Great news for social entrepreneurs! Now in its fourth year, BPI Sinag is looking to help more social enterprises get a head start on their business ideas.

And this year, they are challenging social entrepreneurs to encourage the creation of wealth among the Filipino ultra-poor.

BPI Sinag is the flagship program of BPI Foundation, the social innovation arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands. Its goal is to accelerate businesses that create products and services that aim to make a social impact in a sustainable manner, targeting the triple-bottom-line of people, planet, and profit.

To celebrate BPI Foundation’s 40th anniversary, BPI Sinag is taking on the road to reach new social enterprises, launch new ideas and opportunities, and pave the way in improving the social enterprise ecosystem in the country.

Since its launch in 2015, BPI Sinag has been able to reach out and help 138 social enterprises nationwide. Each year, social entrepreneurs are given a chance to pitch their ideas to a panel of experts. They are then shortlisted based on their pitches and their performance until ten awardees are selected.

To reach social enterprises all over the nation, BPI Foundation conducted the Sinag Fast Track. Qualified applicants will secure a spot on the #BPISinag2018 Top 40 and will be moving on to the first round of Sinag Bootcamp to be held in Manila. From there, 20 enterprises will be selected based on their presentation until only ten are left.

Five of the awardees will get P100,000 while the top five will get P500,000. Winners will also receive cash grants and continued mentorship that can increase the chances of their project’s success.

Here’s the list of social enterprises that made it last year.

Accents and Petals Crafts and Accessories  a novelty shop selling flowers made from recycled wood and paper

Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation, Inc. – develops, manufactures, and installs technologies such as ram pumps for drinking and irrigation water, for the poor in the uplands

Association of Differently-Abled Persons in Iloilo Multi-Purpose Cooperative – a furniture making business giving jobs to persons with disabilities

Buhatan River Eco-Adventure Service Cooperative (BRESC) – an eco-tourism service in Sorsogon promoting the attractions of the Buhatan River

Coffee For Peace – a coffee supplier of world-class Arabica and Robusta beans working to promote peace in Mindanao

CustomMade Crafts Center, Inc. – a weaving novelty shop offering assorted items designed with Hinabol fabric

Happy Helpers a professional home cleaning service that employs and empowers mothers from poor communities

Lamlifew Village Museum and School of Living Tradition – a living museum which showcases the cultural practices of Blaan tribe in the Sarangani Province

Mori Creations – a designer of innovative fashion accessories collaborates with mothers from poor communities in Apolonio Samson, Quezon City

Zarraga Integrated Diversified Organic Farmers Association (ZIDOFA) – a community of farmers revolutionizing rice growth with rich organic fertilizer 

As an entrepreneur, I think it’s an awesome venue for fellow entrepreneurs to test their ideas. Pitching your ideas to an expert panel can give you a different perspective and feedback on which aspects need improvement. Pitching on the stage also helps boost your confidence, presentation, and negotiation skills.

Events like these are also a great place to meet people who are as ambitious and as driven as you are. Here you can exchange ideas and get the support that you need to change the world as we know it. Who knows, you might also meet your future mentor in these events!

So if you think your idea has the potential to make a great impact and improve the lives of the Filipino people, send your entries to www.sinag.bpifoundation.org or email info.bpisinag@gmail.com. Deadline of entries is on May 15, 2018.

I’ve been too nice. I know that sounds chauvinistic, but just hold on for a bit.

If you know me, I will say yes to a lot of things. I will offer to meet up and coach a person for free. I will sometimes offer free advertisement on my blog for small business owners. I will offer financial resources for things to push through, even if I won’t exactly benefit from that thing. I will even offer brands free stuff from my blog and from my own time, if I want to help out.

And mind you, these things are things that are of value to me, whether it be because of the time spent or the financial resources that I spent. I know that these are valuable to many others, too.

And I did not build my brand overnight. It took blood, sweat and tears.

Where is this going, you may ask?

This is going to a lesson that is applicable in all of your freelancing careers (and entrepreneurship lives! haha!). And I was reminded of this lesson while I was watching White Nights, a korean drama on Netflix.

I was reminded that to keep a Client/Partner happy, the relationship that we have should be a “win-win” situation for both parties. Although, in that K-drama, they laid things out in a blunt manner.

But seriously, why do I NEED to keep giving if I feel that I don’t get anything out of a relationship. Why is it my fault that I have to step back when I feel that I’m no longer valued? Why do I always need to understand people around me, when it was I who was the one in the losing end all along?

So before you make decisions, or feel things, assess the situation. Ask yourself, were you fair to your client? Did you give it your all during the times that they needed you? Did they value you as much as you valued yourself?

If you did the best that you could, then that’s what matters.

And if you’re on the other side, before you judge, think. Did you really give as much value? Why do you feel that way? Is it the other party’s fault or was it a lapse on your end. What could you have done to keep the relationship alive?

Walang forever if walang effort para maging forever.

Thank you for your overwhelming response for this year’s The Freelancer Fair that will be held on September 2 at the Bayanihan Center, Pioneer, from 8 am to 5pm. I hope that you are as excited as I am! I hope that you learn a lot, meet more co-freelancers and aspiring freelancers, meet new clients and people you can collaborate with, be inspired to be one (if you aren’t already) and get to see if the freelancing life is for you! For my readers who have just heard about this event, it’s not too late. This long post will tell you what it is about and at the same time, give advice to those who have already purchased a ticket on how to maximize your time at the The Freelancer Fair.

What is the Freelancer Fair?

In the Philippines, we have around 1.5M freelancers who are working online. Most of these freelancers are virtual assistants, graphic artists, programmers, marketers, animators, etc. This number does not include the freelancers who are working “offline”, such as photographers, videographers, make-up artists, fitness coaches, consultants, etc.

Both of these numbers are growing, as the “gig economy” is now being widely accepted as a viable option for a career or a profession. Manila Workshops has always believed that we have talented people in the Philippines and we want to make it widely known that being a freelancer is a legit profession. The successful people who have made it in this industry took it to heart to always be ahead of the curve by learning new skills and by adapting to the changes happening.

But more than a profession, we also want to educate people on how Freelancing is the door to many more possibilities you can do with your life whether it’s simply having more time with your family, or finally getting started with that business or passion you’ve always dreamed of.

With this year’s theme Cultivating Relationships, the event promises to give you a full day of learning through a series of talks, panel discussions and networking with freelancers, industry experts and businesses.

What are the Official Hashtags?

The official hashtags are #RiseOfTheFree and #TheFreelancerFair. Kindly use these hashtags when posting. Also, please follow and like the new page that we have created on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thefreelancerfair/

Where and what time is The Freelancer Fair?

The Freelancer Fair will be held at the Bayanihan Center. It’s along Pioneer. Please CLICK HERE for the map details. There is FREE parking beside the venue that can accommodate a lot of cars! 🙂 The event will start at 9:00 am, but registration will open at 8:00 am. Please come during this period (from 8:00 to 9:00 in the morning). This is to avoid long lines in the registration area.

Registration and Entering the Venue Proper

Please wear comfortable clothing, but please no shorts and slippers please. There will be different lines at the registration area. We will have the following lines:

a. Paid online – Surname or Last Name starts with A to L
b. Paid online – Surname or Last Name starts with M to Z
c. Walk-ins – Surname or Last Name starts with A to L
d. Walk-ins – Surname or Last Name starts with M to Z
e. VIPS / Sponsors (including Booth Sponsors) / Media

Children 17 years old and younger can enter the venue for free. Kindly present a proof of their age/birthday at the registration area. Please attend though to your children at all times. Also, let’s be respectful of other people’s intent to listen and learn. Any behaviour that is not conducive to learning is highly discouraged. 🙂 Hope you understand!

Upon signing up, you will be given an ID, which you need to wear at all times (since Bayanihan security is strict). At the back of your ID will be a copy of the program. You will also be given a loot bag, which you will use to keep all of your belongings and all the freebies that you will get from our partner brands and sponsors. It will also contain the Booth Stamping Game Sheet / Feedback Form. IF YOU PRE-ORDERED FOOD AND DRINKS, be sure also that you get the food stubs from the registration area.

PRE-ORDER FOOD AND DRINKS

The venue does not allow cash transactions for food and drinks inside the venue. If you want to order food and drinks, please PRE-ORDER from our partner merchants. This is highly recommended as restaurants, cafes, etc. are across the street. The time spent to buy and line up may have been time spent networking! 🙂

Here is the list of the partner food and beverage merchants:

BEVERAGE PARTNERS

ORDER COFFEE FROM BLACK BRIDGE: http://bit.ly/BlackBridgeTFF2017

ORDER MILK TEA FROM NITRO 7: http://bit.ly/Nitro7TFF2017

FOOD ORDERS

For those who asked, yes, you can bring water jugs, too, and it is advisable to bring water.

For those who are breastfeeding, please do let anyone from Manila Workshops know. They will direct you to the room where you can breastfeed if you need privacy.

BRING CALLING CARDS OR COPIES OF YOUR WORK (JUST IN CASE)

You’ll never know if a someone in the fair would be interested to avail of your service. It’s good to be prepared and ready to network. Be sure to use the hashtags when posting, since a lot of the attendees will follow the event by searching for the hashtags. Also, update your Facebook, Linked-In, and other profiles prior to The Freelancer Fair.

There will be different communities that will be present. They will have booths during the event. Be sure to network and get to know people in these booths! The community leaders and members will be there to help answer any questions that you may have and will be open to welcome you with open arms into this industry! 🙂

BE SURE TO INTERACT WITH THE SPEAKERS AND PANELISTS!

We have an interesting line-up of speakers, and these people are very open and willing to help you jumpstart your freelancing career. Don’t be shy to approach them!

Here is the list of speakers:

PROGRAM & SPEAKER SCHEDULE: 

Hosts: Marv de Leon and Jieneb Kho

◊ Part 1: FREELANCING: AN OVERVIEW
9:00 am to 9:15 am: Opening Remarks: Cultivating Relationships w/ Ginger Arboleda, CEO of Manila Workshops
9:15 am to 9:35 am: The Freelancing Industry in the Philippines w/  Undersecretary Monchito Ibrahim, Director of Department of Information Communications & Technology (DICT)
9:40 am to 10:00 am: Freelancing Association: Introduction of DCAP w/ Genesis Reonico, Founder of OnlineJobsUniversity.com and President of the Digital Career Advocates of the Philippines

◊ Part 2: FREELANCING AS A PROFESSION: SUPPORT & SERVICES 
10:00 am to 10:20 am: Business Registration and Taxation w/ Dandy Victa, President of Manila Civil Service Review & Mark Ong, CFO of Taxumo
10:20 am to 11:00 am: Freelancers’ Funds Flow w/ Paolo Baltao, EON & Miguel Warren, PAYONEER
11:00 am to 11:20 am: Freelancers: Finding Your Purpose w/ Jackie Cañiza, Founder of Haraya Coaching
11:00 am to 11:40 am: Talk from Facebook with Paolo Lacuna, SMB Business Development Lead, PH at Facebook
11:40 am to 12:15 pm: Freelancing Opportunities and Tools w/ Lory Desuasido (Bizmates.ph), Fitz Villafuerte, Founder of 199jobs.com and Julia Jamie Madrazo, OnlineJobs.ph
12:15 pm to 1:00 pm: Lunch Break

◊ Part 3: ONLINE FREELANCING
1:00 pm to 1:20 pm: Building Relationship Through Email w/ Allan Ngo, Founder of Digital Solopreneur
1:20 pm to 2:00 pm: Building a Brand and Relationships as Freelancers (Panel) w/ Nix Eniego, Marketing Head of Sprout Solutions & CJ Maturino, Founder of Online Freelance Community, together with successful & seasoned freelancers – Allie Pasag, John Pagulayan, Nina Mendoza & Liberty Baldovino
2:20 pm to 2:40pm: Fitness Freelancing Opportunities and Tips (Panel) with Rach Bonifacio of Treehouse Yoga, Toni Nicolas (Yoga / Zumba Instructor) & Allan Enriquez, Fitness Blogger

◊ Part 4: SOFTWARE & SERVICE FREELANCING
3:00 pm to 3:15 pm: Financial Freelancing w/ Bong Fajardo, Jr., Regional Sales Manager of SunLife Financial Philippines
3:15 pm to 3:30 pm: Real Estate Freelancing w/ Icel Dy of Spectrum Investments

◊ Part 5: CREATIVE DESIGN & FREELANCING
4:00 pm to 4:20 pm: Creative and Design Freelancing w/ Francis Miranda, CEO of Tagline Communications Inc.
4:20 pm to 4:45 pm: Creative Freelancing: Opportunities and Tips (Panel) w/ Ria Lu, CEO of Komikasi Games Charlie Aquino, Managing Director of SophieCreatives; Dennis Abad, Co-founder of SHOOT! Practical Videography School
5:00 pm: Closing Remarks

JOIN THE BOOTH STAMPING GAME (RAFFLE)!

There will be some raffle prizes from some of our sponsors. To join the raffle, you will need to join the booth stamping game (BSG). The BSG sheet will be your raffle entry. All you need to do is to interact with 20 other people (ideally, people whom you have just met at this event!). 🙂 Come on people… no cheating! This will be to your advantage! Once completed, fill out the feedback form at the back of the sheet and write your name. Submit your sheet to any of the Manila Workshops event directors at the reception area.

Please visit the booths of our sponsors, too! They have mini surprises at their booths, so go and visit them, too!

KEEP A SOUVENIR! ORDER OUR LIMITED EDITION RISE OF THE FREE SHIRTS!

 

To order these nice shirts, please fill out this form: http://bit.ly/2wMcYtl

This day is about learning a few things about being a freelancer in today’s times. It’s also a day of cultivating relationships. Won’t it be more fun and exciting if you go on this journey with other people? I’ve been a freelancer since 2008 and let me tell you that I have made friends and these friends have been with me, supporting me through the “thick and thins” of my freelancing and entrepreneurship career!

Let’s show the world the power of the Filipino Freelancer. Get ready for the Rise of the Free!

Love,

Mommy Ginger

 

 

 

 

P.S. For those who haven’t bought a ticket yet, you still have time! Please visit this link: http://manilaworkshops.com/events/thefreelancerfair2017 Online registrations will close on August 30, but we will accept walk-ins. ONLY PREPAID ATTENDEES THOUGH WILL GET LOOTBAGS 🙂 🙂 See you!

P.P.S. Please join our newly created The Freelancer Fair Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/thefreelancerfair/

 

I am an avid fan of Shark Tank. I love watching Start-up pitch their ideas, even if some are super unprepared. I love seeing the different ideas that people have. Man, there are a lot of unique and creative ideas. I love taking note of the judges questions and I am always amazed at how good they are with numbers. I think Shark Tank is the only show that I watch where I have my notebook by my side to actually take down notes. You may laugh at me (haha!) but I do learn a lot from this show.

In my mind, the end goal really of the start-ups joining the show is either to raise capital (which is pretty normal) or to gain enough publicity to build traction. And for the rest of us watching the show, it’s really for our entertainment and education. Anything that I could learn from, I love!

Imagine my delight when I was invited to the Final Pitch press conference. I didn’t get to go (because I had to focus this week on Taxumo, but I decided to share it anyway. The Final Pitch is something like Shark Tank. The show will challenge entrepreneur contestants in every way — from exploring funding options, refining their business plans, and marketing their products and services. The show is set to air on History Channel this May, 2017

creator-of-the-final-pitch-john-aguilar-2

“The Final Pitch aims to help entrepreneurs find success by connecting them to investors who can finance them, and to mentors who can fine-tune their businesses—reducing risk factors and boosting growth potential and sustainability,” shares the creator and host of The Final Pitch, John Aguilar.

The show will make entrepreneurs go through a series of challenges that will test their creativity, motivation and character. At the same time, they will learn the secrets behind the success of their potential investors, who are also tasked to handpick the top finalists to proceed on the show.

L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata

L-R The Final Pitch creator John Aguilar, venture capitalist Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, CEO of MFT Group of Companies Mica Tan, Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong, and Chairman and CEO of Catala Corporation Joseph Calata

For Jose ‘Jomag’ Magsaysay, founder of a well-loved global food brand and one of the investors on ‘The Final Pitch’, his picks for the show would be based on whether or not he can see them as future business partners. “I’m looking for people who deserve a break, as I believe in the person more than the business,” he shares.

self-made-billionaire-and-the-youngest-to-become-the-chairman-of-a-publicly-listed-company-in-the-pse-joseph-calata

Other investors include the multi-awarded Chairman and CEO of the Sterling Group of Companies and SL Agritech, Dr. Henry Lim Bon Liong; self-made billionaire and the youngest chairman of a publicly-listed company in the PSE, Joseph Calata; and lastly, 25-year old millennial CEO of the angel investing group MFT Group of Companies, Mica Tan.

In addition to the potential funding from the investors, contestants will receive business coaching from an esteemed lineup of mentors, who are composed of well-known business experts and inclusive business champions, namely Department of Trade and Industry Secretary, Mon Lopez; former President of MicroVentures, Inc., Senator Bam Aquino; Chairman of Start Up Village, Prof. Jay Bernardo and; President of the Ateneo Center for Entrepreneurship-Masters In Entrepreneurship (ACE-ME), Dr. Andy J. Ferreira, among others.

I think this is a good initiative, because (1) Filipinos need to see that there are a lot of opportunities out there — opportunities to solve problems, opportunities to innovate and opportunities to make a difference; (2) We need to stir up the start-up ecosystem in the Philippines and having more publicity for the entire industry is good (in that way, we, startups won’t have to explain what we actually do, especially to our friends and parents. haha!);  and lastly, (3) We need to strive to be better than we are and let go of that “okay na ako” attitude. We, Filipinos, are very talented individuals and it’s such a waste to see people full of potential not maximize their talents and skills.

So there, these are the reasons why I, personally think, that we need shows and other activities like this. Will we join this competition and represent Taxumo? Maybe. We will have to think about it! haha!

But for those who are ready to join, here are some details:

To join The Final Pitch, applicants will be required to fill up and submit an online entry form to The Final Pitch via its official website www.TheFinalPitch.ph Deadline for submission of entries is until March 17, 2017. Investors interested in becoming a part of the show or investing in the entrepreneurs behind the scenes may also get in touch with The Final Pitch through through its website.

*The Final Pitch’ is produced by Streetpark Productions Inc., the company behind the longest-running real estate and construction TV show Philippine Realty TV. For more info and for sponsorship and partnership inquiries, visit www.TheFinalPitch.ph or call 0917-8136674.

Goodluck to all my readers who want to join! Message me so that we can all watch you!

We make decisions — decisions that will form our destiny. I do not think that destiny is something already planned out for you. I believe that you make things happen. You create your own destiny.

There was a time, three years ago, when I couldn’t keep still. I was looking for that something that would make me happy. I was looking for something that would make me feel more fulfilled. After a few months, I actually found it. It was right before my very eyes. It was something that I created, called Manila Workshops with the main intention to help other people find their own path that would make them feel happier, too, and more fulfilled. This path that embraced continuous learning was then advocated by other people, who I lovingly call Team Manila Workshops.

We continue on our journey to help execute learning events since we each believe that we all have a lot to learn and we should commit to learning something new everyday. We have seen how learning positively affects people’s lives and how it brings people closer to their entrepreneurship goals.

I was curious to know why entrepreneurs like me made that big leap into starting their own business. Was it because of a dire need for extra cash? a need to have more time for themselves? a need to explore and satisfy their curiosity? or a need to change the world and make a difference? Here are some of their reasons.

 

It’s amazing that we all have our own reasons why we started our businesses, and I believe that these people are all successful, not because of the magnitude of their reason, but because they were/are clear on what they wanted to happen. I recently came across a form that asked me what my own definition of success was. I actually forgot what I wrote, but I thought about that question even after submitting the form.  Then I came up with this definition…

Success comes in all shapes in sizes all throughout an entrepreneur’s journey. Success is having a clear end goal in mind and working with grit, tenacity, and respect for others along the way. Then, success becomes achieving personal dreams and aspirations — having the capacity to enjoy life to the fullest! And then lastly, success becomes a journey in an awakened path where your main goal is to help others achieve their own successes.

Starting a business is hard, and not everyone makes it alive in this journey. I am no expert. In fact, I am currently walking on this journey, collecting more Pokemon balls with others, in order to gain more XP. We can never put any limit to learning, because the path just gets harder and harder (you will need more raspberries and great balls). But you are not alone. In times when you feel down and miserable, just go through the slides above and be reminded that there are others ahead of you, clearing the path and their making it easier for you to tread on.

PS. Thank you to all those who contributed their thoughts! I apologize as I could not include all those who replied and sent messages. I appreciate and love you all! I hope I will be able to meet and talk to each one of you in the future!

Ad for Taxumo