of their industry so they hear the words “it can’t be done” quite a bit. They readjust their path if the criticism is constructive and useful to their overall plan, otherwise they will simply disregard the comments as pessimism. Also, the best entrepreneurs know that rejection and obstacles are a part of any leading business and they deal with them appropriately.
True entrepreneurs are resourceful, passionate and driven to succeed and improve. They’re pioneers and are comfortable fighting on the frontline The great ones are ready to be laughed at and criticized in the beginning because they can see their path ahead and are too busy working towards their dream.


Author: Kristine Geimure Young Entrepreneur

She is a driven young entrepreneur and has started several successful businesses online.

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy,

OFWs investing more

by Jun Vallecera / Businessmirror
THEY may still account for a fractional minority, but the number of families of overseas Filipino workers (OFW) that set aside a portion of their monthly allotment as investments is growing, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) said.

From only 5.8 percent of OFW families surveyed in January, their number swelled to 7.2 percent in the latest data that measures in general the confidence of Filipino consumers in April.

Deputy BSP Governor Diwa C. Guinigundo noted the growing number following the release of consumer confidence data which showed a slight weakening in the second quarter of the year.

“Those households using remittances for investment purposes increased to 7.2 percent from 5.8 percent,” he told reporters. Total remittances from an estimated 8 million Filipinos abroad reached a total of $17.3 billion in 2010.

Nevertheless, the percentage of households that allocated portions of their remittances to savings went down to 38.0 percent during the survey period from 50.4 percent three months earlier, Guinigundo said.

The great majority of households, or 96.3 percent of total, use the money for food; and 64.2 percent spend the money for the education of their children.

Covered by the latest survey are 5,706 households, a little over half of which (3,104 or 54.4 percent), are from Metro Manila.

Traditionally, the bulk of families receiving foreign-exchange earnings of family members working overseas are neither known much as savers or investors.

However, the number of families that do invest some of the repatriated money in small enterprises or financial tools has steadily grown in small increments, the BSP noted.

Most savings are in the form of bank deposits that earn very little interest over time, as most remittance recipients are not financially sophisticated.

The BSP is confident, however, that the OFW families would in time invest their savings in a wider menu of options as the continuing financial literacy campaign championed by the central bank begins to bear fruit—both in the country and among the migrant workers reached by the seminars in labor-hosting countries.

The campaign has gone to Hong Kong, Dubai and other parts of the Middle East, among many territories where thousands of overseas Filipinos work in various fields of endeavor.

Banks such as the privately-owned Security Bank and HSBC have also conducted financial literacy campaigns of their own to parallel efforts the BSP pioneered in much earlier.

Some sophisticated banks and financial institutions have crafted innovative products aimed at securing part of the monthly flows. For instance, global insurer Axa Life Insurance and Investments is preparing a new product just for OFWs—one that guarantees uninterrupted remittance if something bad-—and hopefully transitory—happens to family members working overseas and cuts off the remittance flow.

Such a product has yet to muster the approval of the Insurance Commission, Axa officials said.

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Invest in Sorsogon, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

RISKS OF GOING INTO BUSINESS OR ENTREPRENEURSHIP



Possibility of failure

There is always the possibility of failure – a single wrong business decision can bring a business to bankruptcy.

Unpredictable business conditions

A small business is vulnerable to sudden changes in the business environment. In a fast-paced industry, a small firm may not have the financial capability or the organizational capacity to respond adequately to new opportunities and their concomitant problems.

Long hours of work

A prospective entrepreneur must be ready to spend most if not all his waking hours in the business. Also, family time and personal affairs may be sacrificed.

Unwanted or unexpected responsibilities

The entrepreneur may eventually find himself saddled with management responsibilities he did not bargain for.


LOOKING WITHIN (SELF-ANALYSIS)


Do you have what it takes to go into business?

A successful entrepreneur possesses personal qualities that will help him grow and thrive his business. Extensive research by the Management Systems International  reveals ten Personal Entrepreneurial Competencies (PECs) that lead to success. These are grouped into what are known as the Achievement Cluster, the Planning Cluster, and the Power Cluster.

Take a look at these competencies. Try to see if you have some of them and to what extent.

ACHIEVEMENT CLUSTER

1. Opportunity-seeking

• Perceives and acts on new business opportunities

• Seizes unusual opportunities to obtain financing, equipment,       land, workspace or assistance.

2. Persistence

• Takes repeated or different actions to overcome obstacles

• Makes sacrifices or expends extraordinary effort to complete a task

• Sticks to own judgment in the face of opposition or disappointments

3. Commitment to work contract

• Accepts full responsibility for problems encountered

• Helps own employees to get the job done

• Seeks to satisfy the customer

4. Risk-taking

• Takes calculated or studied risks

• Prefers situations involving moderate risks

5. Demand for quality and efficiency

• Always strives to raise standards

• Aims for excellence

• Strives to do things better, faster, cheaper.

PLANNING CLUSTER

6. Goal-setting

• Sets clear and specific short-term objectives

• Sets clear long-term goals

7. Information-seeking

• Personally seeks information on clients, suppliers, and competitors

• Seeks experts for business or technical advice

• Uses contacts or networks to obtain information

8. Systematic planning and monitoring

• Develops logical, step-by-step plans to reach goals

• Looks into alternatives and weighs them

• Monitors progress and shifts to alternative strategies when necessary

to achieve goals.

POWER CLUSTER

9. Persuasion and networking

• Employs deliberate strategies to influence or persuade others

• Uses business and personal contacts to accomplish objectives

10. Self-confidence

• Believes in self

• Expresses confidence in own ability to complete a difficult task or meet

a challenge.



LOOKING OUTSIDE

After looking into yourself – your personal qualities, your interests, skills,

experiences and hobbies and how these would orient you towards a

business of your own, you may now look around. See if the environment

is a conducive one for entrepreneurship.



Here are some questions to ask about the “outside world.”
1. How adequate is the infrastructure for business in your community,
province or city? Are there enough provisions for basic requisites like
roads and bridges, power and water, telephone, postal and internet
facilities, as well as banking services?

2. Is the environment peaceful, safe and orderly? Investing hard-earned
money is already a big risk. Operating in an unsafe environment makes
it even more risky.

3. What are the incentives, assistance programs and other support that the
national and local governments make available to business, especially
to small, start-up businesses? Ask about tax exemptions and discounts,
low-interest financing, technical assistance, marketing and promotional
services, training, etc.

4. How prepared is the government bureaucracy to serve the needs of
businessmen? Are civil servants courteous and service-oriented? Are
procedures and requirements for business registration, for example, clear
and simple?

5. Study national and local market trends, business growth and market
share, purchasing power of the public, confidence in the economy.

6. Study imports. What goods does the country import from abroad? What
goods and services does your particular community or town “import” from
Manila and other big cities? Think whether you can provide these goods
and services locally. This is known as “import substitution”.

7. Think of other possibilities: subcontracting, a promising way by which
small firms can start supplying parts or services for bigger companies;
public sector purchasing, which small businesses might explore because
government offices are required by law to purchase supplies from local
producers; and franchising, dubbed as the “business with the least fears”.
Source: Department of Trade & Industry

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy, Invest in Sorsogon, Negosyo Tips,

DO YOU WANT TO GO INTO BUSINESS?

WHY GO INTO BUSINESS

Entrepreneurship is a way of life. Being entrepreneurial means being able to identify, start, and maintain a viable and profitable business, particularly a small enterprise.

People spend most of their lives working for someone else. Some people eventually rise to positions of wealth and power, while the rest languish in unchallenging and low-paying jobs. On the other hand, there are a select few who strike it out on their own rather than work for others. They put up their own enterprise.

You may ask: “Why should I risk my resources in an unpredictable business when I could hold a stable job with permanent tenure and an assurance of a regular monthly income without any risk?” In other words, why be an entrepreneur rather than an employee?

Having your own business has tremendous rewards, but be sure to weigh prospective returns against potential risks and losses.

REWARDS OF GOING INTO BUSINESS OR ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Having unlimited opportunity to make money

When you have your own business, you will most certainly have unlimited potential to earn money. How much money you earn depends on the time and effort you put into your enterprise. Successful entrepreneurs have earned their wealth and prestige through hard work and by having the right product for the right market at the right time.

Being your own boss

As manager of your business, you make the decisions for your enterprise and take full responsibility for these. The quality of these decisions will translate into either gain or loss for your business. Being your own boss means you are in control of your future. You have a better grasp of what you want to be.

Tapping your creativity

A business usually starts out as an idea. You will have the opportunity to harness this creativity and turn your idea into products and processes.

Overcoming challenges and finding fulfillment

Starting a business is by itself an accomplishment. Running a business tests an entrepreneur’s capability in securing and managing resources. How well a business turns out depends on the owner’s ability to face challenges and overcome difficulties.

Helping others

In the process of running a business, an entrepreneur employs workers, and pays them income which improves their lives. An entrepreneur who succeeds and grows also helps suppliers, sub-contractors, dealers and other businesses connected to him succeed and grow too.

Building an entrepreneurial legacy

A business can be a lasting legacy to the family. It can ensure employment for some members of the family. It can create an enterprising culture than can be handed down through the generations.

Source:  

Department of Trade and Industry

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Livelihood, Motivation, Negosyo Tips, People who inspired Us,

Business for OFW’s Returning to the Philippines

Identifying Small Business
Opportunities in the Philippines

Identify small business opportunities in the Philippines now and get started! Don’t wait until your contract abroad expires or until you retire before you start your own business.

You have the advantage of being gainfully employed as an Overseas Filipino.
Venture into a business using your specialized skill/knowledge, experience and capital that you gained from working and living abroad.

The process of identifying small business opportunities and choosing the number one opportunity should help you proceed.

Use these three simple steps to help you move forward.

Step 1: Create a list of potential small business opportunities in the Philippines and choose your top three options.

Write down ideas as they hit you – do not edit your thought. Make your list as ideas flow. Look for possibilities when reading the newspaper, or watching a talk show on TV, or browsing the Internet.

Take your time building this list, and then make a short list of three business opportunities. Choose the top three that you love the most. Get the three ideas that you are passionate about and that you think would appeal to customers.

Do not limit your choices to offline business ideas. The Web has provided a very good chance to set up a business and succeed online, so include online business ideas as well. Click here to find how you can take advantage of the way people use the internet for an online business.

Step 2: Assess and choose your number one from the list.
There is no magic formula in choosing the best small business opportunity that will succeed. Some guidelines can help, but use your own judgment in making a final decision.

  • Consider “profitability”. Demand and supply affects profitability. Demand is the desire of people to possess or make use of your product or service while supply is the amount of competition you face for your chosen business idea.
  • Reflect on your knowledge and passion. A business that you know best or are willing to learn and excites you the most would stand out. Malcolm Forbes once said, “The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy.”
  • Look for a business idea that has a “fair” return on investment. Decide what is “fair” to you. It is ok to have a business and not make money if you do it as a hobby. But why not earn from your hobby as well?
Step 3: Consider franchising.

Your number one choice may be among the small business opportunities in the Philippines under franchising.

Franchising is a good option. You will enjoy the popularity and support of the franchiser and other franchise holders. The franchiser will guide you in running the business as you start out.

Check several franchisers of the same product or service. Visit their offices and attend product or service presentations to help you decide which is the best franchise for your business. Some may have special offers for Overseas Filipinos.

Finding the right franchiser to work with is just a part of running a successful business. What matters is your passion and interest to what you will be doing. Go back to Step 1 as needed to find the right business for you.

Go through these steps in identifying small business opportunities in the Philippines. The right business opportunity may be just under your nose…

Some Ideas for Small Business Opportunities in the Philippines

Learning how to invest in real estate with these 4 techniques can provide Overseas Filipino Workers extra income. Borrow private money and tell lenders that this is one of the safest ways to invest money.

Setting up an Internet cafe business offers huge potential for Overseas Filipinos. Start making your internet cafe business plan now before coming home for good to the Philippines.

Internet cafe business has a huge potential in the Philippines. This internet cafe business plan and franchise sets up the business right for OFWs and Overseas Filipinos.




Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Invest in Sorsogon, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training,

9 Tips and Guides to Succeed as Overseas Filipino Worker

By: Pinoy-OFW.com

When you leave the Philippines to work overseas, you probably have set your objectives already. Earn bigger wages, save most of them and return home may be one of them. But in reality, working overseas is more likely to be complicated than what we initially imagined. There are many distractions that dissuade us from pursuing our goals.

Many Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) spent many years working abroad yet they found themselves almost empty handed and unable to figure out why they were unable to save by the time they decided to go back to the Philippines. Remember that a high paying job does not guarantee savings, if you are not diligent in doing so. Or if unfortunate things happen (you figure in an accident or get sick, you get duped, you get laid off from work, etc).

hk-filipinas
Filipina domestic helpers spend their day off at a Hong Kong street. Photo credit: Ian Riley

Successful Overseas Filipino Worker sounds very subjective. But for the sake of this article, let’s say successful OFW is one who is able to provide the needs of his/her family along with sustainable source of livelihood long after he/she decides to go back home for good.

Therefore, if you don’t want to take the same route as these ill-fated OFWs and instead be successful, the following tips may be helpful to you.

1. Apply the job without spending a fortune. It is not practical to spend a fortune to land an overseas job, no matter how high-paying it promises. Many Filipinos take the radical route of selling farming lands, houses and other family properties to pay for placement fee for a job that pays only a fraction of that amount. While you successfully get the job, your family’s livelihood or convenience is compromised, putting you in a bind to contribute a significant amount of your earnings on a regular basis. This becomes the main reason why OFWs are unable to save for themselves.

2. Save before you spend. The fact that you are receiving much higher salary abroad than what you did back in the Philippines is a big temptation to spend more. After all, you have the money to spend, right? You might say you deserve a new car or a fine piece of luxury jewelry after all the hard work. That’s not a problem only if you already managed to save a reasonable amount on a regular basis. That amount may be from 5% to 15% of your monthly income. Many Filipinos want a taste of luxury even for a short while, only to regret what they did. You can be like them, but make sure you put money into the piggy bank first.

3. Become a property investor. Investing in farmland, house for rent or lots is a wise investment with guaranteed yields better than passenger jeepneys or sari sari store because they require a bit less maintenance and whose value doesn’t depreciate as much as others.

4. Invest in retirement savings plan, educational plan or life insurance. Even when you’re working abroad, be diligent in contributions to SSS, Pag-Ibig Fund and educational fund for children or future children as well as health and life insurance to safeguard financial security during challenging times.

5. Educate your family members on spending your remittance. Don’t make your beneficiaries think making money abroad is an easy task. Instill in them the value of saving and less reliance on your money remittance (or balikbayan boxes). By doing so, family members are motivated to help stretch the budget and save whatever you send instead of immediately seeking help from you for financial assistance.

6. Don’t pretend to be a millionaire when you’re not. Sometimes, neighbors have this mentality that if you are on vacation, you are poised to give away stashes of money or bags of chocolates. And many OFWs oblige to avoid being maligned as too prudent and don’t know how to share. Sharing what you have is a good gesture but it does not need to be too extravagant that it’s like starting from scratch when you return to work abroad. What about if your company suddenly shut down or have to let go of people (you included) due to financial difficulties? Or you got sick and unable to go back to work?

7. Think of a good investment while you’re abroad. If you are business-minded you can think of ways to establish business in your home town. Internet cafe for computer-literate family members, eatery for cooking mothers and siblings or a business center offering photocopying, typing, and book binding near a school. Don’t invest on a business you have no idea how it’s run. You better save your money in a bank than get involved in a highly risky business venture.

8. Think of acquiring new skills. Acquiring new skill can be accomplished through short-term courses such as dressmaking or cooking courses. Or maybe enroll in a distance learning institute. Other skills are not necessarily for livelihood but are good to have, such as guitar or karate lessons. Being an OFW should not limit you to be part of working class only.

9. Set short-term, middle-term and long-term plans. By planning on a short- (within the year), medium- (2-4 years) and long-term (5 years or more) plans, we are more focused on what we can accomplish on a daily basis. Do I want to own a new house within two years? Do I want to go back home in five years? Can I establish my own business before I reach the age of 40? Draft your own plans first and you’ll be able to steer towards a clearer direction.

These are practical tips that are not hard to do. Even the lowest paid Filipino abroad can still be a candidate to succeed in life overseas. It just begins with forward thinking, a little self sacrifice and focus on achieving dreams.

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Entrepreneurs, Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

How to be become a successful OFW

How to succeed as an OFW:

There are many Overseas Filipino Workers who work abroad for many years but are not successful and no investments were acquired by the time that they have already retired.

The worst situation is that there are some OFWs who have been in an accident
overseas which prevented them from working again. Regardless of working in or outside the Philippines, Filipino worker should know how to value his labor and sacrifices while aiming for his dreams.

The following tips are worth reading that will serve as guides for typical
Overseas Filipino Workers. Information given is based on my own experiences and from the experiences of other fellow Overseas Filipino Workers.
  1. Do not spend too much of your income. Not because you are earning big now and you have extra money, you are going to spend too much for your vices and unnecessary things. Some Filipinos who are only on a temporary working visa are buying luxury and brand new cars which I think is not necessary. If your earnings are high, it should be okay but I know some Overseas Filipino Workers who buy expensive and brand new cars but do not have any investment on important properties yet. They could not even eat proper meals anymore as luxury is more important to them. They are not thinking that their job abroad is just temporary, anytime they can be sent back home if some unpleasant situation happened such as war, bankruptcy, slow economy or as I have mentioned above, when they become paralyzed and couldn’t work anymore after an accident.
  2. Always keep some income for savings. Save some of your income in Philippine banks as well as banks in the country where you work. And because you will stay abroad for about two years or more, it’s better that you’ll keep your money in a term of savings where you can earn more interest such as Time Deposit or Funds. Some Philippine banks offer special savings program for Overseas Filipino Workers and their beneficiaries.
  3. Obtain pension plans for retirement, savings fund, children’s educational plan, health insurance or life insurance. Get more if you can, although you already have the OWWA Benefits or Social Security Insurance (SSS) or Pag-Ibig, it is also better to get another one from private insurance company.  It is not always safe to work anywhere, you will never know if you can have an accident in the future that will prevent you to engage in any kind of jobs again. Having some insurance is always a big help.
  4. Once you start receiving your salary and suppose you have no debts to pay anymore, make sure you would invest in a property first. If you will buy some property, its’ value does not go down; it’s always accumulating or increasing every year. House and Lot or Lot is the best investment of all.
  5. If you want to build a house, unless you already got many houses, it is better to build an apartment first to have some additional income. Your wife/husband is in Philippines can take care of your property in case you want them to be a commercial or residential apartment for rent. If you are earning from the rental of your apartment, you may now save your income and with some additional money from the last few years of working abroad, you can build a new house again for your family.
  6. Do not give so much allowance to your beneficiaries that could only make them spend your remittance for unnecessary things as well. You should let them know how hard it is to work in a foreign land and earn that money that you are sending for them. You should let them know how to spend wisely as well.  Do not stay quiet or ashamed to tell and explain how hard it is to work as Overseas Filipino Workers abroad to your family. If they do not know about your real situation, they would just think that you are just “collecting” money while you’re walking on the road. So, they would just spend your remittance on things that are unnecessary.
  7. If you cannot bring your family while you are working abroad and your vacation is not yet due, why not try bringing them to your country of work. Sometimes, you need to spend a little to maintain the relationship and bonding of your family.
  8. If you are on vacation, do not spend all your savings thinking that you still have a job in abroad upon returning there. It is not always like that. I have someone that I knew, who had bought brand new car, spent most of his savings while on vacation but by the time that this fellow overseas Filipino worker is now going back to work abroad, his employer’s company suddenly closed. He did not know that the company was already failing and facing bankruptcy.
  9. Rather than spending too much of your savings on less important things, just improve your skills. You will never know that your current job will still be on demand after one or two years. You should try to be knowledgeable of other types of skills and profession.  If you are a carpenter, acquire some skills that could help you to become a contractor just in case you want to have your own business and would like to get your own carpenter to do the jobs.
  10. Do not start your own business if you do not have any idea about the business. Do not just listen with other people’s suggestions, think about it. It is not because having an Internet Cafe is one of the good businesses these days, you will engage yourself with that same business even you do not know anything about computers.If you have an experience in carpentry jobs, start business that is related to carpentry such as cabinet making, construction materials retail, painting etc. Do not engage in other kinds of business unless you have also experienced it before. This is not the proper way to do business. Put up a business that you  are familiar with and that you most love to do.
Tips and advice above are just guide and suggestions for Filipino Workers.
It’s still up to the person if he/she would like to follow other
people’s suggestions. Not anything that had happened to you is other
people’s responsibility it’s your own responsibility…
Source: PINOYROCK45

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,

PLDT-SME Nation’s ‘Bossing Ako’ Campaign Aims to Inspire Filipino Entrepreneurs

PLDT-SME Nat ion is going all out in serving the nation’s small-and-medium entrepreneurs (SME) through its massive campaign that aims to ignite Pinoy ingenuity for business: “Bossing Ako.” The “Bossing Ako” campaign aims to encourage more Filipinos to strive to become their own boss by becoming entrepreneurs. It also seeks to inspire Filipino small-to-medium scale entrepreneurs to continue striving for success and courageously meet the challenges of growing their business.

“We are on a nationwide campaign to encourage a new generation of Filipino entrepreneurs. The Philippines needs more entrepreneurs in order to ensure our economic future. Today, about 90 percent of income in the Philippine economy is generated by SMEs. As we move forward into the 21st century, we’ll need more SMEs to provide more jobs, more income and more purchasing power,” says PLDT-SME Nation Vice President and Head Kat Luna-Abelarde.

The nationwide campaign was kicked off with the launch of the song “Para sa mga Bossing” performed by OPM rock music icon Rico Blanco collaborating with Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda. The song’s release introduces a new anthem and rallying cry for Filipino entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be:
“Ang asenso maaabot/Sa bagsik nitong prinsipyo/Ang talino’t pagsisikap/Ibubuhos sa negosyo/Bossing ako/Aking tagumpay/Sa ‘kin nakasalalay…”

SME Ambassadors

Apart from the launch of the “Para sa mga Bossing” anthem, PLDT-SME Nation has a parallel effort that focuses on icons of Pinoy entrepreneurship. This effort focuses on the success stories of these SME icons—to provide models, inspiration and even wisdom to SMEs and help them succeed just as well.

These SME icons are designated as “Pinoy Bossings” and include:
Mother Lily Monteverde of Regal Films for starting from SME into a pillar of the Filipino film industry; Jay Aldeguer of Island Souvenirs for promoting his passion and love for the country through his tourism souvenirs business; Joey Concepcion, entrepreneurship advocate and Founding Trustee of Go Negosyo; and PLDT Chair Manny V. Pangilinan as the ultimate “bossing.”

Also representing the “Bossing Ako” movement are Les Reyes of Reyes HairCutters, Gardy Cruz of Pancit Malabon Express; Raphael and Jenni Soon of North Park, Ronald Pineda of Folded & Hung; Benjamin Liuson of The Generics Pharmacy, Darius and Carlos Hizon of Pampanga’s Best; Louie Gutierrez and Dulzzi Gutierrez of Silverworks; and Vicki Belo and Cristalle Henares as the mother-daughter tandem for beauty and medical practice.
“The entrepreneurs we tapped for this campaign are all great examples of SMEs that others could look up to for inspiration. The selection is both diverse and of top-notch quality, representing various business industries in their success stories,” says PLDT-SME Nation Marketing Head Amil Azurin.

With preparations on-hand in wrapping up the first phase of the campaign with the release of the song and the unveiling of the 12 SME ambassadors, a big launch is set to take off by mid-June; followed by a grand celebration of the “MVP Bossing Ako Awards Night,” named in honor of PLDT’s Chair Manny V. Pangilinan by October in partnership with Go Negosyo.
For more info on PLDT-SME Nation, call 101-888 or visit www.pldtsmenation.com.ph.

Filed under: Business, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Entrepreneurs, Livelihood,

Cash lesson for Pinoys cited in crisis-hit Japan

By Jeremaiah M. Opiniano, OFW Journalism Consortium

PASIG CITY – A real-time crash course in cash management still grips Filipinos in Japan as the world’s second-largest economy attempts to clamber out of recession.

“They [Filipinos] have to start saving or investing rather than just spending” in these times of crisis, sociologist Ma. Rosario Piquero-Ballescas of Toyo University in Bunkyo-ku district said.

Piquero-Ballescas’s advice is based on her observation that the drop in Japan’s gross domestic product last year to -5% hit hard Filipinos there and some lessons should be culled for future similar occurrence.

Some Filipinos in Japan landed on lower-paying jobs after getting laid off in some companies, she said sans citing exact figures.

It has led many of them to rethink their lifestyles in Japan, Piquero-Ballescas added.

The crises made many Filipinos in Japan reflect that “the yen does not last forever,” Ballescas told the OFW Journalism Consortium via email, on a day that Y100 in the Philippine dealing system is worth P48.61, higher than the P45.05-US$1 exchange rate.

The yen continued to weaken against the peso, from an average P50.99-Y100 last year to P48.61 a day after the May 10 national elections.

The yen-peso exchange rate “was tremendously more favorable for many months” last year, so “a lot of Filipinos in Japan took advantage of this,” Ballescas said, explaining the increase in remittance.

Last year, Filipinos in Japan sent home US$773.561 million in remittances or 34.49% more than the US$575.181 million in 2008.

“They may find themselves without jobs or income soon, so they are now doing their best to save whatever they can and send money home as investments, in the event of [an] early return to the Philippines,” Ballescas said in her reply to questions sent by email.

But while the crisis may have prompted an increase in remittance, it was one of the factors that dampened the flow of foreign workers, according to Junichi Akashi of the University of Tsukuba.

Akashi told fellow academics at a policy forum recently that the global economic crisis has affected migrant workers in Japan “unevenly”.

Citing data from Japan’s Immigration Control Bureau, Akashi said there was a noticeable drop in the number of foreigners who entered the country under 2 types of working visas —foreign trainees and technical interns.

The same downward trend was seen for Filipinos who entered in 2009 as foreign trainees and technical interns.

A total of 50,064 foreign trainees entered Japan in 2009, a drop from the 68,150 who entered a year ago. Filipinos as foreign trainees numbered to 2,661 in 2009, lower than the 3,213 in 2008.

Meanwhile, from April 2009 to February this year, 52,133 foreigners shifted to Japan’s technical internship program, lower than the 63,747 the program accepted in 2008.

Filipinos make up 4,004 of the technical interns, but the number is lower than the 5,134 Filipinos who were registered as technical interns in 2008.

The Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) also registered a lower number of Filipinos who went to Japan as permanent residents or emigrants in 2009, with 5,278.

The number was lower than the 7,682 registered emigrants to Japan in 2008 and the 8,806 registered in 2007.

Meanwhile, the number of Filipinos who married spouses from Japan also dropped in 2009 with 4,142 in 2008 versus the 6,114 in 2007.

The decline was noticeable since the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) took effect last year.

The JPEPA opened Japan to nurses and caregivers from the Philippines, with the first batch included in the total 6,418 deployed last year.

On May 9, the Philippines sent its second batch of 116 nurses and caregivers under the agreement.

Akashi observes that the crisis that hit Japan led to a decreasing number of foreign trainees, especially those in the construction and machinery/metallurgical industries.

Male foreign trainees were affected “to a greater degree,” Akashi said.

Another factor that contributed to the decline of deployment of Filipinos to Japan is the set of immigration rules promulgated in 2005.

From 42,633 that year, the number of OFWs going to Japan dropped to 8,867 in 2007 and 6,555 a year later.

Piquero-Ballescas can only recommend that compatriots take stock of their future in the land of the rising sun. OFW Journalism Consortium

Source: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/global-filipino/05/22/10/cash-lesson-pinoys-cited-crisis-hit-japan

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training,

Little-known DOST program turns students to techno biz

BY: PAUL ICAMINA

Pili coated in three heavenly flavors: milk-, dark- and bitter sweet chocolates.

It is right there with the best almond chocolates of Hershey’s or Cadbury – and it is made in Bicol, by some members of Class 2005 of the Ateneo de Naga University.

If the entrepreneurs can only extend the six-month shelf life of the chocolates, now with its own barcode, the sweets can easily go beyond Bicol.

It all started in 2005 with a small P274,104 financial assistance from the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to 11 undergraduates in a program to encourage college students into technology-based enterprises.

Having paid the amount of the original loan, and now graduates, the entrepreneurs applied and was granted in 2007 P231,154 to push the chocolate-coated pili nuts all the way.

The pili enterprise is one of only three projects that have made it to Stage 2, or full commercialization, of the DOST-Academe-Technology-Based Enterprise Development (DAT-BED) Program.

The other two started at the Marcos Agro-Industrial School (MAIS) with a P104,398 financial assistance in 2003 for the food processing, poultry, goat and cattle raising projects of eight students. After three years, the projects earned profits of P42,878; the original amount provided was given to the school as a no-strings-attached grant.

Two of the students, now graduates, pursued their business dreams and each received loans of P336,885 in 2007. Each will fatten 15 heads of cattle using the Urea, Molasses and Mineral Block technology as feed supplement.

The feed is the innovation part of the project required by the DAT-BED Program. The Naga enterprise was innovative in coating pili with chocolates.

“All project proposals are required to be technology-innovative,” said Theda Mae L. Salvania, a young agricultural engineer graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Banos who is part of the DAT-BED monitoring team at the DOST- Technology Application and Promotion Institute (TAPI).

DOST’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program provides the funding to TAPI which implements DAT-BED.

The 55 on-going Stage 1 projects (for undergraduates) in 18 schools are all agri-based or in food processing maybe because, Salvania explained, the schools are all in rural areas.

Remarkably, except for Ateneo de Naga, all 42 schools accredited since the program started in 1994 are state colleges and universities. Two Metro Manila schools joined this year.

For 2010, three new projects worth P411,820 started at the Palompon Institute of Technology in Palompon, Leyte. Fourteen project proposals from the Central Mindanao State University and nine from Cagayan State University are under review.

Still, the P500,000 used in 2009 reflects the program is not fully tapped by schools.

Out-of-school youths can avail of DAT-BED through non-government organizations linked with college vocational and technical schools with a maximum student-faculty ratio of 25:1 in science and technology courses and entrepreneurship programs.

After three years of successful implementation, TAPI gives the full financial assistance to the school as a grant. If projects are unsuccessful, TAPI gets back the unexpended balance; if it has been exhausted, it requires a full financial report.

To be accredited, schools needs only a DAT-BED orientation and must submit project implementation plans. They must also have a core team of advisers with project-related expertise such as management, business administration, agriculture, home economics and so on.

The TAPI financial assistance are interest-free; it is up to the schools whether to charge 6 percent per annum maximum or agree to income sharing (85 percent to students, 10 percent to advisers and 5 percent to the school).

“DAT-BED aims to develop entrepreneurial competence among students, young professionals and out-of-school youths by providing them access to funds, facilities and technologies,” Salvania said, “at the same time creating income-generating projects for the institutions.”

At the end of the day, she added, “success is indicated by the students turned full-time entrepreneurs and the income and employment they have generated.”

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Negosyo Tips, OFW Livelihood Training, Sorsogon News Updates,

GONEGOSYO: FILIPINOS NOT DESTINED TO BE POOR NOR RP BE ‘SICK MAN OF ASIA’

GONEGOSYO: FILIPINOS NOT DESTINED TO BE POOR NOR RP BE ‘SICK MAN OF ASIA’

MANILA, APRIL 22, 2010 (STAR) ASK GONEGOSYO By Joey Concepcion- A winner’s attitude. As we approach May 10, all eyes are set on who will be the next president of our country. A number of Filipinos still believe that each Filipino’s destiny fully relies on the next president.

If the new leadership can continue or better the macro environment, there will be a conducive setting for business in the Philippines. But, the rest is up to us to create our own destiny. Let us stop blaming government for all our misery, unless we fall back to a dictatorship. For as long as we are in a democratic rule where free enterprise is respected, everybody has a good chance to succeed. Many who are below the poverty line will blame the government or other groups for where they are today. This is what Go Negosyo wants to change.

Let me share with you my introduction in our latest book entitled “GO NEGOSYO 100 Inspiring Stories of Small Entrepreneurs: Tagumpay Mula sa Kahirapan”:

Tagumpay is not bound by poverty. Dreams of success are not only for the rich, educated or privileged.

We have been to different cities, provinces and regions all over the Philippines through our Go Negosyo caravans. In all the places that we have been to, we have encountered countless inspiring stories of success. These are the stories of micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs). These are the stories of people who have started a negosyo from literally almost nothing.

It is amazing how things turn out in our caravans and other activities. One of our goals is to inspire the local community. But, as we leave, we find out that we are the ones being inspired. Nothing compares to the drive and determination of a person who badly wants to beat poverty. A pile of trash, a handful of peanuts, a piece of tattered cloth or an alkansya filled with five-peso coins can turn into a thriving business venture. We are honored to have met and have known people who changed their destinies through sheer hard work and solid determination.

As we meet these inspiring negosyantes, we are likewise encouraged to be a part of their continuing growth phase as we extend to them our network of entrepreneurs and mentors, our training, seminars and learning fora, which can all help them take their businesses to the next level.

Featured in this book are inspiring stories of 100 small entrepreneurs. They are Go Negosyo’s Most Inspiring Awardees in our caravans; Citi’s Micro Entrepreneur of the Year awardees and finalists; National Livelihood Development Corp.’s SIPAG awardees and finalists; Department of Agriculture’ s featured agri-entrepreneurs in their The Art of Agribusiness book; and entrepreneurs under DTI’s One Town One Product program.

In our activities and programs all over the country, together with our partners and sponsors, one of our goals is to share inspiring stories of struggle and success of the entrepreneurs who have beaten poverty.

This book is our way of celebrating the success of the many MSMEs that serve as one of the backbones of the Philippine economy. Their stories are the journeys to be shared. A lot of Filipinos are suffering a low point of depression because of poverty. It is easy just to give up, let things be, and do nothing. They chose not to. We hope that the stories of these entrepreneurs will ignite their hearts and minds, for them to be able to start new lives.

We need to let people know that it is possible. No matter how buried you are under poverty, there is no reason why you cannot make it. These are stories of people who have faced the’ worst, who reached a turning point in their life, beaten the odds and who have risen above the challenges of life. These are the stories that have changed and will change lives for the better.

Filipinos are neither destined to be poor, nor is the Philippines destined to be the sick man of Asia.

Go Negosyo’s fifth book also stands proof that not all people in the government are corrupt. Many of them work hard to help. Some just lack the guidance and inspiration.

I would like to thank PGMA for giving me the opportunity to serve our Filipino people during the last four years as an advisor on Entrepreneurship Development. I would also like to thank the people who have worked with us in Go Negosyo: from the late Sec. Cerge Remonde who was initially tasked to head the MSME task force and was passionate in helping the sector; to the different government agencies and heads led by Department of Trade and Industry Sec. Peter Favila and Usec. Merle Cruz, who have consistently supported the micro and small entrepreneurs; together with National Livelihood Development Corporation President Lina Amata, Landbank of the Philippines President Gilda Pico, Department of Agriculture Sec. Arthur Yap, Department of Tourism Sec. Ace Durano, Department of Science and Technology Sec. Estrella Alabastro, Department of Education Sec. Jesli Lapus, Commission on Higher Education Chairman Emmanuel Angeles, and the many hardworking partners in government. The success of Go Negosyo in helping inspire Filipinos for a better life will not be possible without the support and the efforts that we have placed together.

These 100 entrepreneurs are just examples of the many that have been helped. The quest to fighting poverty continues. Let this be just the start of showcasing many entrepreneurs who have beaten poverty. As what most people say, God only helps those who help themselves.

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Negosyo Tips, OFW Livelihood Training, Sorsogon News Updates,

DA turns over coco coir processing project

The Department of Agriculture of under its RP-Spain project recently turned over the 3.7 million coco coir processing and marketing project. This is a grant-assistance from the Spanish government through the Agencia de Cooperacion Internacional para el Desarullo (AECID).

It aims to facilitate technology adoption, resource utilization and to add value to existing economic activities of the agri-stakeholders in the rural areas. Included in the project component is the establishment and provision of processing facilities which the Castilla Development Cooperative (CADECO) in San Rafael Castilla, Sorsogon is one of the recipients.

CADECO BOD chair Ireneo D. Din said that 98% of their members are coconut and rice farmers. The cooperative has been existing for 22 years and has over eight million assets. He proudly declared that their long years of existence is due to the strong participation and cooperation of their 350 members.

The cooperative’s business activities include: palay/rice trading, rice mill and palay drying. With the establishment of the coco coir processing project, Din is optimistic that more farmers will benefit from the project as coconut husks are just left to rot in the field after copra making, but now it can be converted to cash. He was also thankful to the Local Government Unit of Castilla headed by Mayor Olive Bermillo for giving the counterpart for the installation of the 3-phase electrical installation.

OIC Regional Executive Director Marilyn V. Sta. Catalina said that the cooperative will not be successful if the members did not support the economic activities and the officers did not work hard for its success. Study shows that only few cooperatives are making good in their economic activities. She emphasized that on the part of the DA priority is given to organized cooperatives with good track record.

She challenged the cooperative to continue to serve the farmers in Castilla and the neighboring towns. She lauded the efforts of the officers for their continuous assistance and hard work to keep the cooperative afloat. She also mentioned that the cooperative maximized use of the flatbed dryer installed in the CADECO compound because record shows they were able to generate additional income of Ps 42,000 from drying palay alone.

SAIS-BC project coordinator Ernesto Parato disclosed that the region has 32 project beneficiaries. He urged the cooperative to treat the project as their business in order to generate income. He said that given the technology and the right management the project will benefit many members.

One plus factor of the project is the ready market. JUBOKEN enterprise is buying the coco coir and a marketing contract has been forged between CADECO and JUBOKEN. The project is equipped with coco coir shed, hauling truck, decorticating machine, bailing machine and electric pump. The project is jointly implemented by DA and the Philippine Coconut Authority.

There are two varieties of coir. Brown coir White coir

Brown coir is used in floor mats and doormats, brushes, mattresses, floor tiles and sacking.

The major use of white coir is in rope manufacture. Mats of woven coir fibre are made from the finer grades of bristle and white fibre using hand or mechanical looms. White coir also used to make fishing nets due to its strong resilience to salt water.       Source: Department of Agriculture April 12, 2010 (Philippines)  http://www.fibre2fashion.com/news/textile-news/newsdetails.aspx?news_id=84595

Filed under: Agriculture, Business Ideas for OFW Families, Inspiration, Invest in Sorsogon, Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

OFWs’ financial future

While it is well known that the reason the Philippines escaped a recession is due in part to the huge remittances from the country’s overseas Filipino workers, there is a lingering fear that these OFWs, save for those with financial savvy or with the benefit of financial education, face an uncertain future when they reach retirement age.

Many of our OFWs, it must be noted, do not have access to a financial-literacy program that should come from the government or any advocacy group. Without that, the OFWs are bound to continue with their wasteful spending ways that do not take into consideration their future well-being.

Stories abound about OFW families facing bleak prospects once their principal end the workers’ stint abroad. Having failed to save for their future because of their wasteful ways, these OFW families become mendicants in their own neighborhood. And with nary an income, they are reduced to dwelling on “what ifs.” Which is a pity considering that they once were branded as modern-day heroes and saviors of the economy. What kind of life awaits them when they have not learned the rudiments of saving for their future, or simply of saving part of their income? This is a challenge the administration should seriously consider—to show its gratitude, to say the least, to those who saved the country from economic ruin.

OFW remittances, now averaging $1.5 billion a month, boost the country’s flagging dollar reserves on account of its mounting trade deficit. Without this hefty contribution from the overseas workers, the government could have come under the same money woes that characterized the last years of the Marcos government. At the time, the country, having lost its financial credibility, had to buy the dollars from the informal market and had these flown to Hong Kong where the letter of credits for the imports were then sourced. Thus was born the so-called Binondo Central Bank manned by then-trade minister Roberto Ongpin who has, of late, reinvented himself as a heavy hitter in the stock market.

It is incumbent upon the government to ensure that the OFWs get to know about the investment instruments they can invest their money in, while the going is still good. It is equally important for the government to see to it that these OFWs get the kind of investment advice that should serve them in their twilight years, when the need for a nest egg becomes much more pronounced. While there are financial-literacy programs that some government agencies come up with or breast-beat about, the fact is the investment bug has not caught on as can be evidenced by the increasing number of OFW families at their wits’ end trying to make ends meet.

This lack of concern from the government on the need to provide financial literacy for the 10 million-plus OFWs could be traced to the number of failed finances of many OFW families. How come there has been no visible effort from the government to make sure these OFWs distinguish, for instance, the difference between “need” and “want?” It is simply mind-boggling for the government not to reach out to the OFWs on this score. OFW families should have basic financial-literacy programs in place, such that they get to know that sometimes what they “want” (which could be a higher-priced car) could actually be taken care of by knowing what they “need,” which is that they need just a vehicle, no matter how lowly or cheap it may look.

Sad to say, the government appears to have failed in this because its concerns were only focused on the dollars that these workers remit. It is time, therefore, for the government to stop the lip service and address in earnest our OFWs concerns, foremost of which is to help them to have a grasp of financial instruments. This should no longer be a difficult task, considering that many overseas workers’ families have now become all too familiar with the subprime meltdown, the trillions in dollars and euros that the United States and the European zone pumped into their respective banking institutions and prospects of another Big Depression.

Perhaps, it is time, too, for the government to save the OFWs from the likes of the Legacy scam where high-interest rates proffered on hapless victims made them form a beeline to the bank, not knowing that the banking group has failed the test on solvency, liquidity and capital ratios. It is sad to note here that many of the victims who fell prey to the scam were overseas workers. A friend told me that an OFW from Canada was hysterical after the news of the Legacy group’s closure brought her P2.5-million savings to just the maximum limit of bank insurance, plus the frayed nerves that went with the hassle of talking to government regulators.

Written by Lito U. Gagni / Market Files

Filed under: Business Ideas for OFW Families, Encouragement, Financial Literacy, Kwentong OFW, Livelihood, OFW Corner,

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