Monday, September 13, 2010

Believe: The Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2010

Believe: The Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2010
Business World Online
September 13, 2010

Entrepreneurs possess the creativity, vision and courage to build ventures that invigorate the business environment. They initiate change with their natural eye for business, and in the case of social entrepreneurs, through innovative solutions that address society’s most pressing issues.

The seventh year search for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines yielded individuals whose inspirational stories are a testament to the growing number of people who strive to create positive change in society. Each participant who qualified for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2010 may serve as an exceptional role model for Filipino entrepreneurs.

This year’s finalists come from all over the country, covering an array of industries including agriculture, publishing, consumer products, food, education, construction, and retail. Their businesses flourish from inspired ideas nurtured by perseverance and hard work.

One of our finalists is a developmental educator who brought a fresh approach to teaching and learning. Another is a young man who diversified his family’s construction business into a more profitable venture. One finalist began selling on the sidewalks but now runs a supermarket and distribution chain. Another entrepreneur is bridging the gap between print and digital media.

A pair of finalists works to give microentrepreneurs access to networks needed to grow their businesses. The business of one finalists started with a capital of only P10. We also have a finalist whose innovations have created a niche market with its seed-to-shelf coverage of agricultural products. An Industrial Engineering graduate used his background and leveraged on technology to successfully grow his business.

Two finalists are each making their mark in the pharmaceutical retail industry. There is a finalist who started as a career diplomat and now heads a multifaceted communications agency. One finalist has opened doors for Filipinos to have more access to luxury retail products. Another is attuned to the changing customer style preferences of the fashion retail business.

One entrepreneur is building decent communities for the marginalized. One individual’s efficiency and foresight allows him to be a successful player in the volatile construction industry. Another entrepreneur’s drive has made his business one of the fastest-growing fast food chains in the Philippines. One finalist is setting new standards for the hospitality industry with a slew of establishments. Another finalist is helping agricultural cooperatives access the export market directly.

All of them are inspiring individuals whose vision, leadership and achievements demonstrate the potential of every entrepreneur to become a market leader and an agent of change.

Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2010 was launched in March with the theme, "Believe." To believe is at the core of every entrepreneur -- to believe in a dream; to believe in every opportunity; and to believe in the future. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2010 program encourages entrepreneurial activity by recognizing the inspiring dedication, brilliance and dauntless spirit of our Filipino entrepreneurs who believe that through their enterprises they can help uplift the lives of others.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines program is assessed yearly in terms of its categories, nominees, finalists, and winners’ profiles in tandem with recent changes in the business environment. All nominees were screened using a system developed by Entrepreneur Of The Year in the United States and used in all countries that participate in the program.

Qualified nominees were interviewed and given the chance to submit additional information as necessary. The list was further trimmed to determine the finalists. An independent panel of judges will select the winners from among the finalists. The overall winner of the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines 2010 will represent the country in the World Entrepreneur Of The Year in Monte Carlo, Monaco in June 2011.

"Through the years, our program has honored many inspiring entrepreneurs who have established and sustained businesses in an increasingly competitive and global business environment. The Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines salutes these entrepreneurs who have the courage to believe in themselves, their business, and in our country," said Vic Noel, vice-chairman of the SGV Foundation, Inc.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year program was developed in the United States in 1986 by professional services firm Ernst & Young. Through the program, successful entrepreneurs can come forward and tell their inspiring stories to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit in others. In 2001, Ernst & Young expanded the program and launched the World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards.

The SGV Foundation launched the program locally in 2003 and presented its very first Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines award to Jollibee Foods Corporation President and CEO Tony Tan Caktiong, who went on to win as World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2004 in Monte Carlo, Monaco.

Socorro Cancio-Ramos, founder of National Book Store, was next named Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines in 2004, followed by Lance Gokongwei, president and CEO of Cebu Air, Inc. in 2005; Senen Bacani, chairman and president of La Frutera, Inc. in 2006; Wilfred Steven Uytengsu, Jr. of Alaska Milk Corporation in 2007; and Amb. Jesus P. Tambunting of Planters Development Bank in 2009.

The 2010 search for the Entrepreneur Of The Year Philippines is conducted with the participation of De La Salle University, Department of Trade and Industry, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine Stock Exchange, and the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. Program sponsor is SAP Philippines, Inc. Official airline is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. Media sponsors are BusinessWorld and the ABS-CBN News Channel.

Beginning Sept. 15, BusinessWorld will be featuring each finalist and their individual stories of how they have been change agents in their communities, merging excellent business acumen with insights into the evolving needs of the market, and who have dared to turn their visions into business realities.

The results of the Entrepreneur Of The Year will be known on October 12, 2010 at a formal awards banquet at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel.