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Finding inclusive and sustainable solutions: Young Filipino entrepreneurs show passion, purpose amid pandemic

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Studies have shown that the greatest motivators for millennials is finding purpose and a sense of responsibility in their work. Being more adept with technology has also helped them to find innovative solutions in reaching their market amid the pandemic.

Three young entrepreneurs Victoria Kristina C. Pariña of Likha Studio; Emmanuel Caguimbal of XPERTO and Yuki Higson of Style Cat have found ways to help their businesses thrive through the pandemic while also helping fellow Filipinos overcome its effects.

Sustainable initiatives for living spaces

Likha Studio is an Architectural & Interior Design specializing in sustainability. Victoria Pariña and her business partner Arch. Butch Nera officially launched their start-up in May 2020, during the height of the pandemic, with the goal of helping their clients find sustainable, eco-friendly solutions for their spaces.

“With the limited movements, unforeseen lockdowns and the uncertainty of the future, it was a big risk,” Pariña, 28, admits. “But I guess since most of the people have been working from home, they have found the perfect time to finally revamp their spaces.”

They started with small projects like several bathroom renovations until they were referred to bigger companies. They have ongoing residential projects and they are also the LEED Contractor support for the JP Morgan Chase office project in Taguig and to Arthaland for their ongoing Sevina Park Villas project in Laguna.

Encouraging continuous learning

XPERTO is a digital solutions provider whose goal is to help professional societies thrive in the digital world and empower professionals as lifelong learners. The group developed a web-based platform that hosts virtual events for professionals and students, with the addition of end-to-end services, including registration, payment collection, virtual event platform setup, and certification.

For his start-up, 34-year-old Emmanuel Caguimbal draws from his own frustrating experiences in attending conferences that started late or was delayed because of registration issues, technical glitches, or inadequate staffing.

“It dawned on me that these problems occur because planning and managing professional development events, like seminars and conferences, become a challenge for professional societies because of limited manpower and lack of technology,” he says.

XPERTO has thrived during the pandemic, given the ramped up digital transformation, including the surge in use of videoconferencing apps for meetings and conferences. The group caters primarily to the professional societies and organizations, especially the organizations of professions regulated by the Philippine Regulatory Commission, such as the different engineering organizations in the Philippines.

Generating jobs and helping new enterprises

Creative entrepreneur Yuki Higson established her business Style Cat in 2009, making handmade accessories to sell to her college blockmates. When the pandemic began, she founded The Sewing Room, which employs highly skilled sewers who were displaced from their jobs.

 “At first, it was difficult to build our customer base since we hurriedly set up our business to give livelihood but we’re happy to have built a pool of regular clients, mostly online brands that also started during this pandemic,” the 29-year-old says.

The three millennial entrepreneurs harness their strengths and draw on their resilience to grow their businesses. They also say that strong networking skills have enabled them to promote their products and services. Pariña and Caguimbal are members of BNI Philippines, which helps them to connect with like-minded individuals at their regular meetings.

 “Do not be afraid to take risks,” Caguimbal says to those who are looking to begin their entrepreneurship journey. For Higson, it’s to continue to be engaged in a culture of learning. “A perfect plan is no good if no one executes it.”

Meanwhile, Pariña says, “Do it and trust yourself. At first, I had doubts and hesitations when my partner encouraged me to put up our own business. But I think being afraid is sometimes a good thing. Those fears, they’re good to have because they push you and they make you assess yourself and your actions. You wouldn’t know what you’re capable of unless you try.”

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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