Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Youthpreneurs

Youthpreneurs
by Joey Concepcion

As school season approaches, I decided to feature three young entrepreneurs for this “Tagumpay” column.

I am a parent with two of my children in college. One is about to finish. I am glad that many schools have started to integrate entrepreneurship into the business management programs and other school programs. Even in high school, the Department of Education has been encouraging entrepreneurship subjects. The DepEd has also been encouraging students to participate in many of our Go Negosyo events all over the country.

The level of awareness of being an entrepreneur as an alternative to being employed has increased since our advocacy started. Our books continue to be bestsellers, which are admired by many young people who want to be entrepreneurs.

I myself want my kids to start their own businesses and not work for the RFM Corporation. I do not want my Sunday family gathering to become a management meeting, which I see happening in many family-run businesses.

I also do not encourage fresh graduates to immediately start a business without the proper business plan and concept that will have a differentiation in the market. For those who want to start at a young age, a mentor is also a must. Be patient. Focus on your skill level. Don’t venture into something you do not know about. But provided you have the big idea and you have the skill to convert that big idea into a business and you are properly guided by mentors, then go for it.

These are three stories of young entrepreneurs who all converted their big ideas into their own businesses. Be inspired and learn from them.

Another young entrepreneur to admire is fashion designer Veejay Floresca. When he was 16, Veejay’s father was killed while working on a case as a lawyer. “Life went down,” he said. His mother was forced to work as a street vendor and his three siblings also made sacrifices.

Despite the tragedy, Veejay entered the College of Saint Benilde’s School of Design and Arts as a working student. He was able to maintain a full scholarship and finished cum laude with a degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising.

Veejay’s first step was to work as a head designer in a friend’s shop, which became his training ground. After a year, he put up his own shop in his apartment and converted his sala into his receiving area. With this, Veejay served as the breadwinner in the family. He was able to put his sister through school. His savings moved his family to a better place.

Because of his passion for fashion, unique and undeniable skills and natural talent, Veejay has been recognized as an icon in his industry. While some remember his stint as a finalist on the reality show Project Runway Philippines, he was also recognized as one of the 25 Best Fashion Designers of the Philippines by Mega magazine in 2007. We also awarded him as one of our Most Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs along with Alvin and Benedict.

With his recognitions, a growing number of clients and rising reputation, Veejay does not fail to be thankful for all the opportunities and blessings. He considers them “priceless.” As a way of giving back, he reaches out and teaches other aspiring young fashion designers who would like to convert their creativity into works of art and entrepreneurial opportunities. “It’s a blessing to share what I have learned,” says Veejay.

At 25 years old, Veejay keeps on adding to the long list of things he wants to accomplish. His future plans include finishing a master’s in fashion in New York or London before reaching 30.

“Enjoy youth and at the same time do something with your life,” says Veejay. “Always have a direction in life. Dream, have a goal and do something to reach it.”


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1 comment:

sheenuhbaby said...

your story is truly moving & touching at the same time. May God bless you & your family more as you continue to shine in the Philippine Fashion industry.