EO Philippines’s Yang says mentoring students pivotal to raising a new generation of entrepreneurs

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Young people see things in a different yet equally valuable lens and this is visible in the way they do and handle their businesses.

Young entrepreneurs think out of the box. They provide solutions to current community problems and people’s needs in a quick manner through distinct products and services.

However, they tend to act based on their instincts and look over logical strategies which are key to successful businesses.

Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Philippines Chairman Jenny Yang said mentoring student entrepreneurs is pivotal to raising a new generation of businessmen and businesswomen in the country.

“This is the fifth year that we’re holding a competition but this is the first time, under my term, that we have entrepreneurship. It is not that impactful to students to have competition only, okay you come and compete and then no more, but mentorship allows them to learn from big entrepreneurs,” said Yang.

EO is a global, peer-to-peer network of more than 13,000 influential business owners with 181 chapters in 57 countries. It was founded in 1987 to help leading entrepreneurs learn and grow toward success. Yang said they have opened the mentorship program to all universities.

“We have mentees from Cebu, they were not chosen to be a Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards [GSEA] candidates but they’re being mentored, we also have a single mom and a student who is baking and being mentored by our Cebu member,” she said, adding that they want to reach out to students who depend on their business as their livelihood.

On January 12, EO Philippines held its fifth GSEA Competition where student entrepreneur Bea Battung of University of the Philippines in Diliman won. She will represent the country at the global GSEA finals to be held in Macau in April 2019.

Battung is the owner of Prima Facie, a company that creates sneakers from water hyacinths. It was
established in 2017 in an aim to solve the problem of clogged waterways and massive flooding in the coastal communities brought about by the prevalence of water hyacinths in rivers. “Buy a shoe, clean a river. That is our company’s mission. In every pair sold from our Ananda shoeline, a pair of slippers is donated to the less fortunate,” Battung said. Through her business, Battung said she wanted to promote local industries, empower communities and advocate for environmental awareness.

Another young entrepreneur Paul Andrei Medina wanted to help solve the malaria problem in the municipality of New Corella, Davao del Norte, while providing livelihood for persons with disabilities (PWDs) through his business, Green Rubber (GRUB) and upcycling.

“Sa GRUB po gumagamit kami ng [At GRUB we use] rubber tires from scrap yards and motor shops at libre po lahat iyon [and all those are for free]. We help the PWDs, they do easy tasks like cutting of the rubber and we pay them by pair,” he said.

Medina said his business gives hope to people in New Corella, one of the 32 poorest communities in the country, especially the PWDs that they can succeed despite hardships.

“I’m a PWD myself who had a hard time applying for a job, and I wasn’t accepted because I wasn’t physically fit. With this business, there’s no discrimination for me and I can encourage other PWDs that together we can do something for the community while earning,” he added.

Medina is unable to fully use his right hand after an accident.

Recognizing the ingenuity of young Filipino entrepreneurs, Yang said their organization would continue to mentor the youth as a way of giving back to the community.

“We also want to raise Filipino entrepreneurs who are courageous to take risks to be able to create positive changes in the society through their businesses,” she said.