A NEW group of beneficiaries of a multilateral entrepreneurial initiative has been introduced recently to empower the informal economy players in the country, specifically peddlers of goods and services in public spaces, such as sidewalks, parks and markets.
Now on its 10th year, KalyeNegosyo launched Batch 2023 in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DadBudPh.
Participants are comprised of mentees recommended by DTI-National Capital Region (NCR), entrepreneur-members of DadBudPh, and KalyeNegosyo followers and applicants—a first-ever collaboration of such magnitude.
“We aimed to level-up the lives of street entrepreneurs, legitimize their businesses and make these more sustainable through education and guidance,” KalyeNegosyo Founder and President Jorge Wieneke said during the event held at the Max’s Restaurant in Forbes Town, Bonifacio Global City in Taguig, with around 80 VIP guests, previous and current mentees in attendance.
The long-time food entrepreneur, GoNegosyo Angelpreneur, Agora awardee, MSME Academy Faculty, professor and business consultant explained how it started as a mentorship program for the street vendors in Makati in 2013.
“It all emerged from a dream, wanting to give back to the community and sharing the little that God had blessed me and my wife, Jenny, with,” recalled Wieneke.
“My eyes were opened to the need to create a country of entrepreneurs. With poverty being the country’s major problem, I felt that the solution would be to create an ‘entrepvolution’ where even people from the grassroots level become entrepreneurs in their own right,” he added.
Being a GoNegosyo Angelpreneur has inspired him to pursue this dream, with the assistance of his core Angelpreneur friends who all volunteer for and support KalyeNegosyo.
From educating members of the Barangay Sembo community during its first year, the program has so far reached as far as Pangasinan, Pampanga, Laguna and Cagayan de Oro, coaching entrepreneurs from all walks of life. As one of the pioneer entrepreneurship programs in the country, it has helped participants learn from inspirational and experiential anecdotes of actual entrepreneurs through realizations that even successful people were once ordinary beings but eventually thrived.
“The idea is to inspire them to realize their dreams, legitimize their businesses and level up their lives,” said the founder and president of KalyeNegosyo.
During the event, Wieneke welcomed the organization’s new Board of Trustees, namely, former DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, former DTI Regional Director (RD) Clarke Nebrao, and financial expert Irene Oloris.
DTI-NCR Office RD Marcy Alcantara expressed how the agency has appreciated the efforts of KalyeNegosyo in helping micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) improve their businesses.
On the other hand, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez gave inspirational thoughts and led the mentees of Batch 2023 as they pledged their commitment to the entrepreneurship program.
Meanwhile, KalyeNegosyo graduate Nini Bacani and Jaypee Morales, president of the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc., shared their experiences on businesses and franchising. DadBudPh Founder Joey Ong talked about the role of dads as entrepreneurs.
KalyeNegosyo is supported by long-time entrepreneurs and MSME advocates. Its other Board of Trustees are Dean Fransisco Lapid, Jorge Wieneke, Jennifer Wieneke, Armand Bengco, Carlo Calimon, Victor Madlangbayan, and Chef Lowell Cauilan.