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10 Essential Tips for Starting Entrepreneurs

1. Do What You LOVE: If you’ve chosen your business because you read that this niche was the next hot one, or because your favorite uncle (or your best friend) thinks you’d be well-suited for this business, you may as well pack up now and save yourself some time and money. If you don’t love what you do, it will show…potential customers will know it and will go elsewhere. Is it possible to be successful anyway? Sure — but it won’t be easy and it won’t be fun…and isn’t that why you want to be in business for yourself anyway?

Instead, choose what you love. You’ll know what that is when you find yourself being incredibly productive, forgetting the time passing by, and not being able to wait to get up in the morning to do more! At Solo-E we call that being juiced…but whether you call it being in the flow, or the zone, or whatever, FIND IT!

2. WRITE DOWN Your Business Plan: As a small or solo business owner, you still need a business plan. Even if you aren’t getting a loan! Would you invest thousands of dollars of your own money buying stock in a company that didn’t have a written prospectus? (I hope not!) Then why would you spend thousands of dollars AND hours of your precious time on a business that doesn’t have a written plan?

Write your plan, get it critiqued by professionals, and most important, BE READY TO CHANGE IT. This may seem counterintuitive…why bother writing it down if it’s just going to change? Because writing it down makes it more clear…and helps you get to the next stage of learning and planning and revising. It’s critical–67% of businesses that failed had no written business plan. Want to play the odds?

3. Multiply Your Expected Startup Costs by Two–or Maybe Three: When I started my business, an honors MBA grad with 15 years of solid business experience behind me, I figured I was smart enough to estimate my startup costs accurately. I knew all the things I needed and made conservative estimates and I was still WRONG! That’s right, I was still off by a factor of almost three. Don’t make this mistake! One of the biggest reasons small businesses fail is because of lack of capital. Give yourself the best possible start by saving or acquiring sufficient startup funds NOW. Before you start!

4. Make Your Market Niche as Small as Possible: Again, this is counterintuitive–shouldn’t you try to appeal to as many people as possible? The paradox is that the more you try to appeal to EVERYONE, the less you will appeal to ANYONE. Let’s say you are selling your house…would you rather list it with the agent who operates in 14 counties, sells both commercial and residential real estate, and sells everything from cottages to estates? Or would you pick the agent who specializes in your community, selling only houses in a well-defined price range that she knows extremely well? Ruthlessly define your niche, make it as small as possible, and stay true to it. You’ll thank me later!

5. Do Marketing Your Way: The temptation is to choose all the marketing methods that the competition uses. To stay with tried-and-true marketing channels. To place advertisements that you know nothing about creating, or make cold calls that give you heartburn. Why? Because (all together now) “that’s how it’s always been done.”

It’s difficult to stand out among your competitors when you are doing the same kind of marketing! So instead, look to your strengths. What do you like to do? What are you good at? Then choose three marketing methods that play to those strengths. If you need ideas, check out 136 Ways to Market Your Solo Business, another article at

6. Remember the Most Important Ingredient in Your Business–YOU: Business-owner: know thyself. Spend some time learning about who you are and how you are unique. Then let that uniqueness shine through in your marketing, in how you run your business, in everything you do. Don’t hide your quirks–celebrate them!

Customers go to small and solo businesses primarily because they are looking for a personalized experience. They want a relationship with you as the owner of your business. If you try to come off as who you think they want, they’ll smell right through that and not come back. Be who you are, and trust that who YOU are is going to be attractive to the right people.

7. Build Your Business by Building Relationships: Being a small or solo business owner isn’t about sitting in the corner alone. Actually it can be–and that isolation is what drives many out of business and back into a “job”. Build relationships to survive! Start with your colleagues–others you know who are at the same stage of business as you, or are farther along and willing to mentor you.

Next, build relationships with potential customers. Ask them what they want! Then create products and services based on their input and come back and show them what you have done. Get feedback, tweak, and maybe make your first sale. Stay in touch with your customers even after they leave you.

Last but not least, build relationships with your competitors. You might be able to do this right at the beginning, simply by asking them for their advice. Surprisingly, many ARE willing to share their secrets if you just ask. Later on, build cross-referral relationships, co-marketing alliances, and other relationships that are win-win for you, your competitors, and your customers.

8. Don’t Accept a Customer Just For the Money: This is probably the hardest advice for new business owners to apply. Especially when there is a job, a project, a potential client, just outside your niche, that could keep your business solvent for the next six months. Don’t do it! Taking on a client outside your niche inevitably results in frustration for you, dissatisfaction on the part of the client, and in the end, usually costs you more than you make. Ask any successful business owner and they’ll tell you this is true!

9.. Don’t Do Everything Yourself: It’s so tempting to fall into the self-deception that “it’s cheaper for me to do it myself.” IT”S NOT! If you aren’t good at something, for instance bookkeeping, it will probably take you 2-3 times as long–time you could be spending doing things that are essential for you to be doing personally, like writing your business plan or deciding your marketing strategy. Put sufficient capital into your business upfront so you CAN hire help right from the start. Your business will get off to a quicker start because you aren’t distracted by time-consuming tasks that drain your energy.

10. Assemble Your Support Team: Start with the people who will help you do the things you aren’t good at. Some examples: bookkeeper, marketing writer, web designer. Then add the people who give you professional business advice: a lawyer, an accountant, a business coach. Finally, include the people who support you personally: your family, friends, and colleagues.

Don’t forget to be part of other’s support teams, too. Share your expertise at Solo-E, start a networking group where business owners support each other, share a referral with a colleague. Solo Entrepreneurs supporting other Solo Entrepreneurs is what will make us all successful!

Terri Zwierzynski is a coach to small business owners and Solo Entrepreneurs. She is also the CEI (Conductor of Extraordinary Ideas) at and the author of 136 Ways To Market Your Small Business. Terri is an MBA honors graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill. Terri has been coaching for over 10 years in a variety of settings, including 6 years as a senior-level coach and consultant for a Fortune 500 company. She opened her private coaching practice in 2001. You can reach Terri at


Filed under: Business, Entrepreneurs, Negosyo Tips,

PNP Sorsogon promotes pili products from alternative livelihood

by BA Recebido

Sorsogon City (June 18) — Pili nut (Canarium Ovatum), a native product abundant and wild in Bicol region particularly in Sorsogon is now highlighted in Sorsogon Police Provincial Office’s (SPPO) Alternative Livelihood Development Program for their police force.

Just recently, PNP Sorsogon has successfully conducted its livelihood development program activity held at the Camp Salvador Escudero, Sr., this city, where personnel of SPPO along with their wives and other civilians went through a training demonstration on cooking various pili products.

Pili food expert Melinda Yee spearheaded the cooking activity and has commended the Provincial Police Office’s effort to promote products made from pili utilizing its various parts for their alternative livelihood development program.

Dubbed as “Benepisyo Ko, Benepisyo Mo” (My Profit, Your Profit), PNP Provincial Director Police Senior Supt. Heriberto Olitoquit, said that the livelihood program aims at helping the family of Sorsogon policemen to augment their income by introducing them to alternative sources of livelihood.

Participants went through actual pili cooking demonstration activity where each one’s cooking ability was tested. Products made include crispy pili, salted pili, chocolate-coated pili, sugar-coated pili, molido, pili tart and pili chips, among others.

Meanwhile, the participants conveyed their ‘sweet’ gratitude to their trainer and to the Police Provincial Office as well, headed by PD Olitoquit, for its continuing effort to help and expose his men and their family to other livelihood opportunities. (PIA Sorsogon)

Filed under: Business, Entrepreneurs, Invest in Sorsogon, Livelihood, Negosyo Tips, Philippine National Police, ,


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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,



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.


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.


Department of Trade and Industry

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

Demand for goat products draws more farmers into goat farming

By Danny O. Calleja

Sorsogon City (20 May) — Farmers here and other parts of Sorsogon province have recognized goat raising as environment friendly and profitable farming venture.

City councilor Roberto Dollison, head of the three-year old Sorsogon Goat Raisers Association (SGRA), on Tuesday said “from backyard raisers, our group is mulling on converting into a cooperative and turn bigtime entrepreneur to take advantage of the demand for goat products like breeders, meat and milk.”

Each of the 25 members of  SGRA had an average of 10 heads of goat stocks of various breeds and raising them is already a quite good number to start for bigtime farming, Dollison said.

The country had still a meager number of goats even with the shift in diet preferences and the growing demand and interest for goat meat in the local market. The goat population is presently estimated at 3.3 million and rising continuously, Dollison ,quoting a recent report of the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), said.

One big problem, he said was the cost of breeder goats that as of the present, a six-month old native female at 10-12 kilograms already commands a price of P2,500. A four-month old meztizo weanling costs P4,000 and bucks for breeding are now at P11,000 to P20,000 per head.

But a recent report of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD) said that this problem does not stop raisers and breeders from dipping their hands into this low-risk profitable livelihood.

Goats adapt well to any existing farming system and feed on forages and other farm products although raisers also use concentrates, it said.

“Goats are very popular among Filipinos because they require low initial capital investment, fit the small hold farm conditions, and multiply fast,” PCARRD explained in its investment briefer.
“Culturally, goats are integral to every special occasion such as birthdays, baptisms, weddings, and fiestas. Hence, they command a higher price compared with other meats in the market.”

These ruminants require low maintenance because they eat tree leaves, grasses, weeds and agricultural by-products. “Goats require less feed than cows and carabaos as about 10 native goats can be fed on the feedstuffs sufficient for one cattle and about seven purebred dairy goats can be fed on the feedstuffs adequate for one dairy cow.

“Although a goat is small, it can produce as much as four liters of milk a day if it is purebred and is given a ration to meet all of its nutritional requirements,” the PCARRD added.

A PCARRD study conducted found out that goats are multi-purpose ruminants producing 58.4 percent milk, 35.6 percent meat, 4.3 percent hide and 1.7 percent fiber. It said that these small ruminants could provide the answer to improve nutritional requirements of the predominantly rural farm families scattered all over the archipelago.

As goat production requires low initial investment and small risks compared to other livestock, it is therefore an attractive undertaking among resource-poor families. In addition, women and children can raise the animals, making it a sound option to augment the country’s programs on livelihood. Goats provide livelihood to about 15 million Filipinos across the country, according to PCARRD.

Despite this, goat farming is still not very popular among Filipinos and no one exactly knows how many goats are there in the country.

PCARRD claims that the total goat inventory is “steadily increasing” at 2 percent per year. This supply is still not enough to meet the current demands. “We expect that the increased demand will last to 2020 when the project supply can meet the demand of the consumers,” PCARRD said.

The optimum potential of goat as one of the main sources of milk and meat has not been fully tapped in the country.

The Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) reported that the total number of goats in the country is about 3,355,574. Most of the goat farms are concentrated in Southern Luzon and various parts of Mindanao.

In Mindanao, Dollison said, goat farming was considered a “sunshine industry.” The country’s second largest island has a large Muslim population and goat meat is considered Halal food. There is also a big demand in the international market, particularly the Middle East.

In Sorsogon, Dollison said more and more people were raising goats in their farms that aside from providing them a steady income from the milk and sales of breeding stocks, they have discovered one thing about the animals.

“Their manure is a good source of fertilizer,” he said. SGRA’s combined stock of about 250 goats provides organic fertilizer for our farms planted to rice, rootcrops, vegetables, coconuts and fruit trees that since fertilizer costs have gone up, more and more farmers are turning to goatraising, Dollison said.

There are at least 12 known goat species in the world but only a relatively small number of breeds are economically useable. The Philippine’s native goat is small but hardy. It weighs about 25 kilograms at maturity and produces only about 350 grams of milk with butterfat content of around 4.6 percent daily.

The Dadiangas goat is common in General Santos City is a mixture of native, Nubian and Jamnapari goats and some animals may even have some Alpine or Saanen blood. The milk production and butterfat content are marginally higher than native goats and they do best in the drier areas of the country.

Of the introduced breeds in the country, Anglo Nubian performs the best along with the newer introduced Boer goats. The dairy breeds such as the Saanen, Toggenburg and French Alpine perform relatively poorly.

For those who cannot afford a purebred stock, starting with the best female goats available in the locality is the best idea and bred them with purebreds or upgraded stock and by selecting th desirable offspring and discarding the undesirable ones, a good stock will emerge later, Dollison said.

For commercial or large-scale operation, the production inputs are aplenty. Fixed investment includes land, goat house, fences, pasture area, water pump, feeding trough, spade, wheelbarrow, and ropes.

“You have to buy breeding does and breeding bucks. Operating expenses include veterinary medicines, drugs, and vaccines; feed supplements and goat rations; and repair and maintenance of goat house, fences, equipment, and pasture. Fixed and seasonal labor is also required,” he said.

PCARRD said, with minimal initial capital investment of about P67,000 for 25-doe level, P174,500 for 60-doe level, or P349,000 for 100-doe level, positive net income and return-on-investment (ROI) are realized, even as early as the first year.

The ROI for five years is 67 percent from a 25-doe level operation under semi-confinement scheme and 60 percent from 50- and 100-doe level operations under pure confinement system. Payback period is two years, the PCARRD added.

Goats have gone a long way from being just poor man’s cows. These animals have proven to be more than just four-legged mammals that generate milk and meat. They survive in almost any kind of environment that is dry and where feed resources are available, making their potential as one of the main sources of farm income.

Given all those advantages, PCARRD said it has picked up on this renewed interest on goats and is now laying various science and technology (S&T) initiatives to continue coming up with better quality stocks, promote goat reproduction techniques and encourage new and fresh approaches to manage goats and the business of raising them.

Along with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFDA), PCARRD has initiated trainings on effective goat management to further promote its competence.

After analyzing the cost and returns of raising goats, they proved that it is a low-risk profitable livelihood. Assuming a goat raiser has five does at P2,500 each, an initial investment of P32,000 can mean extra income of at least P14,800 in sales of goat stock after two business years.

PCARRD has also initiated its 1,000-goat farms program that aims to launch 1,000 smallholder farmers into full-time commercial goat raisers to continue the wave of effect that goat raising has started.

In the end, even with problems on seasonality of demand, fluctuating prices of goats and breeders, high costs of feed, wavering veterinary services and high taxes and business permits to start with, raising goats will continue to flourish and find its optimum potential in the future, it said.

That is because 63 percent of the world’s total meat consumption can be credited to goat meat. According to, people-from Mideasterners and African to Latin American and Arabs prefer goat meat than any other veal-like meat around the world. (PNA Bicol) [top]

Filed under: Livelihood, Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates,

Little-known DOST program turns students to techno biz


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,



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)

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

DOST pushes science, biotech program to strengthen MSMEs in Bicol

NAGA CITY—The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is aggressively pushing in Bicol a program to further strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become the backbone of the country’s economy.

As driving forces for manufacturing and production, MSMEs are the bedrock for economic stability, forming 99.6 percent of all enterprises and 60 percent of all exporting firms in the Philippines.

They also employ 53 percent of the country’s labor force, said DOST regional director for Bicol Tomas Briñas at the SM City Events Center here over the weekend.

The facility was the venue for the five-day Southern Luzon Cluster Science and Technology (S&T) Fair that ended on Sunday and brought together the DOST and local MSMEs into showcasing the latest visual and interactive breakthroughs and technology-generated, -developed and -commercialized products.

Anchored on the theme “Responding to Global Challenges Through Science and Technology,” the S&T fair was a joint initiative of the DOST regional offices in Bicol, the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan).

In urging Bicolanos to engage in manufacturing and production, DOST Assistant Secretary Mario Bravo, who represented Science Secretary Estrella Alabastro, said during the culmination day of the event that the agency is presently accepting applicants for its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading (Setup) program.

Setup, he said, is the umbrella program that provides both technical and financial assistance to S&T-related activities of MSMEs.

These activities include technology and raw-materials acquisition, training and consultancy, Bravo said, adding that Bicol has been allocated by the DOST some P6 million to finance these activities this year.

“Setup provides new technology, manpower training, capital, product markets, product standards and testing facilities, packaging and product labeling, raw materials, information and better transport facilities,” Ma. Josefina Abilay, DOST regional director for the Mimaropa said.

The program is a nationwide strategy to boost MSME productivity and competitiveness via technology innovations and the technical interventions involving it result in enhanced product quality, upgraded human resources, cost reduction, effective waste management and tuned-up operations, Abilay said.

Bravo said with Setup, MSMEs can find answers to enterprise challenges and problems; get technical advices from consultants, training for workers; and acquire new equipment to mechanized and improved product lines.

It also provides for standardized and improved product quality for more competiveness with proper labeling and packaging, he said.

Qualified beneficiaries for Setup are Filipino entrepreneurs operating MSMEs classified under priority sectors, such as food processing, furniture, gift items and decorative handicrafts, marine resources, horticulture like cutflowers, fruits or high-value crops and metal processing.

“Through this program, we are expanding the whole gamut of economic activity as the vital role of MSMEs is recognized and so are their needs,” Bravo added.

Briñas said the S&T fair acquainted the public about the role in manpower development of the agency’s Science Education Institution-Human Resource Development Program.

Product-technology upgrading, employment and investment generation and enterprise development via DOST programs were also showcased in the fair.

Briñas said these programs are aimed at building up massive advocacy, promotion and application of science and technology among the citizenry.

Entrepreneurs engaged in MSMEs were also taught food safety and appropriate packaging, while attendees in the scientific fora underwent sessions on biological control for the management of Brontispa longgisima in coconut, risk mapping, pili pulp oil, indigenous herbal medicine, avoiding the inevitable health-related effects of calamity, alternative energy and understanding the weather, he said.

Under the techno-demo, participants were taught how to cook and prepare nutritious snack food, he added.

Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent
Sunday, 29 November 2009 19:03

Filed under: Invest in Sorsogon, Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates, , ,

Kasanggayahan Shirt Designs 2009

Guys, look at these Kasangayahan 2009- Shirt Designs! I’ve found it from Mar Corral site. Pretty cool is it?  Check it out at Kasanggayahan Booth#24 Capitol Ground, Sorsogon City.


Hope, somebody will post their own designs in here. D’best if they could offer online sale/payment too. This way our overseas kababayan will have a chance to purchase it online. Please let us know…..

Filed under: Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates, ,

Ano ang ginawa mo para umasenso?

Here’s a few tips that might be of interest to you…

Everyone one has some kind of a success slogan in their lives in terms of personal, practical, family and social gains. However, this slogan or goal will not be achieved unless we strictly follow several steps and cling to some habits which are:

– Be realistic in what you pursue. Aspire for big dreams but follow the right way.

– Create your own personal experience thru your diligence and it’s ok to observe other successful people around you.

– Have faith in what you achieve as a gift of life to you and never underestimate your abilities.

– Know that life with all its problems is untreatable but workable. Pave your way through it and maneuver to overcome all obstacles.

– You succeed when you teach people how to deal with you and how to address you. Take over your life and be your own master.

– Forgiveness is one of the powerful keys to success.

– Look at life as a journey and you’re one of the passengers. So, you have to accommodate in every stop you come through or face.

– Always and always think of success and successful ideas. Attract positive thoughts and stay away from negative and frustrated people because they sow their failure and spread negativism.

– Targets parallel with actions. If you have a perfect and organized plan which is unaccompanied by proper actions, your plan thus is futile.

– Never stop learning new things. Try to read once in a while and educate yourself because knowledge is a powerful tool.



– Perseverance. So, never give up because success is like a long distance marathon which you may not win in a day or two.

– Learn from your failures and don’t be ashamed to admit your mistakes to attain reality which will lead you to the true success and not the fake one.

– Manage your time and evaluate what you possess and stay away from distraction.

– Don’t be afraid to be creative even if you fail. Edison failed 999 times before he invented the lamp. To be different is to be creative.

– Learn how to understand others and learn new things from them. No one can live alone on an isolated island so you have to interact efficiently.

– Be honest and somehow trust other people. On the other hand, try to be responsible and dependent.

– Support others in their views if they were correct. Don’t always object or refute without a proper background or you’ll lose your credibility.

– Organize your priorities as they should be.

– Understand yourself first before you demand others to understand you.

– Be self-confident and have self-esteem. Utilize your strength points.

– Never follow the herd spirit and always think of your future.


By: shamelabboush:>What have you done to succeed? Tips for successful life.

Filed under: Encouragement, Livelihood, Negosyo Tips,

Seaweed farming changes fishers’ life for the better

Agri-Commodities – Business Mirror
Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent
Monday, 31 August 2009 21:21

PILAR, Sorsogon—For fisherman Ramiro Panganiban, 43, of this remote coastal town, his successful venture into seaweed farming started from plain curiosity.
From drift-gill net fishing that allowed him to feed his family on a mere subsistence level, he shifted to seaweed farming learned from fellow fishermen six years ago.
“I was driven by my curiosity when I started with it. I just tried exploring the possibility of better earnings,” Panganiban told the BusinessMirror over the weekend.
At that time, he also learned about the seaweed project of the municipal government here where he became one of the farmer-cooperators and appointed chairman of the Seaweed Farmers and Traders Association (SFTA) in his barangay of Dao, Panganiban narrated.
The seaweed showcase project was under the community-based participatory action research in the municipality implemented by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office for Bicol, Sorsogon State College (SSC) and the Pilar local government unit.
Implementation of the project in 11 coastal barangays of this third-class municipality by the northern coastlines of Ticao Pass was started in 2003. The barangay Dao SFTA then was composed only of three seaweed farmers including Panganiban as chairman.
As farmer-cooperators, the group was provided with the project materials for seaweed farming such as straw, rope, a banca and 15 kilograms of seeds as starter. Two years later, the group grew to 138 members.
“My only motivation then in engaging into this venture was the projected additional income that I could raise and take home to my family. My fellow farmer-cooperators and I were optimistic it would bring about changes in our economic lives even as we were not much aware of the statistics of seaweed production,” Panganiban said.
He said that a little bit later, “we came to learn about the importance of this crop to one person’s life and the economy of the country. With the learning and assistance shared to us by BAR, BFAR and SSC ranging from seaweed-farming technology to marketing, we were able to turn things better for us.”
Asked about the benefits he and his fellow farmers get from seaweeds farming, Panganiban answered jubilantly, “Plenty!”
In a span of three years, each one of them was able to own a boat, earned enough for the basic needs of their family, sent their children to school, put up savings and improved their houses from wood and nipa shanties to concrete with galvanized-iron roofing, he said.
“Before seaweed farming, all we could afford after a long day of fishing was a kilo of rice and a few more coins for table salt, coffee and sugar. Now, we buy rice in sacks and stockpile groceries at home good enough until the next seaweed harvest season,” Panganiban said.
From the 250-square-meter farm that he maintains, Panganiban said he could harvest an average of 900 kilograms of fresh seaweeds per harvest that when dried and sold earns him P50,000. A whole year allows two harvest seasons for cultured seaweeds.
“Since we are members of SFTA, marketing and pricing of our produce is not a problem. The association serves as a sure market outlet for them,” he explained.
The most widely cultivated species of seaweed here is the Eucheuma (Kappaphycus alvarezii) species due to its high marketability and demand compared to seaweeds like K. striatum or Saccul and the spinosum type now known as E. denticulatum, Panganiban said.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, commercial production of seaweeds through farming is at present limited to a few countries in East Asia, making it a high-value crop with great demand in the world market. The Philippines is noted for the culture of seaweeds particularly Eucheuma and Caulerpa) along with Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan.
Eucheuma has two types: the cottonii (guso) and the spinosum (agar-agar). Both of them can be exported in dried forms. Of these two, cotonnii grows faster and is easier to farm.
Panganiban also explained that propagation of seaweeds requires a body of water where they are endemic and abundant in algae eel grasses and sea animals. The sea bottom should be of hard sand or rocks with the water moving and holding the seaweed loosely. Water depth should be at one or two feet at low tide.
“Our seawater here passed that requirement, that is why we now consider our place a mine of gold because of the benefits we are deriving from seaweeds,” he said.
And because seaweed farming is not very much time-demanding, Panganiban said he could still perform his old fishing activity, this time with a larger drift-gill net he had purchased out of his earnings from his newfound venture.
“Additional income and fish for food of my family, that’s it,” he said.

Filed under: Livelihood, Negosyo Tips

Sorsogon pushes cassava production for bio-ethanol


Sorsogon pushes cassava production for bio-ethanol

By Danny O. Calleja

The viability of cassava as source of bio-ethanol has been determined and Sorsogon province is a good prospect for a massive production of this lowly root crop, Vice-Governor Renato Laurinaria said here Tuesday.

“If cassava is becoming an important bio-fuel crop in other countries with more advanced national programs for bio-fuel production, our soils are also capable of large-scale production of the crop not only for food, livestock feeds but mainly for bio-ethanol,” he stressed.

Sorsogon has a vast agricultural land area both in the upland and lowland that is generally suited for cassava because of evenly distributed rainfall and “we can easily come up with an area for a plantation required by the operation of an ethanol distillery plant”, Laurinaria said.

A recently concluded study on bio-ethanol production from cassava commissioned by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR) said an estimated 10,000 hectares of cassava plantation would be required for an ethanol distillery plant’s optimal operation.

This area is necessary to produce cassava flour for the production of the 30 million liters of ethanol per year which is the required capacity, the study conducted for the BAR last year by the International Society for Southeast Asian Agricultural Sciences (ISSAAS) said.

“Castilla alone can already provide 5,000 hectares for this endeavor,” Laurinaria said, referring to the same tracts of land his administration has started to develop into cassava plantations during the latter part of his incumbency as mayor here.

The municipality sits on a 18,620-hectare territorial land and 76 percent or 14,228 hectares of it is agricultural, mostly unirrigated rice fields, coconut and root crop plantations.

The cassava produce of the municipality is being taken in by B-Meg Feeds of San Miguel Corporation (SMB) for its livestock feed mill in Pili, Camarines Sur.

Laurinaria’s term as mayor expired after completing nine years in 2007. He ran for vice-governor in the local elections in the same year and won.

His successor has abandoned the town’s cassava production project, leaving the farmers on their own and denying the local government’s pre and post harvest supports.

“I am going to revive that cassava project on a province-wide scale, this time for bio-ethanol production because I was inspired by the BAR findings on its changes into this industrial undertaking that could make Sorsogon an active participant in the national government’s initiative to make use of our agricultural crops in producing environment-friendly fuels,” he said.

It will, at the same time, provide more jobs for the local workforce and income for farmers and landowners in the province, Laurinaria added.

Although agricultural products in the country specifically grown for use as biofuels include several crops, RA 9367 or the Biofuels Law at present mandates only coconut for biodiesel and sugarcane, sweet sorghum, cassava, and corn for bio-ethanol.

The bio-fuels law took effect in 2007 but the mandated minimum blend of one percent coconut bio-diesel or coconut methyl ester (CME) was first implemented for all diesel engines.

The law says a minimum two percent of bio-diesel should be implemented by 2009 as well as the minimum blend of 5 percent bio-ethanol (E5) for all gasoline engines. The 10 percent blend of bio-ethanol (E10) is scheduled for implementation by 2011.

Nonetheless, the E10 blend is available in the market today with sugarcane probably holding the biggest share of the market at present as records from the BAR show it does best in terms of productivity compared with other sources of bio-ethanol.

The ISSAAS study comprehensively covered all important aspects that need to be considered in producing bio-ethanol from cassava — from production to post-harvest, processing, marketing, organization and management, and, most important, financing.

From the point of view of financial analysis, the study considered three types of investors that would likely go into it. These are corporate and joint venture-run cassava plantation, ethanol processing (primary and secondary) and integrated cassava plantation and ethanol production.

The ISSAAS researchers assumed that the equity of investor for the three cases is 20 percent of the initial capital investment. They likewise considered loaning the remaining capital requirement from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) at 9.75 percent interest payable in seven years with a grace period of three years.

The hyped-up global concern over climate change and the depleting source of fossil fuels triggered the renewed interest on bio-fuels. As a matter of fact, the researchers of the feasibility study observed that cassava is becoming an important bio-fuel crop in China, Thailand, Brazil, and other countries with more advanced national programs for bio-fuel production.

Cassava got the edge as with regards to its cultural management, the study says the crop needs only minimum crop maintenance, responds well to fertilization, is typhoon- and drought-resistant, and can be harvested year-round in areas with evenly distributed rainfall.

“In general, areas suitable for sugarcane production are also favorable for growing cassava,” the study says.

According to the study, cassava has a very high starch-to-sugar conversion ratio. This high starch content means that a high percentage of sugar can be converted from it, and which, in turn, is needed to produce bio-fuel.

The study likewise heralded it as the cheapest feedstock among the major starch-based feedstock for ethanol production.

“Average costs of feedstock per liter of ethanol from molasses and corn are quite high, while those using sweet sorghum is comparable to that of sugarcane. Potentially, feedstock from cassava can be produced at the lowest cost. With high feedstock yield levels, ethanol yield from cassava becomes comparably better than those from sugarcane or sweet sorghum,” the study illustrates.

Part of a feasibility study is a sensitivity analysis on the financial viability of a project. In this particular study, the researchers pointed out sensitivities of cassava’s bio-ethanol production depending on the prevailing price of tubers, changes in yield levels, variation in overall production, and total production cost.

“Cassava can also be the most expensive among the major feedstock depending on prevailing prices of tubers or derived products. Cassava used for food preparations are purchased at a higher price than those used for industrial purposes,” it revealed.

Generally, the study’s computation shows that an increase in tuber yield by 10 percent will increase the average net income by 32.5 percent. On overall production, slight reductions of at least five percent in production cost will increase average net income by 10.1 percent, return on investment by 2.3 percent, and shorten the payback period by 0.3 years.

“The major components of cost are direct labor cost (44.6 percent) and direct materials (30.4 percent). The biggest cost item for direct materials is the cost of fertilizer (73.9 percent) while harvesting expenses accounts for the larger fraction of direct labor costs,” it added.

Filed under: Livelihood, Negosyo Tips, What's Happening Here?,

Care for a cup of coffee? (The Francisco Aranda story)

Care for a cup of coffee?

By Mabelle R. Ilan

As more and more Filipinos are born, the demand for coffee also increases. Filipinos cannot do away with coffee and drinking coffee is a favorite pastime and an engaging social activity. Coffee shop nowadays is a thriving business and for coffee lovers no coffee can taste good without sending a sweet aroma to the nostrils. Aside from this, many people could not start their day without a cup of coffee to perk up their morning. That’s why Francisco Aranda “Frank” to friends and relatives invested in coffee production because coffee will never lose its market. Blend

Determined to have a coffee plantation, Mang Frank settled in Sorsogon City in 1984. He started from scratch. He is popular among the Sorsogueños as the peddler of vinegar and soy sauce. Daily he would roam around the city carrying bottles of vinegar and soy sauce on his shoulder. His industry and perseverance paid off. He was able to buy five hectares farmland in Bgy. Cabid-an Sorsogon City.

How he started-

With the help of his children, Mang Frank cleared the area and started to make a layout. He brought a sack of coffee berries from their farm in Batangas and produced his own seedlings. “Producing seedlings before quite tedious” says Mang Frank. You have to prepare a raised seedbed because there were no plastic bags for use in propagation. He painstakingly planted the berries and was able to produce the seedlings needed for his farm. then removed the pulp by hand and soaked the beans for 24 hours to remove the mucilage. He removed the floaters as these are not good ones. He prepared a germination bed with 1 meter width and of convenient length. He sow the seeds at ¾ inch deep and covered with fine soil. After 7 to 8 months he was able to produce thousands of seedlings.frank

“Kapeng barako”or Liberica is well adopted in Sorsogon” says Mang Frank. The berries are plump, big and rounded. It is known for its distinct taste, aroma and flavor. It is tolerant to drought and could be grown in a wider type of soil.

Planting/Fertilizer Application

Transplanting of seedling was done during the onset of the rainy season. He chose coffee seedlings with six pairs of leaves. He followed the 3 x 3 meters distance of planting. Mang Frank explains that he has to dig bigger and wider holes to accommodate the ball of soil attached to the seedlings to keep the roots intact. He also added compost and chicken manure. After a year he applied complete fertilizer (14-14-14) at 250 grams per tree. frank2

Regular pruning is one technology he adopted. This is to ensure that the trees are shorter for easy harvesting and to facilitate other farm operations. Likewise, pruning shoots helps produce more branches, more flowers and berries. It also promotes better light penetration and aeration.


With a total of 4,500 trees he is now harvesting berries every 8 months. In Sorsogon harvest starts in October until March. Coffee is picked / harvested individually to avoid presence of pedicels. To maintain quality coffee, berries must be matured. Oftentimes it is colored red. He harvests an average of 147 sacks of coffee berries. He is happy because he is now providing jobs to his neighbors especially during harvest. Coffee is dried for 8 to 9 days in concrete drying pavement. The secret to quality coffee is the roasting process. Roasting is the process of applying heat to transform the chemical and physical properties of coffee beans into roasted coffee products. The right amount of heat, the right timing in a uniform manner are required to achieve the desired flavor from the beans. He said that coffee roasting involves proper heat application, and the common problems encountered include uneven distribution of heat inside the roasting chamber and the lack of insulating materials which results to excessive heat loss. Poorly roasted beans would yield poor tasting coffee drink. With the absence of hauler and roasting equipment Mang Frank has to bring dried coffee beans to Lipa City in Batangas to have the outermost cover removed and then roasted. He has to pay P8 per kilo for de-hauling and Ps 9 per kilo for roasting. Likewise, an added cost is incurred for transportation of the coffee berries to Batangas then back to Sorsogon.


Mang Frank emphasized that pricing depends on the quality of the beans and the variety. But coffee always commands a good price in the market. A sack of roasted coffee costs Ps 8,900. Mang Frank sells milled coffee at Ps 260 per kilo.With the help of the Department of Trade and Industry he already has his brand name “Uncle Franks roasted coffee”. His packaging was improved and he now sells coffee in 250 grams, 500 grams, and 1 kilogram packaging.

Mang Frank has a bit of advice to those who want to venture into coffee production: “Make sure that you get good quality product to make it big in business. Once you hit the market, make sure it attracts buyers”. That is why during exhibits, he displays his products and even provided free taste to visitors.

He readily offers his area for techno demo because he wants to learn new technologies and techniques. In return he also teaches his fellow coffee growers of the techniques he learned. He also hosted field days for them to see the crop stand and the effects or the impact of the technologies adopted.

As president of the Para Café’ kan Sorsogon City Association, Mang Frank shares his technologies to its members so that they too could produce quality coffee. They envisioned to place Sorsogon in the map of those leading provinces producing coffee in the country. The group is determined to realize their vision by producing coffee not only for its aroma and taste but as source of livelihood for the Sorsogueños.

When all these things happen, a brighter future will surely await the coffee growers of Sorsogon and no one will no longer say no to coffee growing. As Mang Frank’s slogan goes “May pera sa kape….tanim na!”.


via Care for a cup of coffee? (The Francisco Aranda story).

Filed under: Inspiration, Negosyo Tips, Show your pride, Sorsogon Success Stories, ,

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