KalyeNegosyo: Helping Business Dreams Come True Part 2

KalyeNegosyo: Helping Business Dreams Come True (Part 2)

Words by: Aye Ubaldo

What started as simply altruistic is now a full-blown training program. KalyeNegosyo started as a mentorship program for the street vendors in Makati in 2013 looking to level-up the lives of street entrepreneurs, to legitimize their businesses and make more sustainable through education and guidance. Having grown (and still growing!) from educating members of the Barangay Sembo community during its first year to reaching as far as Pangasinan, Pampanga, Laguna and Cagayan de Oro today—KalyeNegosyo coaches entrepreneurs from all walks of life.

On its 10th year, KalyeNegosyo further expands its coverage due in by entering smart partnerships particularly with the Department of Trade and Industry, intrepid entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates.

It all emerged from a dream of sharing God-given talents. Long-time food entrepreneur, GoNegosyo Angelpreneur, Agora Awardee, MSME Academy Faculty, professor and business consultant, Jorge Wieneke focused his capabilities to create a country of entrepreneurs.

Poverty being the country’s major problem, Wieneke felt that the solution was to create an entrepvolution that would empower even people from the grassroots level transform into self-made entrepreneurs.

Being a GoNegosyo Angelpreneur has inspired Wieneke to pursue this dream together with the help of core Angelpreneur friends and supporters of KalyeNegosyo. One of the pioneer entrepreneurship programs in the country, KalyeNegosyo has helped participants learn from inspirational and experiential models from actual entrepreneurs.

“The first and last lesson involves realizing and remembering that successful people had to start somewhere, they experienced failure, and eventually got their business to thrive. The idea is to inspire them to realize their dreams, legitimize their businesses and level up their lives”, said Wieneke.

And yes, KalyeNegosyo has helped several young entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Some sign up to change the course of their lives. Parenthood—specifically the desire to improve quality of life for their children—is the top catalyst. Completing the KalyeNegosyo course is the first step into taking a different path in life. Whatever the compelling reason, one thing is unanimous. The graduates are entirely grateful for the opportunity.

Manila-based JM Chavez from KalyeNegosyo Batch 8 recalls how he was out of the corporate world during the pandemic with a family, including a newborn to feed. The need to become an entrepreneur and to be successful in it was necessary.

Famous Food and Cooking Vlogger Nina Bacani-KalyeNegosyo of Batch 4 advises the current batch not to get too attached to their current business, and to always leave room for change and creativity. During the pandemic, Nina had to reinvent her pastillas business that was already doing very well, with a roster of resellers and shipping nationwide. “With KalyeNegosyo, I discovered that there are many ways to improve your business, change direction, or even start a new one. I had to shift from pastillas to home cooked delivery. I had to learn how to vlog, and find new markets. I had to learn new skills like marketing and social media. Through KalyeNegosyo, I learned to adapt not only to keep business going, but to also be able to provide income to resellers, and other people that rely on you.”

For CEO of RiteTea and Choco Monkey and KalyeNegosyo incubator alumnus Jaypee Morales, “My dream was to have as many branches as possible, and the goal is for my growing family’s expenses. As father, and head of family, I needed to look after their needs. I needed to learn how to do business properly, get the proper guidance. I needed to figure out how to make decisions, and learn from mistakes That’s why I sought the help of Jenny and Jorge Wieneke of KalyeNegosyo. I also learned that we’re all here to help each other.”

Says Jenny Wieneke, “The entrepreneurs who have done KalyeNegosyo have become family. They learn from, and motivate each other—and they network. Those entering the program today will become part of this.

On our 10th year, we’re collaborating for the first time with a new organization. Most of us think that only us women form groups, form communities and have a knack for business—but you’ll see that even dads do, too.

First time partner to KalyeNegosyo, Dadbudph is quite unique. Where parenthood is generally seen primarily through motherhood, founder Joey Ong’s perspective proves otherwise. Dadbudph currently has 57,000 dads as members, and is the only parenting community recognized by Meta. They saw the uniqueness of dads coming together. Today, it’s still majority women, and Dadbudph sees the need for wives to encourage their husbands to join.

Ong shares, “Family is the best motivation for success. Fatherhood prods you to reality: you have a family to feed, and you must stay alive, and earn for your family. Through the years, I’ve realized how important time is to family. Parents sacrifice a lot of time going to the office (to work) for the family. I know this personally as a father of a 3-year-old.

To become an entrepreneur is valuable because time becomes your asset. I’ve seen how Jorge and Jenny started via Tokyo Tempura. I know KalyeNegosyo is the perfect partnership that I can have for my community. It’s a way of giving back, and an opportunity to learn through KalyeNegosyo.”

KalyeNegosyo is supported by long-time entrepreneurs and MSME advocates, its Board of Trustees being as follows: Former DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez, Dean Fransisco Lapid, Jorge Wieneke, Jennifer Wieneke, Armand Bengco, Carlo Calimon, Victor Madlangbayan, Chef Lowell Cauilan, and Irene Oloris. With such a powerhouse, KalyeNegosyo continues to pursue its advocacy of helping as many entrepreneurs as they can, with the belief in the adage “If you give a man one fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.”

Photos taken by: Raymon Santos

Check out Part 1 here

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