Amazingly, all 35 of them had no previous background in business. Yet, government intervention, through the efforts of the Department, has transformed them from ordinary people into highly successful entrepreneurs.
This book is designed, therefore, to inspire the rise in the number and size of the country’s MSMEs, not just as a function of governance, but more so as an economic growth strategy.
About the Sikap MSMEs
|Bongtiwon Farm Handtools Manufacturer||itak (Filipino machetes)||Roland Bongtiwon had a rough start in 2006, producing only five bladed tools a day. Now, the production rate has dramatically increased to six times through the help of DTI’s Shared Service Facilities (SSF) project.|
|Magallaya Mt. Specialty Coffee||coffee||Giving in to the lure of their distinct native coffee, a couple took a decade-long entrepreneurial journey. They stuck it out with the business through thick and thin, and became a pillar of a rural industry poised for success.|
|Carlo’s Bamboocraft Furniture and Furnishing||furniture and furnishing made in bamboo||A young man in Tayum, Abra, who could not make it to college, turned to bamboo crafting instead and used it as his ladder to entrepreneurial success.|
|Sericulture Research Development Institute||raw silk||Having perfected its technology, the sericulture industry in La Union’s Bacnotan town is poised for growth that can make it one of the country’s major production hubs and trading posts in the fast emerging international Silk Road.|
|Ilocos Sur Loom Weavers Association (ISLA)||bags, blankets, and other products made through loomweaving||A mother who learned loom weaving before the age of 12 tried to save this tradition from vanishing. As her reward, she ended up having it as the core of a thriving business.|
|Mid-East Sweets||dates||A Filipino couple who had a sweet time in the Middle East for years decided to look for greener pastures and fruitfully found it in the Philippines.|
|Andrea’s Paper Beads||fashion accessories made of paper beads||Beauty and, for that matter, a business possibility lie on the eyes of the beholder. In this case, a smart and fashion-savvy lady uses paper to create fantastic creations of bead necklaces and bracelets that can add glamor to any social scene.|
|City of Gapan Footwear Multi-purpose Cooperative||footwear||A year after graduating from college, a man decided to focus on footwear-making as a career, whose challenges could be too much for anyone in his youth. With the government coming to the rescue, his business has risen to make all his efforts pay off.|
|Orient Sports Gear||bags||From collecting scrap textile materials to sew into shorts, a couple’s livelihood has grown into a booming enterprise that produces bags for local and foreign markets.|
|Edelyn’s Homemade Nuts||peanuts||A housewife from Pampanga found it harder for a small entrepreneur to succeed in business than for a thread to pass through the eye of the needle. But faith, persistence, and help from the government took her eventually to success far more than she had imagined.|
|Oryspa Spa Solutions||beauty essentials/products made of rice bran||A fast-growing micro enterprise in the wellness industry was about to gain a foothold in the export market when it suffered a serious setback. Weakened but not disheartened, the enterprise moved on with new products to make it even bigger than it had ever been before.|
|Balaw-Balaw Foods Inc.||fermented shrimps||It takes passion to produce the condiment balaw-balaw—which requires fermenting its ingredients in an earthen jar for seven days—for a share of the world’s growing consumption of condiment sauces.|
|Abundant Grace Livelihood Association||curtains, canopies, shawls, throw pillows||A mother started a livelihood venture that produced handmade curtains, canopies, shawls and throw pillows. Over time, it has blossomed into a community enterprise that now provides a source of income for the women in her barangay.|
|Julie Anne’s Handicrafts||bags, handicrafts||A wife, who founded her woven buntal crafts business on the devastation left by Typhoon Reming in 2006, saw her factory nearly wiped out by another typhoon. This has made her even more determined to achieve success.|
|J. Emmanuel Pastries||pili nuts||Seeing the business potential of pili nuts, a mother from Naga quit her job in Makati to put up her own enterprise with all of her Php 500 as capital. Two decades hence, her business is now a Php 30-million enterprise exporting 90 percent of its products to Japan, the United States, Canada, South Korea, and China.|
|Prime Legacy Inc.||abaca bags||A family business that began with embroidery is now able to supply bags to the United States and Japan at huge volumes to retain its grip on its captive markets.|
|Jenny’s Handicrafts||baskets, hats, placemats||Joven and Aurora Furio knew the hardships of a street vendor’s life. They used to sell handicrafts on the sidewalks of Divisoria 10 years ago. Thanks to DTI, they are now manufacturers earning more, and sharing their opportunities with others and inspiring them to follow their success.|
|Dela Cruz House of Piña||home furnishings made of piña||The loom, the obi, and the nito baskets can be traced all the way to Aklan’s capital town of Kalibo, where the family-run Dela Cruz House of Piña makes them like no other. A centuries-old weaving culture and its traditional art of suksok have been passed on from mothers to daughters, proving that there is premium in tradition. The business serves a global niche market that is more than willing to pay extra for tradition.|
|Spanggo Foods, Café and Pasalubong Center||frozen vacuum-packed buko pie||A wife, suddenly widowed in the course of growing her buko pie business, managed to pull through, and carved a niche for herself in Capiz’s rich natural and cultural heritage.|
|Green Enviro Management Systems Inc. (GEMS)||flour, tea, and feed mix||The mango peel, seeds, and kernel that always end up as trash are now being exported as edible gluten-free flour for pastries and other food preparations for health-conscious consumers, thanks to the technology and partnership forged between an aspiring firm and government institutions.|
|Sto. Niño de Plaridel Multipurpose Cooperative||bags||Through the DTI SSF, the production of pandan and bariw products increased by almost 50%. From bayongs, the sewers started to create products with different styles that has also attracted more customers. The raw materials were maximized wherein some materials that are considered waste, they created something out of it to be souvenir products.|
|Javier Integrated Coco Product Farmers Association||coco coir||Typhoon Yolanda laid waste to the entire town of Javier in Leyte, leaving enormous piles of coconut husks that the survivors, through the help of DTI, turned into coco coir as their source of income. This “lifeline” is now an emerging industry.|
|Island’s Best Foods||calamansi||A midwife, appalled by the sight of rotting calamansi fruits on Homonhon Island due to lack of buyers, has ventured into the production of juice and concentrates and built a thriving business in the process.|
|Tito Mike's Food Company||sardines||A former Filipino expatriate ventured into sardine production and hurdled all the challenges to become a high-volume exporter. But after attaining economies of scale and the capability to expand the business even further to cope with an ever-growing market, he reins in production.|
|VjANDEP Bakeshop and Refreshments||pastel||A couple started a pastel bun business from a capital of Php 120, which has now grown into a multi-million enterprise after 27 years of hard work and perseverance. Initially motivated by a desire to ensure a bright future for their children, the couple now provide hope for its over 200 employees.|
|Hineleban Foundation, Inc.||coffee||In the Talaandig-Higaunen tribe’s traditional language, Hineleban means leadership, unity, and peace. In December 2012, a foundation and sister firm signed a “Sacred Customary Compact” with the Seven Tribes of Bukidnon duly assuming their role as the “Custodians of the Forest.” Now, Tuminugan Farm is a tourist attraction and the country’s sole biodiverse rainforest grown from grassland.|
|Malagos Agri Ventures Corp.||cacao/chocolate||A family-owned business in Davao City distinguishes itself for producing the best chocolates from the tree to the bar, and is out to prove its point to the rest of the world.|
|Lao Integrated Farms, Inc.||coco coir||Many are surprised to know that Western countries are sourcing their coconut-based food products from a far-away town in Davao del Sur, but they are.|
|RSA Fishermen/Dependents Multi-Purpose Cooperative||dye bags and waste rags||To help their families make both ends meet, the wives of fishermen in General Santos City formed in 2008 a cooperative that has since been producing rags for the tuna industry. The venture now manufactures various other products, and almost doubles the families' incomes.|
|Kablon Farm Foods Corporation||various food products||A family's farming business in the South has survived for over five decades to evolve into a manufacturing haven, which now serves the processed food requirements of today's consumers.|
|De Lara Agsam Novelties||fashion accessories||Forest products extracted and processed by the indigenous groups in the South are being worn by people in high places, not only as a fashion statement, but also as an expression of support for nature and culture.|
|KAAGAP Development Multi-Purpose Cooperative||coco coir||The topography and climate of Agusan del Sur and its abundance of coconut trees have made the production of ground nets from coco coir a thriving community enterprise.|
|Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co.||raw cane sugar||A lawyer in Negros Oriental spotted a business opportunity, seized it, and conquered. Now, the Raw Brown Sugar Milling Co. provides not only export-quality products that make the province proud, but also a source of income for fellow Dumagueteños.|
|The Christmas Factory||Christmas ornaments||Hypertension ended a wife’s daily routine along Manila’s horrendous vehicular traffic and gave her time to appreciate her own talents in handicraft, which has rewarded her with a totally new but fulfilling business.|
|John Carlo Creations||bags||The 1997 Asian financial crisis brought a successful entrepreneur down to his knees. But just when he had completely given up, a break took him up where he left off and sent his new PVC-molded handbag business to great heights that he had never dreamed of.|
Focusing on the holistic development of every micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME)—from business plan development to the nitty-gritty of enterprise management—the following programs providing assistance to local enterprises have been proven to be effective through time and are continuously being transformed to keep up with the ever changing needs of the times.
The 35 MSMEs featured in this book are only a few of the hundreds of thousands of Filipino entrepreneurs whose lives have been dramatically changed by these programs. The DTI continues to implement and enhance these interventions to touch and improve more lives.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) presents its coffee table book entitled “Sikap: Sipag at Abilidad ng Pilipino,” narrating the stories of entrepreneurs in their path to success. Hear from the entrepreneurs themselves in this video presentation, how they started their business, worked with partners, overcame challenges, and persevered to scale up their business.
See the range of products, such as cacao; coffee; processed foods and nuts; gifts, décor and housewares; among others, as these are presented along with the tips and insights to inspire others to venture into business.
Find out how the lives of these entrepreneurs personify “sipag at abilidad”, bringing out the best in their regional traits, cultural and ethnic heritage, indigenous nature, and showcasing their ingenuity and creativity in producing uniquely Filipino products to share with the rest of the world
As the book was launched during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 2017 Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Summit last July 14, 2017, it is timely that these entrepreneurs share their story on how they are able to reach greater heights for a shared prosperity in ASEAN.
Get to know more about these entrepreneurs as well as the programs of DTI that support MSMEs by viewing the online version of “Sikap” on this page.
Read Sikap Online
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