Our pioneer mentors

Last Nov. 4, we held Go Negosyo’s anniversary episode featuring our angelpreneurs Jorge Wieneke, Dean Pax Lapid, Vix Madlangbayan, Henry Tenedero, Paulo Tibig, Carlo Calimon, and Armand Bengco in an episode moderated by Chal Chang Lontoc-del Rosario.

Angelpreneurs are pioneer advocates of Go Negosyo who have helped bring our advocacy of MSME development to the far reaches of the country and built the foundation of Go Negosyo’s 700-strong mentor network.

The following week, we had Josiah Go, Joey Pelaez, Cito Beltran, Chinkee Tan, Francisco Colayco, Alejandrino Ferreria, and Randell Tiongson share their stories of promoting entrepreneurship through Go Negosyo advocacy. The episode was moderated by Anthony Pangilinan.

It was a nostalgic virtual reunion filled with fond memories, laughter, and a burning passion for taking the advocacy for another 15 years. Allow me to share the highlights of both sessions.

All the way from the US, Dean Pax Lapid shared a touching message of gratitude. “There is no joy that can equal that of people working together for the common good. Thank you for planting that seed of common good,” he said.

Paulo Tibig has been with us for countless summits and SME caravans all over the country. Today, he is a sought-after speaker and author of the bestselling book, Strategies of a Champion Entrepreneur. “We have come a long way...Count on us. 15 taon na, and we can grow old with the advocacy and continuously help our fellow Filipinos.”

Vix Madlangbayan was our go-to mentor in the early years of Go Negosyo when he inspired MSMEs from Batanes to Sulu. “PA Joey has a vision and I am a man on a mission kaya pumapayag ako kahit saan ako ipadala.”

I first met Henry Tenadero at the University of Cordillera. It never occurred to us that that fateful meeting will blossom into a shared passion for entrepreneurship that has lasted 15 years. “Joey, you planted that dream in us and the dream has continuously been rolling for the past 15 years. Maraming salamat Joey at patuloy tayong umusad sa ating buhay. Andito pa rin ang ating kabataan sa ating puso, diwa at isip.”

For angelpreneur Armand Bengco, his proudest memory with Go Negosyo was when he spoke for an event held by the International Labor Organization in Italy back in 2010. Also on the panel was Mon Lopez, who shared the Go Negosyo story to the audience. “By coincidence, yung closing picture niya was me. Serendipity. I was very, very proud of Go Negosyo. Thank you very much for the experience for the last 15 years,” he recalled.

“We’d like to thank you for the opportunity and allowing us to be part of this journey and allowing us to touch the lives of other people from all over the country,” said Carlo Calimon.

In the same way, Jorge Wieneke shares that Go Negosyo enabled him to pay it forward in his own way. “15 years ago, we were just a resource person, a speaker. Now we’re doing it on our own. Thank you for putting it in our blood. I think we will grow old doing this.”

“I have been with Go Negosyo when it was conceptualized, as a representative of the Department of Education. We have been conducting a lot of activities and trainings together for so many years,” Joey Pelaez recalled.

“I’ve been able to share my personal experience, especially personal struggles in entrepreneurship. Talagang nakaka-encourage that’s why I joined this group,” said Chinkee Tan.

On the other hand, I got to know Josiah Go through RFM 30 years ago. “We have been training in Mansmith. So same advocacy [of] training people, developing people, and then we had Business Academy for Entrepreneurs. Joey was there. Sec Mon was there, so it was a complimenting advocacy,” he said.

My team initially asked Cito Beltran to moderate, but he wanted a more active role mentoring entrepreneurs. “I wanted more impact. I wanted to have a direct connection with people who wanted to start up kasi andun yung passion ko eh. Something that I’m still doing as of date.”

“Entrepreneurship has been an advocacy of mine. So when Joey asked, “Pwede ka bang tumulong?” Sabi ko, “Joey, kung ang direksyon mo ay pareho ng direksyon ko, kung ang vision natin para sa bansa natin ay pareho, that entrepreneurship is the same as nation-building, sama ako dyan,” said Andy Ferreria.

During his mentorship sessions, Francisco Colayco always stressed the importance of having a right mindset. “I haven’t veered away from my basic philosophy...which is the correct mindset. Whether you’re in entrepreneurship or finance, whatever you do, it’s the mindset that dictates whether you’re going to succeed or not...Those are very basic issues: attitude, mindset.”

“What I really enjoyed was my sessions with the young ones. We would go to Baguio and iba’t ibang lugar. There’s just the hunger of the youth to learn entrepreneurship, finance, and investing. (Then they come) full circle,” Randell Tiongson said.

I am thankful that I have met so many people who share my vision of promoting entrepreneurship as a way to alleviate poverty. With everyone’s help, we will help more entrepreneurs succeed in both business and life. That is why the advocacy of Go Negosyo continues.