MANILA, Philippines — True to their long-time commitment of supporting local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), Rakuten Viber recently gathered budding Pinoy entrepreneurs for a chance to level up their side hustles and small businesses.
Select Filipino entrepreneurs vying for a chance to realize their business dreams came to a head last July 14 at the Pinoy Dream Negosyo event in Makati City.
The event culminates a series of online challenges and activities that the top three participating entrepreneurs from the Raket PH and FoodPH Viber Channels had to undergo for the opportunity to pitch their business ideas and receive a business grant from Viber and its partners.
In the end, two budding Filipino entrepreneurs became one step closer to fulfilling their entrepreneurial dreams as they each received a business grant from Viber and its partners:
- Mon Cabsag of The Bistro Box as the Grand BESTie of Food PH category
- Richmond Argosino of Ken Goods and Apparel for Raket Mo ‘To of Raket PH category
The winners were chosen under the supervision of DTI representative Edsel John Lingon.
“It was a memorable and exhilarating experience for me. I met and interacted with a lot of entrepreneurs like me and gained more perspective about running a business,” Cabsag said.
“Pinoy Dream Negosyo didn’t happen overnight. It is a byproduct of the team’s hard work to meet and answer the needs of the Filipinos back in 2020,” said Lana Macapagal, APAC PR Lead for Rakuten Viber.
“When there was a surge in users and communities actively using Viber, we asked ourselves how we could help them further. That led us to our goal, which is to champion Filipino MSMEs.”
The two winning Pinoy-preneurs with Viber executives and Pinoy Dream Negosyo judges
Lana Macapagal, PR Lead for APAC at Rakuten Viber
Grand BESTie Mon Cabsag with Viber executives Lana Macapagal and Veronica Feleo together with judges Ruth Navarra-Mayo and Gerick Manalo
Richmond Argosino of Ken Goods and Apparel won the grand prize for Raket Mo ‘To
Viber saw an increase in the use of its channels feature during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Using such channels, entrepreneurs reach out to potential customers and like-minded individuals, allowing them to grow and manage their businesses.
Raket PH serves as a Viber channel for MSME owners and side hustlers who want to promote their side businesses. Since its launching, Raket PH now has over 203,000 subscribers.
Food PH, on the other hand, is an online food channel that helped small and micro food entrepreneurs adapt to the “new normal” during the pandemic through contactless online purchases. Food PH eventually evolved through its bot, serving as a transaction point for buyers. It has grown significantly to attract over 560,000 subscribers.
Chef Gerick Manalo, who served as judge, praised the Pinoy-preneurs during the event: “It was a privilege to get to know the participants and see them do their best as they take part in the Pinoy Dream Negosyo initiative of Viber.”
Another judge, mompreneur Nene Tamayo, thanked Viber for organizing Pinoy Dream Negosyo. “I think this competition is an amazing opportunity for Filipinos to showcase and grow their knowledge and business skills.”
“To our finalists and the channel members of Food PH and Raket PH, thank you for inspiring us. I’m hopeful that through your stories, Pinoy Dream Negosyo will continue to inspire more Filipinos to finally take that leap in pursuing their business dreams,” judge and Rakuten Viber’s Chris Aguilar added.
Viber, a long-time supporter of entrepreneurs in the country, looks forward to the next set of enterprising individuals whose dreams it can help make a reality.