MORE THAN MONEY MATTERS, ENTREP-ESKWELA EQUIPS MICROENTREPRENEURSPosted by CQSalazar on Jul 31, 2012 in Feature Stories | 1 comment
Throughout its 30-year existence, TSPI has offered its clients a fair share of seminars and trainings, apart from loans. But none of these is as rigid and comprehensive as Entrep-Eskwela, a grassroots entrepreneurship and management course given by Bayan Academy and Citi Foundation to enterprising Filipino micro-entrepreneurs. Its objective is to promote, develop, and help participants in growing their business.
TSPI has so far sent high-potential clients to the seven batches of the Entrep-Eskwela, of whom some were nominees or winners in Citi Foundation’s highly prestigious Micro-Entrepreneur of the Year Awards Program. “Capacity building has always been something that TSPI tries to give its clients,” said Erness Emmanuel Guinto, planning and business development officer.
The framework of the nine-day training is based on a curriculum developed by the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation. It contains three modules: self mastery, situation mastery,and enterprise mastery. As Entrep-Eskwela is a high-level, comprehensive, and free program, participants are always carefully selected based on their potential to become successful entrepreneurs who could eventually contribute to their communities.
Nanay Remy Dy, who has been a TSPI client since 1998, said she has had countless of trainings sponsored by TSPI, but nothing was as comprehensive and educational as Entrep-Eskwela. The mother of three, who over the past 14 years had successfully moved up from direct selling to owning two taxi cabs and a sari-sari store, pointed to finance and operations as the topics where she learned the most.
“Doon ko natutunan na dapat mag-invest for my retirement. Dati, ang iniisip ko, lahat ng pera, ilagay sa business para umikot. May iba pa palang paraan para palaguin ang net worth mo (That’s where I learned to invest for my retirement. I used to think I should put all my money in the business to reap returns. I found out there are other ways to grow your net worth),” Nanay Remy said.
Finance and operations were also the favorite topics of Nanay Eden Dalumpines, who had been able to grow her food supplement business and send four of her six kids to college since her initial TSPI loan in 1999. “Kailangan siya lalo na kung seryoso kang negosyante. Kaming mga nanay kasi, minsan nasa isip lang lahat. Hindi nakalista. Hindi mag-i-improve ang negosyo mo ‘pag ganon (You need to learn those if you’re serious in business. Mothers like us usually just have these business ideas in mind, but we don’t put them on paper. Our business will not improve if that’s always the case),” she added.
Outside the classes, networking is also an important aspect of Entrep-Eskwela. Mr. Guinto said TSPI clients who underwent training have benefited from meeting new business clients and friends.
Nanay Alicia Layosol, who runs a successful abaca dealership in San Carlos, Pangasinan, became a semi-finalist in the Citi Micro-entrepreneur of the Year Awards in 2009, and brought her husband Ronnie to the training. Thanks to the learning from the training, he had since opened an internet shop. Another client, Bayambang-based agriculture business owner Elma Gabriel also brought her husband Jessie to Entrep-Eskwela, where he met Nanay Judy Simbulas, who operates a junk shop in Tarlac. Tatay Jessie, who had always planned on setting up a junk shop, finally got the jumpstart he needed.
“While the core business of TSPI is capital assistance, you cannot alleviate poverty by just extending loans. Most ofthe time, capital is not the main issue in running an enterprise; knowledge and experience matter more,” said Mr. Guinto. “Entrep-Eskwela builds confidence in our clients and their business so that they’ll work for their communities.”
As these TSPI clients move on from subsistence-driven initiatives to growth-oriented businesses, Entrep-Eskwela had been instrumental in helping them make that crucial jump. From benefiting just themselves and their families, they can now be catalysts of growth in their respective communities.
This article is a feature story published in TSPI’s 2011 Annual Report, written by Mr. Glenn Diaz, Writer’s Edge, Inc.