The recent Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp offered and achieved what no event has done in the country before—present entrepreneurship as a lucrative alternative to labor export—in the span of three days.
The event, which ran from Mar. 22-24 at the University of Asia and the Pacific, highlighted the Philippines’ (and even the world’s) top successful entrepreneurs and notable figures in the Filipino business scene, in order to empower the next generation of game changers. The idea was an award-winning one—receiving a grant from the US State Department care of the American Councils for International Education and the Young Southeast Asian Leaders’ Initiative (YSEALI).
Powerful speeches from the likes of Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, the Philippine Tax Whiz Mon Abrea, Department of Trade and Industry’s Dir. Jerry Clavesillas and Hollywood’s rattan virtuouso, our very own Kenneth Cobonpue, wowed a packed crowd of university, college and senior high school students on the first day alone.
They also witnessed the conferment of the 2017 Integrity Leadership Awards for Young Entrepreneurs on the these outstanding innovators: Kenneth Cobonpue, Patch Dulay of The Spark Project, Jose Carlo Martinez of BrewsCo., Shawntel Nieto and Maan Flores of BMB Solutions, and Paolo Sarmiento of Jackdaw Wooden Watches.
The next day, selected delegates got to participate in workshops conducted by the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI), providing veteran speakers and entrepreneurs: Arnold Anog of iLeap Consulting, Jean Uvero of Nail It Salon, Jorge Wieneke of Tokyo Tempura, and Jeff Chua of Cycle House.
Lastly, the third day saw students engage in mentoring sessions again conducted by AFFI and their impressive roster of CEOs, namely Richie Cuna of Fiorgelato, Eric Caeg of Retail Academy Philippines, Van Villaraza of Samuelito, and Herson Laggui of Quick Relief Pharmacy.
Of course, however, these feats would not be possible without much-needed help from CSR Philippines’ partners. Aside from AFFI, DTI and YSEALI, the event was also made possible by BPI Family Savings Bank, BPI Foundation, The Outstanding Young Men Philippines (TOYM Philippines, University of Asia and the Pacific, The Kaizen Company, YesPinoy Foundation, Tokyo Tempura, Bayani Brew, Ferino’s Bibingka, Aquabest, Acquasuisse and the participation of our media partners—DZRH, 8 Trimedia, Rappler and the ABS-CBN News Channel.
This is, of course, not the end. CSR Philippines would tie up this project with existing programs on the same wavelength, such as BPI Sinag U, the AFFI Youth Council and the ASEAN Young Entrepreneurs Carnival on September; the latter being all the more important as with the Philippines helming the alliance this year. The Integrity Leadership Awards will also get in full swing over the following months, culminating in the recognition of the top tertiary Business, Finance and Accounting students who have exhibited integrity in leadership.
In the end, the goal of the event had been loud and clear throughout the past three days—that the youth are better off staying in and serving the country through starting their own businesses, rather than fly abroad for greener pastures.