During the opening of the Youth Entrepreneurship Boot Camp (YEBC) today, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said “Entrepreneurship is the definite way we can support our country forward.”
He went on to emphasise the need to support both formal and informal economies to create inclusive growth. Aquino shared with students from various universities that about 96% of businesses are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
Aquino has championed key legislation for entrepreneurship including the Go Negosyo Act of 2014 and the Youth Entrepreneurship Act of 2015. In his speech, he gave examples of how entrepreneurial ventures transformed communities.
He shared about the Purple Passion Jams, a social enterprise which aims to create sustainable and natural products that can help support farming communities all over the Philippines. They have started work with Ube (purple yam) farmers in Davao City create a sustainable and marketable product for their produce. From 3 hectares of land, the farmers now manage 45 hectares.
He also spoke about the Kalasag Farmers of Nueva Ecija, which is a community chosen by Jollibee Foundation to supply onions to their chain. Even though the community had a difficult time fulfilling the orders of the company in the initial years, after constant training and the creation of a cooperative, they were able to supply the fast-food chain regularly.
Currently, they supply 480 metric tons of onions to Jollibee.
“This remains a gold standard of how big companies can create inclusive supply chains. What I like about this is that it is not a simple dole out program,” Aquino told the students.
“We focus on entrepreneurship because we need to, in order to develop our country,” Aquino said.
Is entrepreneurship the key to develop a country?