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Getting to Know the Pinoy
Filipinos comprise one of the most noteworthy groups emerging as successful entrepreneurs in a global paradigm. Although they continue to face considerable headwinds, the ingenuity and resourcefulness of these spirited people is leading to substantial success in a variety of businesses.
Often referring to themselves as “Pinoy”, Filipinos as both domestic citizens and foreign emigrants are creating a culture of entrepreneurship throughout the world. These driven individuals are fashioning a fertile environment for business creation, growth and lucrative investment opportunities.
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Motivations for the Pinoy Entrepreneur
The successful Pinoy entrepreneur often begins a business as a result of crushing poverty and an inability to find meaningful employment. Jobs for unskilled laborers are not plentiful, and when they do appear, there is usually an overwhelming response that drives down wages. In often desperate attempts to provide for their families, Filipinos find that their best opportunity for a reasonable income lies in creating their own business initiatives.
Frequently motivated by dire social and economic circumstances, the Pinoy generally have a resolute optimism and inherent creativity that motivates them to accept the challenges of entrepreneurial endeavors.
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The Philippines itself has a robust entrepreneurial environment. Metro Manila is teaming with upstart businesses, many lining the streets with small groceries, street vendors, internet cafés and virtually every variety of small business imaginable. Many Pinoy eventually emigrate, taking these skills and areas of expertise to their new country where they find success in unique niches.
Unfortunately, to some extent this is also a problem, especially on the islands. These extremely small businesses account for 99% of all commerce. They also make up 60% of all exports. The lack of large corporate customers and vendors often serves an impediment to growth and expansion.
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The Philippines Government Must Act
To help small businesses thrive and subsequently grow, several improvements in infrastructure must be made to provide an atmosphere more conducive to business success. In particular, the Philippines government must take measures to improve security and afford a safer environment. The protection of civilians against theft, crime and terrorism would result in stability that would benefit business owners and consumers as well.
The government must also address confusing regulations and uneven enforcement. Perhaps more importantly, corrupt practices in government must be addressed as this creates a climate of uncertainty and distrust. Commerce improvements are also imperative to accommodate increasing levels of trade and as a result, pressure on the transportation system. Environmental regulations must also be realistic and enforced on a consistent basis.
Foreign trade is a vital component to the Philippines’ economy. Therefore policies related to inflation, price controls and tax regulation should be formulated to create a structure that incentivizes the entrepreneur to invest in their businesses and take appropriate risks.
Registration and accreditation varies greatly from one municipality to another. Licensing requirements must be streamlined and standardized to avoid confusion and to galvanize universal standards.
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Pinoy Stories of Success
There are numerous stories of the successful Pinoy entrepreneur throughout the world. Perhaps none is more impressive that that of Diosdado Banto, known also by his nickname, Dado. He was born into a family of Filipino rice farmers, while his mother was a housekeeper. His achievements in math and science allowed him to attend the prestigious college at the Mapua Institute of Technology and he graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree, cum laude.
Dado designed and implemented the first Ethernet controller chip that established a link between computers which allowed them to communicate. He also introduced the first chip set that made the personal computer faster, more interactive and cost effective.
Banto was a recipient of the prestigious Ernst and Young “Master Entrepreneur of the Year.” He was also included in the Forbes magazine, “Midas List”. In 1996 he sold his second new business venture, “Chips and Technologies” to Intel for 430 million.
Manny Pangilinan, a leader in telecommunications and founder of First Pacific, PLDT, had this to say regarding the entrepreneurial environment for Filipinos. “I was born poor, but poor was not born in me. And it shouldn’t be born in you either. You can make it. Whatever you may wish to do with your future, you can make it. It gets dark sometimes, but morning comes always. Challenges breed character. Character breeds faith. In the end, faith will not disappoint. You must not disappoint."
Josef Quiroz is a C.P.A and a successful businessman in the Midwest. He is a second generation Filipino-American who specializes in helping clients achieve the dream of home ownership. His many businesses include a mortgage company, property insurance title company, estate planning, taxation, life insurance and annuities. He has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and Orlando, Florida.
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The Spirit of the Entrepreneur is Universal
Like their brethren everywhere, Filipino entrepreneurs have inspirational success stories. It illustrates the reality that no matter what race or continent, the kindred spirit of the entrepreneur thrives throughout the world.