MANILA, Philippines—Remember when lechon manok was the biggest thing? That was in the 1980s. Ten years later it was shawarma.
Then there was the past decade’s icy drinks with chewy sago. That has given way to the now ubiquitous milk tea.
So what kind of business would be the next big thing? This, said Senate trade committee chair Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, is what he is often asked.
There is no fail-safe formula for a jackpot enterprise, said Aquino, a known advocate for micro-entrepreneurship before being elected to the Senate.
“There are factors. It depends on your location, how well you can raise capital and your own personal skills that you can use to make your business prosper,” the senator said.
Sometimes, the same business formula fares better or is more acceptable in a certain area but not in another.
Or a specific businessman engaged in the same business with a dozen others succeeds at a faster pace because he is equipped with better people and management skills.
Aquino lamented that while young Filipinos were often advised to engage in business and become their own bosses, they were not trained to do so or even assess the risks.
“We have a few bright lights,” he said, noting the small businessmen heralded by Go Negosyo, which celebrates successful microentrepreneurs.
“But these are those who took risks and went through a lot of challenges. Unfortunately, that kind of mindset is not common among Filipinos. Maybe we can consider asking the DepEd (Department of Education) to include entrepreneurship training and mindset as part of the curriculum we teach our children,” Aquino said.
“While a child is young, he can be oriented to the concepts of saving, the proper handling of money and the possibility of using his savings for a future business,” he said.
The senator pointed out that as it was, 92 percent of all businesses in the country were at the microlevel.—Cathy C. Yamsuan