Last week, I had the privilege to be a judge and the keynote speaker (NAKS!) at the HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards! This was such a special project for me, as I think of myself as half a businessman and half a designer. It is so important for me to make young people realize the value of business and that it’s not all pomp and pageantry. I was asked by HSBC to judge the contest late last year, and it was a great experience. There were almost a hundred applicants form various schools and universities in the Philippines and it was narrowed down to five for the grand finals!
The board of Judges were so impressive that I found myself a bit insecure being part of the panel. They were all pillars of the business industry, like Jaime Zobel, Lance Gokongwei, Alfred Xerez-Burgos and the like. (Proudly, I held my own, though. LOL! )
The board of judges was stellar! I mean, 10 major individuals in the business industry! HANEP talaga!
I was so nervous when they asked me to be the keynote speaker. All I could think of was....I am not worthy! LOL!
The prizes were staggering! That alone should inspire many others to join next year. A bit of trivia for you: 4 of the 5 finalists were from the Ateneo and the other one was from La Salle. However, most of the judges came from La Salle! LOL!
Check out the prizes! I mean, that's a whole lot of money!
It was really a fantastic experience for me, as I was really nervous giving my speech. But I guess I did well, as they gave me a standing ovation after, and all the judges stood up, patted me on the back, and shook my hand. A proud moment in my life!
Here are some images and photos from the competition. For all you students reading this, I suggest you all join next year because it’s really a major opportunity!
This group was called the Atlantis group. They won 3rd place! The business that they proposed was using the janitor (pest) fish and changing this to fish meal to use a feed for hogs. (They won 125,000.00 Pesos and a study trip to Hong Kong!)
The panel of judges! To my left was Anton Huang (Vice President of Rustan's and SSI - he is the man who is giving us most of our fashion highlights like PRADA, GUCCI, MARC JACOBS, ZARA and soon, HERMES!!! A big hug to you, Anton!) Right next to him is Lance Gokongwei. The man is like a GENIUS! He is the president of so many companies - it's a wonder how he can fit all of those in the day!
These kids won the Eco-Business award! They proposed to turn coconut leaves into plates.
I liked this group a lot! They are the Chains for Change group, whose business idea is to transform old clothes into fashionable handbags! I love how my advocacy RAGS TO RICHES inspired them! They won the 2nd prize!!! (200,000.00 pesos and a study trip to Hong Kong! MAJOR DIBA!)
The gold goes to the group called BELEAVERS! The business idea was creating semi-disposable plates from fallen coconut leaves! I loved the energy of their presentation and the banter between the two presenters were really in-sync. I also like the BARONG Tagalog outfits,as the rest of the groups were in suits. These young men stood out for me because they wore the national shirt! Plus they really had a SOLID business idea! For this, they win a whopping 300,000.00 pesos!!!! Plus the honor to represent the country in the international Young Entrepreneur Awards to be held in Hong Kong! Congratulations guys! I know that you will do very very well in the international finals!