Monday, January 27, 2003

Journey on Entrepreneurship: Rejoinder

NOTE: This article was first published in The Manila Times - Business Section.

Thanks to our readers for their participation in our Journey on Entrepreneurship.

From Dr. Josie Isidro (

“I thought the entrepreneur is always on the look out for profit. You were just having fun it seems when you set up your store. Now this never-ending search for profit is something interesting. Since when did it start and why has it so addicted all of us that life pretty much revolved around it for majority of us.”

From Nonet (

“Hello. I have just read your article and maybe could compare with those that have been successful (but not really in the big bucks league). Just like the nephew of my wife who has a regular stall in the sidewalk of Tutuban, Divisoria (for which they pay only P6,000 a month). Their capital of P30,000 earned double in their first month. They start selling at 7 p.m. and end around 12 midnight. They usually sell girls’ items like bags and dresses; but this year’s bestsellers are novelty necklace and bracelets (very popular among the teenagers and those who still like to act like one).

“I do not know if these items are some of those you tried selling in Eastwood. They usually cost P50 each and can be sold at P100 to P150 each. Considering the place (Eastwood), people go there to have a good time but not really buy something. People go to Divisoria to shop.

“You really need something that will catch the interest of the Eastwood crowd. Novelty bags could also sell; those worth P100 can be sold for P200 to P250. We have observed that specialized items sell more, as in, if you go selling bags, then sell only bags. Food and delicacies will also sell. It’s really hard to sell in that place stuff like mugs, dolls, shirts, toys. I don’t think items worth more than P250 could really sell well in Eastwood since the market there is still the middle class.”

I also received text messages and phoned in comments from my friends who read the column last Monday. I have taken the liberty of translating a number of these reactions from Filipino to English:

• Ah, so you have plenty of money. Why didn’t you just loan the money to us?

• Why did you go into such a high-risk venture? You should have just spent your money traveling and shopping instead of losing it. Not to mention the time and effort you put into your business.

• You should have done this ...

• You ought to have done this ...

• You should have sold food items. People will always buy food even if they don’t have money.

• Employment is better than going into your own business. No losses. You rake in profit every 15th and end of the month no matter what happens to your company.

• Wow! I admire your courage. I wish I were as courageous.

• You mean you actually convinced people to splurge last Christmas? You contributed to the commercialization of Christmas. Shame!

• I envy you. I have long wanted to go into business myself. But I am terrified.

• May I join you in your next venture? But let us plan it very well so that we can ensure profit.

• I will invest in your venture next time.

• Maybe you don’t have a business and marketing plan, that is why you lost. You should have made lots of profit.

• I don’t like that. Working during the holidays? I need at least eight hours sleep every night. What about my social life?

• You are both hardworking. You are employees during the day and businessmen at night. Wow!

• I went to Eastwood. I did not see you there. I should have bought something from you in the name of friendship.

• If I did not buy so many umbrellas from you maybe you would have lost a lot more.

• Why did you lose? Don’t you know your accounting? High operations cost, low markup? What kind of business strategy is that?

• There are really many entrepreneurs among employees. They sell everything in the office from food items to jewelry. Teachers are entrepreneurs by necessity.

• Your column is inspiring and educational. Write more about entrepreneurship.

• Okay, now we will buy and read Manila Times. We want to read your “dyaryonovela.”

From Jong Villanueva (

“Late last year when I resigned from work I went to Alaska, upon the advice of my friends, to look into possible business ventures.

“There is, indeed, a big opportunity for Filipino entrepreneurs in Alaska. There is a sizable market with high purchasing power among the Filipino-American. There are, at least, 12,000 Filipinos working and living in Alaska. The majority is in Anchorage. They are not your ordinary caregivers and teachers. They work in the canning, health care and oil companies. They are mostly highly skilled and technical employees. A number are in managerial positions. Alaska offers the highest wages in all of the USA plus financial subsidies. These wages are state-tax free.

“Some of the likely products an entrepreneur can introduce in the Filipino community are Filipino films and TV shows, entertainment offering Filipino music and food, shipping of balikbayan boxes, dollar remittance services to the Philippines, and many others. Think of what sells here that could also sell to a Filipino anywhere.”

You could easily surmise from these comments who are hunters and who are farmers; who have the entrepreneurial motivation and who would be content with the trappings of employment. It will be fun and educational to have more readers participate in this workshop.

So on to our Journey on Entrepreneurship. Next issue: What pro-ducts sell? We shall first concentrate on entrepreneurs who actually own and run their business. We shall answer all those issues raised. Much later, we could tackle being entrepreneurial as an employee, boss or subordinate.

Ms. Moje Ramos Aquino is president of Paradigms and Paradoxes Consultants and will be happy to receive your participation via

No comments: