Aug 272014

The 2014 Inspiring Young Cebuano Entrepreneur Awardees.

For the past few weeks, the Go Negosyo team has been researching and evaluating several nominations to select the young breed of inspiring and innovative Cebuano entrepreneurs.  This is being done to create the new role models for the youth and they will be recognized when we mount the Creativity and Innovation Summit tomorrow at the J Center Convention Halls in Cebu.

This particular batch of young entrepreneurs was selected as they have shown passion, integrated exceptional innovation and applied creativity with their products and services. Aside from that, they have made an impact to the development of their communities. They will be awarded in a private dinner tonight in Cebu when we do a dinner forum which will be attended by almost 300 Cebuano entrepreneurs. They will also be recognized and honored in the summit tomorrow and most of them will also join the panel in the different forums.

Let me share their stories:

First is Gabino Abejo Jr. who is the president and CEO of Abejo Waters Corp. (AWC).  At a very young age, he directed the AWC to be one of the biggest bulk water suppliers in Metropolitan Cebu. His efforts were also recognized as he was awarded as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2010 by Ernst & Young Philippines. Abejo Waters has also given multiple areas of Cebu a water distribution system.

At 29, Lorenz Florendo introduced a new variety to the popular lechon Cebu. He opened Tatang’s Extra Crispy Boneless Lechon in 2012 aiming to provide the Cebuanos a great taste and great value boneless lechon. He wanted to change the idea that lechon is for special occasions only. He makes his customers enjoy the special lechon experience every time they dine at Tatang’s. 

Joy Anya Lim, 30, leads her colony of soldier ants, as they call themselves, in crafting world-class hand-loomed fabrics and contemporary products such as scarves, bowties, and neckties. She is the co-founder, managing director and the princess ant of Anthill Fabric Gallery. Anthill or Alternative Nest and Trading/Training Hub for Indigenous/Ingenious Little Livelihood seekers has provided employment to three communities of cultural groups.

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Erica Neal found the ‘zoet’ or sweet tooth of every Cebuano through her cakes and pastries. Coming from a family with fashion accessories for a business, Erica is naturally creative. She was first enrolled in a business course but shifted to her calling which is culinary. Zoet Cakes and Pastries started in 2009 and from then on, her store has become the home of the best cheesecakes and cakes in town. Her creativity is evident in the personalized design of cakes and cupcakes she bakes.

Koh Onozawa and Franz Ignacio made one interesting product – the Loudbasstard Bamboo Sound Amplifier. Addressing their love for music, they were able to design and create a unique and earth-friendly product which aims to change lives through music. The duo’s ingenuity merged the Cebuano’s craftsmanship with modern design. This proudly Philippine-made product has reached international market specifically in USA and United Kingdom.

A young entrepreneur started his business when he was in college.Today, RC Goldline Salesshop Corp., headed by Christian Paro-an, is now on its 17th year with nine stores scattered in different establishments in Cebu. RC Goldline is a one-stop shop for tech-savvy for they provide telecommunication products and gadgets. 

Mark Ynoc, 29, is the CEO of Ynoc International Trading which is a dealer of a variety of products: from different dried seaweeds to multi-cabs, to transformers and LED lights.  He also opened San Remigio Beach Club which caters to many tourists. Aside from his corporate work in Ynoc International Trading, Mark is doing several charity works for their community.

Promoting their advocacy for tourism and surfing, Carlo De Asis and Nico Ybañez established Aframe Surf Co. which caters to all surfers. These young Cebuano entrepreneurs, who are also surfers, have a vision to have affordable and durable apparel and accessories for boardriders. Their surfboards and apparel are made of eco-friendly and recycled materials which are designed with bold colors and prints.

At 26, Pearl Sarcuaga mastered the art of make-up. She founded Dollface Cosmetics which provides the market with quality and affordable make-up. She is the Chief Make-up Artist and Operating officer of the brand. She saw the need for make-up palettes for aspiring make-up artists and enthusiast. Now, they are distributing to malls not only in Cebu but also in Metro Manila.

Last but not the least is Nicolo Nimor who started the brand Nick Automatic. Since 2009, he leads the company in manufacturing unique and brazen lifestyle shirts. Nicolo is the brand’s lead designer and is named as one of the 20 Best Young Designers of BluPrint Magazine. By incorporating music and style in his shirts, he was able to work with different brands and personalities. Local and international bands were able to represent the brand in music festivals and concerts. 

These young entrepreneurs are a source of inspiration to the younger generation as they continue to pursue their passion for their crafts and services equipped with fresh ideas and exceptional innovation and creativity. They are leading examples to the future breed of more innovative young Filipino Entrepreneurs.

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