UP ISSI is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. From its inception on 2 March 1966 through a bilateral agreement between the Republic of the Philippines and the Kingdom of the Netherlands until its establishment on 4 August 1969 through Republic Act No. 6041 as a research and extension unit of the University of the Philippines, UP ISSI continued with its mandate “to assist and promote the development and growth of the small scale industrial sector in the Philippines”.
The regular staple Tara Na, Negosyo Na, a seminar for aspiring entrepreneurs that is now on its sixth year, continued to be the banner event for this year’s anniversary celebrations. The once-a-year appreciation seminar on entrepreneurship held last 5 August 2016 became an opportunity for would-be-entrepreneurs and other business-minded individuals to be treated to a whole-day business preparatory seminar that aimed “to enable participants to demonstrate personal and entrepreneurial competencies”, according to its promotional materials.
UP ISSI officer-in-charge Dr. Fidel R. Nemenzo welcomed the participants with his encouraging remarks to the participants and explained how the Institute has been assisting businesses through the training programs its offers the whole year round.
“ISSI is here to support the [micro, small and medium enterprises] by offering capacity building programs, which has been a mandate of the Institute ever since,” said Dr. Nemenzo, as he pointed out the importance of attending seminars to hone one’s skills in entrepreneurship.
He also emphasized the role of small businesses which “provide foundation of our economy, for our national development.”
He added: “Entrepreneurs are innovators, who sustain the lifeblood of our nation which eventually transformed to economic growth. Entrepreneurship with a purpose is not all about oneself, hindi lang para sa sarili kundi para rin sa ating bayan [not just for oneself but also for the nation}. That is the big picture here at yan ang laging itinuturo ng ISSI [and that is what is always being taught in ISSI].”
Meanwhile, Edwin C. Pasahol, senior trade and industry specialist of the Department of Trade and Industry, talked about being an entrepreneur, the identification and selection of a business enterprise, as well as the planning and management of a business.
The afternoon session saw the testimonials of successful entrepreneurs. The first speaker was Crispin R. Muryong, vice-president for operations of Sunlight Foods Corporation. The company started as a backyard business in Marikina City and now supplies big businesses with their food products.
The next speaker, Atty. Dulce Blanca T. Punzalan, president and chief operating officer of FilBamboo Exponents, Inc. and executive director and proprietor of Crea8 Innov8 Marketing, talked about the inspirations she got from her family who started as small farmers and fisherfolk and the hard work they did to sustain their family needs.
Capping off the testimonials of successful entrepreneurs was the talk of Benjo M. Cruz, owner and franchiser of Lugaw Republic. He told the successful story of how a simple man could get generous returns from a simple business.
The next phase of the seminar dealt on how aspiring entrepreneurs can set up their own businesses. UP ISSI’s Ian Jester de Vera expounded on the enabling business environment for business startups. Lota M. Paras, senior science research specialist and cluster manager of the Department of Science and Technology, elaborated on access to productivity, efficiency and technology being offered by the government while Benel D. Lagua, chief executive officer of the Industrial Guarantee and Loan Fund and chief development officer of the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) talked about access to finance being offered by DBP to MSMEs.
UP ISSI’s Jocelle Mamaril and Sendy delos Reyes emceed the whole program with Claire Esteban managing the whole affair.