BY NICOLE V. BEATO
When you talk about entrepreneurship, it would be hard not to mention the man who wholeheartedly
advocates for embracing an entrepreneurial culture in our country. This is none other than Mr. Jose Maria “Joey” A. Concepcion III.Joey Concepcion is the President and CEO of RFM Corporation, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship, Go Negosyo Founder, and the ASEAN Business Advisory Council (ASEAN
BAC) Philippines Chairman. With this long list of titles, Concepcion has represented both the public and private sectors in helping those who need it most.
SMALL BEGINNINGS, HUGE IMPACTBack in 2005, former President Gloria MacapagalArroyo appointed Concepcion as the Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship. This led to the foundation of Go Negosyo, the advocacy arm of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) in addressing poverty by promoting entrepreneurship. Concepcion believes that by fostering an entrepreneurial culture, it would
enable Filipinos to succeed and boost the economy.
“Filipinos were never destined for poverty,” Concepcion has always reiterated in his speeches. Providing an enabling environment for aspiring business owners would encourage more Filipinos to try and become small entrepreneurs so that, in turn, they would not resort to migration or become unemployed.
Through Go Negosyo, Concepcion has been actively supporting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the Philippines. By pioneering different programs and projects and by promoting them through various platforms, he was able to spread his advocacy across the nation.
His programs in Go Negosyo have been launched nationwide for more than 10 years. One
of his initiatives was the Filipina Entrepreneurs Summit, an annual gathering of the most prominent Filipinas in the business industry. On its 10th year, the likes of Tessie Sy-Coson (SM Investments Corp.), Dr. Vicki Belo (Belo Medical Group), Lizzie Zobel de Ayala (Teach for the Philippines), Natividad Cheng (Uratex), and Anne Curtis Smith-Heusaff (BLK Cosmetics) joined the summit to share their stories as catalysts of change and economic progress. Concepcion has also recognized other priority sectors by launching summits and business seminars focused on the digital economy and the youth.
In addition, Concepcion shares his thoughts and opinions about the business industry
through his weekly column in The Philippine Star. He also shows how Go Negosyo has been empowering MSMEs in “Go Negosyo sa Radyo” and “SME Go!,” two weekly programs broadcast over the airwaves through radio and television, respectively.
BUILDING BETTER ALLIANCES IN ENABLING MSMES
When President Rodrigo Duterte assumed his position as the leader of the country in 2016,
Concepcion once again took up the position as the Adviser for Entrepreneurship. He was able to
continue and strengthen Go Negosyo’s initiatives through partnerships with the government and
other large corporations.
“With this appointment, we will strive more in helping Filipinos. With Secretary Ramon Lopez,
who was with me for 11 years as my Executive Director in Go Negosyo and is now the current Trade Secretary, I know that this will increase the synergy between government and private sector
for MSME development,” Concepcion says.
Since its foundation, Go Negosyo has been launching programs that would help MSMEs scale up. Concepcion has always anchored his programs on the 3Ms of entrepreneurship—money, market, and mentorship. These three elements go hand-in-hand when it comes to helping the underserved and unserved sectors of the society.
Through the Kapatid Mentor Micro Enterprise (KMME) Program, aspiring entrepreneurs are given a 10-week training with modules on entrepreneurial mind-setting and values formation, marketing, financial
management, and so on. It is a joint initiative with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), where successful entrepreneurs guide and mentor MSMEs.
With the success of the KMME Program, it has branched out into another initiative of Go Negosyo, the Kapatid Agri Mentor ME Program (KAMMP). It has been launched in partnership with the Department of Agriculture. Mentees will get to learn from successful entrepreneurs, helping them scale up their agribusinesses.
After the devastating Marawi siege, Concepcion, together with Go Negosyo Adviser on Agripreneurship Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, launched the Kapatid for Marawi to assist the internally displaced farmers
in Mindanao. With partnerships from the government and private corporations, Go Negosyo has been able to help the communities get back on track by promoting agriculture as their source of additional income. The KMME and KAMMP programs have been launched in different provinces across the country and aim to reach every part of the region.
REACHING THE UNREACHABLE
As his programs such as the KMME and KAMMP rolled out nationwide, Concepcion tried to
break the barriers when it comes to reaching the unreachable. This 2018, he has brought two additions to the numerous programs in Go Negosyo.
In May this year, he introduced Mentor Me on Wheels (MMOW) to the public. Joining him were some of
the top government officials and his partners in private organizations including DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Senator Miguel Zubiri, Johnlu Koa (The French Baker), Josiah Go (Mansmith and Fielders, Inc.), Feliciano Torres (Yazaki-Torres Manufacturing Inc.), Ma. Alegria Limjoco (Philippine Chamber ofCommerce and Industry), and Corazon Ong (CDO Foodsphere Inc.), as well as other successful