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‘Love what you’re doing; it shows in your offerings’ – Jenkin Daquil Reyes

Jenkin’s Cakes, Pastries and Desserts was established by Jenkin Daquil Reyes in 2016, with a startup capital of only PhP1,000. This has grown a lot… considering she just started selling ice candy.

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Jenkin’s Cakes, Pastries and Desserts was established by Jenkin Daquil Reyes in 2016, with a startup capital of only PhP1,000.

Yes, this business has grown big over time; particularly if you consider that when it started, “nagsimula lang ako magenta noon ng ice candy at mango Graham pastillas yema,” Jenkins said.

But growing was sort of expected.

Mabenta na noong panahon na yun ang ice candy ko so sa kakagawa ko naging lasang ice cream ang ice candy na ginagawa. Lalong naging mabenta,” Jenkin said. Eventually, “hinahanap-hanap na ng mga tao.”

The same thing happened to the mango Graham pastillas yema, which became an ice cream cake.

Admittedly, “sa simula, natuwa lang ako sa ginagawa ko; paubos oras at puros pagkakaperahan talaga ang iniisip ko. May mga times din na humihinto ako sa pag-gawa kasi may ‘pisonet’ din ako na binabantayan aside sa paggawa ng dessert. Pero lalong nagpahikayat sa akin na mag-aral pa ng mas malalim sa baking ay ang pinagdaanan ko na anxiety noong 2018 kasi nagka-problema ako sa anak ko na hindi na ipinakita sa akin ng biyenan at hipag ko. Dahil doon, naging malukungkutin ako; nagkaroon ako ng anxiety attacks at lagi akong umiiyak. Kaya ito ang naging daan para ubusin ko amg oras ko… sa pag-bi-bake.

Jenkin moved from cakes to also learn about baking bread.

Wala akong oras na hindi gumagawa; gusto kong mapagod sa pagkilos sa para malampasan ang kalungkutan na pinagdadaanan ko at masaya na din naman ako na ito ang naging outlet ko sa pinagdadaanan ko kasi kumikita pa ako at naalis sa isip ko ang mga bagay na nakakapagpalungkot sa akin.

Looking back, Jenkins said she never thought this would eventually be her line of making a living, having finished BS Biology.

Masaya lang ako noong una na nauubos ang mga ice candy na naging ice cream ice candy na may iba’t ibang flavors, hangggang sa naging cakes na nga,” she said. “Malayo ito sa course na kinuha ko.

There remain challenges.

To start, there was the nervousness with baking since it wasn’t her field at all.

At the start, “kapag natikman ko ang gawa ko at nasarapan ako, binebenta ko. Pero kapag di ko gusto ang lasa at need pa i-improve, pinapakain ko lang ito ng libre. Hindi lahat ng gawa ko ay perfect agad kasi noong una wala pa akong tiwala sa sarili ko.

There’s also the issue of pricing.

One time, “may isang nagtiwala na teacher ng anak ko na bumili sa akin.” She sold 50 pieces of cupcakes “at lugi ako kasi hindi ko pa alam kung magkano ang ipapatong ko. Basta sa sarili ko natuwa ako na may isang nagtiwala.”

Jenkin said that “sa mga pagkakamali… doon din ako natuto.

Looking back, “sa tingin ko nakuha ko naman na ang pinuhunan ko. Actually wala naman akong gaanong ginastos kasi ang oven ko ay bigay ng ate ko na nasa ibang bansa; nakikita niye kasi ang sipag at determinasyon ko kaya niregaluhan niya ako ng mga gamit.”

At times she also buys secondhand equipment.

And now for people who may want to also open their business, what tips can Jenkin give?

Sa mga gusto mag-balak na magtayo ng business… siguraduhin nila na masaya at mahal nila ang ginagawa nila. Hindi kasi maganda ang outcome kung napipilitan ka lang gawin ang isang bagay,” Jenkin said. “Pag-aralan din ng mas malalim kahit sa sarili mo lang need lang magbasa nang magbasa para matuto. Harapin din ang mga panahon na may paglubog yun din naman ang magtutulak sa atin para umahon.

Keen to try the offerings of Jenkin’s Cakes, Pastries and Desserts? Head to FB.

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Micro-entrepreneur ‘hybrid-sells’ with the help of fiber broadband connection

Rogelia Dasco, a Cebu-based homemaker who buys and sells imported goods from the US, does her trade mostly online.

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The post-pandemic environment demands flexibility and adaptability from everyone but most especially entrepreneurs who are slowly recovering from the pandemic slump. One online Facebook seller is employing her business acumen not just in the virtual marketplace but in real life, as she does “hybrid selling” of her consumer goods.

Rogelia Dasco, a Cebu-based homemaker who buys and sells imported goods from the US, does her trade mostly online.

“The items, like lotions and perfumes, are from the US. My sister sends them, I take a picture of them, and I post them on Facebook Marketplace,” she shares.

However, unlike most online sellers, she doesn’t stop in the virtual world; When she gets to her buyer’s address, she then goes house to house in the community. The strategy pays off – she is able to sell out her goods in one afternoon instead of waiting for online sellers to finish off her inventory.

“When someone buys from me, for example, I go to their house but I bring my other items too. After I deliver to the buyer, I go to the neighbors and offer my other goods. Right now, I’m all sold out. The next shipment will come at the end of the month,” Dasco proudly says.

Supporting this diligent hybrid approach is BIDA fiber, the new mass market offering of Converge targeting the lower C and D income classes.

BIDA fiber is the most affordable postpaid broadband plan in the market today, and the cost savings makes a difference for smaller entrepreneurs.

“It’s so affordable and I’m able to save too. My old plan was priced at P 1,299 with an additional P 200 every month so that’s P 1,499. With BIDA, I’m able to save more than P 500,” said Rogelia Dasco.

The reliable connection – that can go up to 35 Mbps – also makes sure Rogelia keeps her ties with her supplier sister strong as every night they call each other through video. Even with a 3-hour video call, her husband watching YouTube videos, and her son playing Mobile Legends with friends at home, Rogelia’s connection never falters.

“I’ve really maximized my connection. It’s really good, even if we all use the internet at the same time,” she added. BIDA fiber is now available in more than 300 cities and municipalities in the Philippines and has more than 40 partner distributors selling the postpaid plan.

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How FullSuite founder Maggie Po built a startup stronghold in the heart of Baguio

There are visionaries who dare to break the mold and create thriving businesses in unexpected locales.

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In the agile world of entrepreneurship, success stories often emanate from the hustle and grind of metropolitan hubs. In the Philippines, it’s not wrong to assume that these metropolitan hubs are at the heart of either Manila, Makati, or BGC. After all, these business districts are home to some of the country’s biggest conglomerates and multinational companies.

However, there are visionaries who dare to break the mold and create thriving businesses in unexpected locales.

One such trailblazer is Maggie Po, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of FullSuite, a company that has not only carved a niche for itself but also become a catalyst for change in the heart of Baguio. Po’s journey from startup to scale-up is not just about business expansion; it’s about transforming a city, nurturing careers, and redefining the startup landscape.

Baguio as the Next Business District

The story began nine years ago when Maggie Po, fresh off her first M&A for a Silicon Valley startup, embarked on a remarkable journey. Armed with the lessons she had learned along the way, she envisioned a company that would provide startups with a simpler and more stable alternative for their back-office operations, particularly in finance.

This vision became FullSuite, a David amidst the Goliaths of heavily funded BPOs that dominated urban landscapes.

While many associate Baguio with its scenic landscapes and cool climate, Maggie Po saw beyond the surface. The choice to establish FullSuite in Baguio was driven not only by operational considerations but also personal ones. Po’s daughter was already living in Baguio, and upon closer inspection, she identified a treasure trove of untapped talent. The scarcity of global-centric companies in the area meant that the local talent pool remained largely undiscovered. This realization led to the establishment of FullSuite in Baguio, a city with abundant raw potential waiting to be harnessed.

Empowering Startups with FullSuite

FullSuite’s success story is intertwined with its commitment to nurturing startups and helping them scale seamlessly. Offering a diverse array of 27 services, FullSuite focuses on three core areas: operations, finance, and administrative support.

Recognizing that many startups face operational challenges during periods of rapid growth, FullSuite steps in as a strategic partner, allowing startups to focus on product development, tech innovation, and revenue generation.

While startup entrepreneurs and leaders are hyperfocused on the big thinking plans of their companies, FullSuite takes care of the backend work that needs to be done. Operations, finance, and administrative support are all necessary cornerstones that ensure businesses can run on a daily basis. But these support work often takes too much time and manpower that may divert from more important strategic plans and decisions for entrepreneurs.

“We are not in the EOR business nor are we on the management advisory side; we like being involved and our partner clients see a clear value on being able to have a partner six thousand or so miles away that really cares about what they do and where they are going. We offer these growth startups a simple, headache-free alternative to growing and scaling their operations team so they can retain laser focus attention to their product & tech development and revenue generation,” Po explained.

The Path to Building a Baguio Stronghold

Maggie Po’s journey with FullSuite has been a lesson in perseverance and innovation. FullSuite’s evolution was marked by continuous iteration, refining its approach to bring value to both partner clients and Suitelifers (employees). The lesson of being a launchpad, rather than a competitor poacher, shaped the company’s ethos. FullSuite focuses on nurturing its talent, fostering a culture where employees thrive and envision a bigger version of themselves.

But the path to establishing a startup stronghold in Baguio wasn’t without its challenges. Logistical constraints, cultural differences, and the evolving remote work landscape posed hurdles. Yet, FullSuite persevered, finding innovative solutions and maintaining a dedicated office-based setup. The company’s unique culture thrives on physical presence, fostering camaraderie, collaboration, and professional growth.

As FullSuite continues to grow, its future holds immense promise. The company envisions itself as the top operational concierge for growth startups while serving as a springboard for professional careers. FullSuite’s impact extends beyond business; it aims to establish Baguio as a hub for career growth, enabling young talents to start and evolve their professional journeys.

To aspiring entrepreneurs seeking non-traditional startup locations, Maggie Po’s advice is clear: embrace uncertainty, harness the environment, and develop an antifragile mindset. For fresh graduates, Po’s wisdom emphasizes being anti-fragile.

“Success is not something you achieve on your own free will.  The environment matters; the support matters; the timing matters. And if these all do not yield to your favor, it pays to be antifragile. Develop a mindset that embraces uncertainty, volatility and randomness as opportunities for growth and improvement,” Po said. “Here at Fullsuite, we train talents to become anti-fragile, to benefit from disorder. This way, when it is time for them to leave the corners of FullSuite, they bring with them the learnings and training they have been exposed to in all their years of being with us.”

In a world where startup success stories often emerge from well-trodden paths, FullSuite’s journey stands as a testament to innovation, resilience, and the transformative power of vision. From startup to scale-up, FullSuite’s story echoes the potential for greatness in unexpected places, challenging conventions and building stronger communities along the way.

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Entrepreneurs turn their passions into business ventures

With MSMEs comprising 99.5% of business enterprises in the Philippines, the need for them to adapt to the changing market and increase their reach is more important than ever.

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With MSMEs comprising 99.5% of business enterprises in the Philippines, the need for them to adapt to the changing market and increase their reach is more important than ever. Recognizing this, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has identified the digitization and innovation of MSMEs as one of their key priorities as they continue to improve productivity growth and generate employment opportunities among MSMEs. Many entrepreneurs now go online to scale their businesses through the variety of tools, features, and opportunities that e-commerce offers.

E-commerce platforms such as Shopee are not only accessible, but also a more seamless way for all kinds of businesses to go online. With its wide reach and initiatives such as Shopee’s first mega sale of the year, the 3.3-3.15 Mega Shopping Sale, sellers such as Geline and Camil are able to find new opportunities for their businesses spurred by two deep passions: love for fashion, and advocating animal rights. 

From fashion enthusiast to loungewear entrepreneur

From being an avid online shopper, Geline’s background and love for fashion enabled her to thrive as an online seller. With her knowledge of the tiangge (bazaar) market scene, she initially sold her mother’s creations of printed dresses in a brick-and-mortar store. When the popularity of e-commerce platforms grew in 2020, Geline decided to ride the wave and bring her business online selling sleepwear and loungewear that she designs herself at Trend Studio Manila

Shopee continues to be Geline’s platform of choice, even now that she’s a seller. She started joining Shopee’s monthly campaigns mid-2022, and saw first-hand how the added exposure from marketing campaigns helped her reach more customers. At present, Geline has more than 50 staff who help sew and reproduce her own designs. She even recalls being overcome with the feeling of kilig after acquiring a truck for her business and buying their family’s dream house.

“At first, I never saw myself as a full-time entrepreneur when I started selling online. Shopee has made it easy for me to channel my passion and capabilities, and grow our business in order to support my family and my staff. When my staff tell me stories about how they’ve renovated their homes or set up their own sari-sari stores, I feel so proud and happy because all of us share our accomplishments,” Geline shared.

A pet supply store rooted in animal rights advocacy 

Camil is a passionate animal rights advocate and part owner of House of Sioco Pet Supplies. Her online selling journey started with her buying pet supplies in bulk for their 35 rescued cats and dogs at home. When her husband Mac pitched the idea of selling some of the items online, Camil was hesitant at first because they were unfamiliar with this new terrain, but they chose to persevere. 

While there was a learning curve in navigating the platform, Camil and Mac’s hard work paid off. They availed of Shopee’s marketing packages and saw their orders double and even triple during big campaigns.They now offer about 800 product listings and average over a thousand orders per day during double-day campaigns.Their efforts in sending product photos, replying to buyers’ messages, and mentoring staff on excellent customer service, have enabled a culture of trust with both clients and her team. With this, Camil hopes to be an inspiration to other online sellers who are afraid to take the leap.

She shared, “Shopee gave us a stepping stone as passionate pet lovers and now a strong foundation as entrepreneurs. The opportunities that they have given us enabled us to grow our business while still delivering quality service to our customers who have put their trust in us. I hope my fellow sellers will take advantage of these opportunities and always put customer service at the heart of their businesses.”

Geline and Camil are a testament to what sellers can achieve on Shopee. This 3.3-3.15 Mega Shopping Sale, catch discounted products and vouchers from Trend Studio Manila, House of Sioco Pet Supplies, and many more! For more information about Shopee’s 3.3-3.15 Mega Shopping Sale, make sure to visit https://shopee.ph/m/3-3

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