Steve Benitez, founder of Bo’s Coffee, the leading Philippine specialty coffee chain, was selected as a high-impact entrepreneur by Endeavor during its 64th International Selection Panel held in Madrid, Spain in May 2016.
Benitez established Bo’s Coffee in 1996 with a small kiosk in Cebu City, before the concept of specialty coffee reached the Philippines. Bo’s Coffee is the leading homegrown specialty coffee chain in the Philippines with 75 stores nationwide.
Endeavor is a global non-profit that supports high-impact entrepreneurs to create and sustain a robust ecosystem of entrepreneurship.
Endeavor’s selection process features a series of rigorous interviews, which focused on the business and growth strategy, by Philippine and global mentors.
Steve was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur because of his passion in sustainability and supporting local communities, as well as his ability to spot trends and execute business strategy. After selection, Endeavor Entrepreneurs have access to global and local business mentors, professional services, and capital to help them successfully scale their business.
“As a high-impact entrepreneur, Steve convinced panelists of his ability to build a successful business, but just as importantly, he has also supported and mentored other entrepreneurs to grow their own businesses.” Manny Ayala, managing director of Endeavor Philippines said.
Steve grew the business to 75 with 500 employees in 2015, and the company is planning on at least doubling in size by 2020. More importantly, Bo’s Coffee sets an example in the Philippine retail industry through the company’s partnership with social entrepreneurs who care deeply about sustainability and the local communities they work with.
Bo’s Coffee branches provides these entrepreneurs with a nationwide distribution channel. As a result, Bo’s Coffee empowers other entrepreneurs and companies to grow with them.
“Endeavor’s selection process allowed me to act on feedback shared by global and local mentors to scale the business. Moreover, Endeavor’s mission of supporting an ecosystem of entrepreneurs aligns with my own personal goals of using business not only to do well but also to do good,” Benitez said.
Steve started his appreciation for coffee as a law student when he realized that he would rather trade the life of a barrister with that of a barista. After an educational trip to a coffee trade show in the United States, Steve decided to put up his own kiosk with only P150,000. Under Steve’s leadership, Bo’s Coffee grew to be the largest specialty coffee store in Visayas and Mindanao.
“Bo’s Coffee is well-positioned for growth with plans to expand distribution in Luzon and Metro Manila. Further, Bo’s Coffee will push their message of supporting local communities and sustainability as the Philippines’ best homegrown brew. Endeavor is excited to provide strategic mentoring and support to Steve to accelerate the company’s impressive growth story,” Ayala said.