I started this business becauseâ€¦I received a Full Merit Scholarship that would pay for all my years of enrollment in university. Thankful for this blessing, I promised myself that I would find a way to give back. I initially had plans of going into the corporate world for a few years and then eventually starting my own business and when I was "stable" enough, I'd give back somehow. Just like any millennial though, I was impatient. I didn't want to wait all those years. That's when the idea of my social enterprise, Tejo, began.
Before I started my business, I wasâ€¦I was a fresh university graduate looking for work that would be a combination of something that would earn me a living, something that I would enjoy and something that would give back. Tejo fit all three criteria.
What's your favorite part of your job? What I love the most is the empowerment our livelihood program provides our weavers. They're all mothers from underprivileged communities. Just like us, they have many dreams for themselves and their families; they, too, want better. They just don't have as much access to opportunity. Our program is about more than just money. By empowering a mother with livelihood, you empower her children and her family with the hope that hard work and opportunity can uplift them. By empowering a mother, you start ripples of hope that spread within the community.
What are you working on now? Any new exciting projects in the pipeline?
Weâ€™re working on a brand extension and introducing new products over the next few months. We also have exciting collaborations!
What advice would you give to someone considering being an entrepreneur focusing on Pinoy-made products? The Philippines would be very different if we all took on our responsibility to help her. It can be overwhelming to know where to begin; it's important to start small, but dream big. Focusing on Pinoy-made products empowers our local communities that produce them. It also shows our clients that items that are proudly Filipino can compete alongside imported ones.
Book Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Travel destinations Different beaches around the Philippines