Be patient and persevere. This was the message to the hundreds of entrepreneurs as the Filipino-Chinese business community came out to support of Go Negosyo’s3M on Wheels free entrepreneur mentoring event last January 21 at the SM City San Lazaro in Manila. Go Negosyo Founder Joey Concepcion thanked the mentors who participated, specifically the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry Inc. (FFCCCII) which he said has consistently supported MSME mentoring throughout the years.

Dr. Cecilio Pedro, FFCCCII’s Vice President and thefounder of Lamoiyan Corp., delivered his special message of support, encouraging the attendees to never give up, and practice the three M’s: “magtipid, magtiyaga and magsipag”, putting his own spin on the three M’s that the event promotes, which is access to money, markets and mentoring.

“Giving up is not an option. Ang sumuko, talo,” he told the hundreds of small businessmen at the event. “We hope all of you will succeed and become entrepreneurs, because we need entrepreneurs to help our economy,” he said.

Dr. Pedro was joined by veteran entrepreneurship mentor Tess Ngan Tian, the Area Vice President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Joining them were Jaypee Morales, Rhoda Caliwara, Dr. Jenn Ramos, Lily Lim, Sarah Deloraya Mateo, Dr. Mary Gaw So, Dr. Elton See Tan, Fe Bautista Zulueta, Michael Lui, and many other successful entrepreneurs and businessmen. ChinoyTV’s Valerie Tan hosted the event.

Manila Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto welcomed the MSMEs on behalf of the City of Manila, saying that the city has always been a cradle of business and industry in the country. SM Supermalls’ SAVP for Operations Johanna Rupisan echoed Nieto’s support of MSMEs. She said SM Malls does business with some 15,000 MSMEs, and provides an inclusive and thriving environment for thousands of MSMEs.

During the event, Concepcion personally mentored some of the participants, including Virginia Lorenzo, a person with disability in her four limbs. Virginia buys handsoapin 50-liter containers and repackages them in 500-ml pump bottles, which she sells directly and online via Facebook. Concepcion advised her to improve the branding of her handsoap and offered to link her with mentors who specialize in marketing personal care products.

Also among those he mentored were businessmen engaged in the food industry, who expressed concern over the rising prices of ingredients like sugar and flour. “2023 will be better for the country,” Concepcion assured the entrepreneurs. “This 2023, I see commodity pricesstarting to go down,” he said. “Challenges will still be there, but the Philippines’s growth will continue, especially now with travel and tourism resuming.”

He promised to hold even more programs for MSMEs, and encouraged small entrepreneurs to actively seek out assistance and guidance for their businesses. “MSMEs need mentorship, along with access to money and markets to succeed. We at Go Negosyo, through our 3M on Wheels events, bring these to where the entrepreneurs are, and we and the government are always here to lend them a hand.”

During the event, Go Negosyo gave away a total of Php250,000 in cash as capital to lucky participants. Specialists in business financing and market solutions were also on hand, including BPI Banko, Maya, Lazada, PLDT Enterprises, Wilcon Depot, Lalamove, McCormick and Kettle Korn, as well as the Department of Trade and Industry and Small Business Guarantee and Finance Corp.

3M on Wheels started as Mentor Me on Wheels in 2018 and was inspired by the growing number of Filipinos turning to entrepreneurship to lift themselves out of poverty. The initiative filled the learning gap in the entrepreneurial journey of MSMEs, and turned mentorship into a solution that addressed the capacity-building need of Filipino entrepreneurs.

3M on Wheels is a program of the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (Go Negosyo). In addition to free one-on-one coaching for active and aspiring entrepreneurs,financing and market solutions are also made available to them during the monthly, mall-based events.

3M on Wheels is expected to roll out to more urban areas across the Philippines this year.