Pinoy entrepreneurship on upward curve

GULF TODAY - Filipino entrepreneurship continues to expand in the UAE, with two innovative start-ups unveiled in the last two months.

First is the hassle-free one stop shop Online Box System (OBS), which was inaugurated in Dubai in January.

Last Thursday saw the soft launch, also in Dubai, of the comprehensive reliable directory of Filipino professionals named Feme (Filipino Excellence in the Middle East) Connect.

Meanwhile, a street project bearing Filipino business ideas and the Old Philippines is in the works. 

Employee-turned-businessman Franie Maquinay told The Gulf Today OBS was an aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan that hit Central Philippines in 2013, as the tumultuous calamity led to difficulties in shipping aid to families or kin and friends.

He also saw the need for UAE-based Filipinos to conveniently “send gifts” back home.

“This project would not have come to life if it were not for the problems that we are facing in sending goods and gifts to our loved ones back home,” said the Online Pioneers Freezone managing director.

He said: “It took me two years to build the business. Continue pursuing your dream: search for events and activities that will enhance your abilities.”

The graduate of the “A Start-up Weekend of the Young Arab Leaders” expressed gratitude to Filipino businessman, motivational speaker and author Ximo Ramos. He said Ramos’s Successful Pinoy Ako entrepreneurial sessions have inspired countrymen to concretise their dreams, particularly that of becoming business owners.

On the other hand, the directory was the business plan submitted by career women Rachel Salinel-Los Banos, Leilani Corpuz-Garcia, Christine Garcia-Esguerra and Joanna Austria-Morales for the completion of their Ateneo de Manila University-School of Government Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship (LSE) six-month certificate course in 2015.

The course is in cooperation with the Philippine Business Council-Dubai and the Northern Emirates and the Philippine Consulate General.

Salinel-Los Banos said it was borne out of the incident where a fellow Filipino nearly succumbed to death when he could not locate or find a Filipino physician.

Garcia-Esguerra said: “Our main objective is to realise our aspirations of becoming entrepreneurs with a social conscience, as we were oriented in our LSE.”

Part of the proceeds of the free listing of verified Filipino professionals in the UAE shall fund the vocational training sessions and the children’s education programme of the Ancop non-government organisation in the Philippines.

Commenting on the Filipino entrepreneurial spirit soaring, Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said: “I think our entrepreneurship is bound for greater heights. The street project, the PO Box and the directory are new concepts, never-been-thought-of solutions to a frenetic and fast-paced 21st century.”

“These prove our capability to adapt and adopt new techniques of strengthening the efficiency of modern-day technologies,” he said.