1,800 delegates participate in the 8th RYEC
With the theme, “Creativity and Innovations to optimize Entrepreneurship,” the Camarines Sur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CSCCI), in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur, held the 8th Regional Youth Entrepreneurship Congress (RYEC) on November 17 to 18, 2022 at the Capitol Convention Center, Capitol Complex.
Over 1,800 delegates from all over the Bicol Region attended the said event. Meanwhile, the Ceguerra Technological Colleges Inc. of Iriga City bagged home P10,000.00 for being the largest delegation with 331 student-participants during the RYEC.
This year’s RYEC focused on showing how the innovative and creative skills of the youth can be anchored to financial freedom and personal growth by creating an engagement between successful entrepreneurs and the youth with the goal of sharing an entrepreneurial mindset. The RYEC served as an excellent opportunity to provide an avenue for networking, business matching, and socializing among students and stakeholders. The two-day event aims to help stimulate provincial efforts to boost the local economy.
“Nag-attend po ako dito kasi gusto kong matuto sa mga successful businessman/woman kung paano sila nag succeed sa business nila at kung papano sila nag cope up sa struggles nila nung nagsisimula pa lang sila,” shared Jonalyn Beltran, a BS Entrepreneurship student from Governor Mariano E. Villafuerte Community College- Tinambac.
As one of the thousands of participants in the event, Jonalyn was very enthusiastic about the learning opportunities presented to them. According to her, “Sobrang significant nito kasi yung mga entrepreneur-students ay nagiging aware at nabubuwag yung pananaw nila na hindi madali yung pagsisimula ng business. Pagdadaanan mo talaga yung hirap bago mo makamit yung success. Dahil sa pag-conduct ng ganitong event, marami pa sa amin ang na-encourage na i-pursue ang maging entrepreneur someday,” she added.
The four plenary sessions of this year’s RYEC focused on creativity and innovation stories and borderless online business ideas, which were discussed by successful entrepreneurs from different industries as speakers to inspire the youth and begin a business with a creative pursuit.
The first plenary session, titled “Creativity and Innovations Stories,” highlighted the narratives and tales of success stories of leading youth-managed enterprises, content creators, and business owners. While “Big Build on Digital: Borderless Online Business Ideas,” the second plenary session focused on local business opportunities by learning through digital and electronic establishments and strengthening the innovations of the e-commerce industry including online selling. Furthermore, a brief overview of what is coming in the technological innovations and current status of the digital marketing and strategized e-commerce was provided in the third plenary session titled, “What’s Coming.” Lastly, the fourth plenary session, “Make it happen,” presented socialized youth entrepreneurship and engineering youthful entrepreneurial dreams into reality and success.
Among the speakers who are most popular with the delegates is the Bicolano content creator known in the online world as “Conyo Bicolano,” who became famous for his creativity in promoting the Bicol region through his vlogs using the Bicol language in a Conyo way.
To share their success stories in their respective businesses, local entrepreneurs, namely, Hanilyn Hidalgo of Nesting Place, Rowena Briones of Zans Gallon Milktea, Rodrigo Bonggao Jr. of 94 Cycle, and Minerva Formalejo of Happy Pixies and Events, were also invited as speakers.
Moreover, highly-respected entrepreneurs such as Abu Shafiqur Rahman of I-MAP Websolutions Inc., Emerson Fonseca of NEM Blockchain Philippines & Coin Sessions Entertainment, Gabriel Avelino Sampedro of Philippine Conding Camp, Analiza Sabdao of FitsLanguage, Jojo Gumino of AGRABAH Ventures, and Arturo Polo Gabriel of Avyan Global were also invited to the event. Apart from their businesses, they also tackled inputs on how businesses succeed in the digital platform and how technological innovations help businesses thrive because of them.
Being in the pandemic for two years, holding such big gathering is fulfilling for the 8th RYEC Chairperson, Amelia Cadiz. She delightfully said, “We have been in a pandemic for two years. Kakaiba yung feeling that we are already given a chance na magkaroon ng face-to-face event. Ang kagandahan sa ating event ngayon ay yung ating mga guest speakers are very relatable, they have humble beginnings and most of the youth here are probably looking up to these people, to learn from them and put their creativity and passion into business, too.”
Apart from the plenary sessions and talks by the speakers, among the highlights of the two-day event is the Business Pitching Event for start-up businesses wherein Entrepreneurship students from different schools presented their products to potential investors who can help fund their businesses.
Compared to the previous RYECs, Cadiz emphasized the idea of conducting the Business Pitching Event this year as part of the advocacy of the CSCCI to give back to the youth. She shared, “Meron tayong business pitching event for the first time. For the past years, puro tayo talk on encouraging the youth to be entrepreneurs. At least ngayon, nabibigyan ng CSCCI ng opportunity ang mga kabataan na ito na tulungan sila sa kanilang pagnenegosyo.”
“Napakaimportante na merong organizations na tumutulong sa youth so that they will be encouraged to have their own business. Kasi ‘pag bata ka pa, kadalasan feeling mo [eh] wala kang kakampi—wala kang pera. Advocacy ng CSCCI na tulungan ang mga kabataan to succeed in pursuing their dreams. We are here to give back to them through these kind of events. Nagbibigay tayo sa kanila ng oportunidad dito,” she added.
Prior to the RYEC, the pre-selection business pitching presentation was conducted on November 10, 2022 at the Avenue Plaza Hotel, Naga City. Students from Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC), Partido State University (PSU) and Bicol State College of Applied Science and Technology (BISCAST) participated in the said event. A total of six start-up pitches from different schools were presented.
The top three finalists, namely, Oragon Shop by Paul Andrew Pisig of CSPC, T&D Crackers by Antonio Sermona of CSPC, and P&M Nature Food Products of PSU were able to present at the business pitching event during the RYEC. All presentors received a cash prize of P20,000 as an addition to their capital. Moreover, the business pitching event paved the way for the CSCCI investors to invest in start-up businesses not only to provide a capital infusion to the business proposal presented but also to represent partial ownership of the business in terms of percentage.
“The CSCCI is always thinking about accepting the challenge of creating an inclusive business community that is open to anyone who possesses the spirit of entrepreneurship. We see great potential in empowering the youth. We are inspired by innovation, passion, and courage,” said Emma Llorin, CSCCI President.
Through the solid partnership of the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur with the CSCCI, the RYEC successfully concluded the CSCCI’s Business Expo 2022. The Provincial Government of Camarines Sur continues its support for local entrepreneurs to grow and thrive in the province amid these challenging times through innovative programs and events. More so, investing in the youth by helping them develop social responsibility and giving them a voice in the community will promote and empower the idea of entrepreneurship across all generations.