Butuan City—A group of aspiring youth entrepreneurs who pitched a business concept on the innovation of coconut husks is the winner of TuoNegosyo Business Plan Making Contest organized by the provincial local government here and the Department of Trade and Industry through its Youth Entrepreneurship Program.
Manoligao Pag-asa Youth Club of the Municipality of Carmen bested six other competitors during the final round of the competition on Jan. 5, after presenting their concept of turning coconut husks or bunot into products such as foot mats that can be used in restaurants, resorts and floating beach cottages that are presently famous tourist attractions in the municipality.
“The capital awarded to us will be used to help more out of school youth be employed through our business,” said Andrew Escalona, youth leader and adviser of Manoligao Youth Club.
Escalano said that with the help of the PLGU Agusan Del Norte, the DTI and other stakeholders, they would continue to learn more in coming up with other products made of coconut to expand their business.
In his message, DTI Regional Director Edwin Banquerigo said young entrepreneurs should remember four concepts for a sustainable business endeavor—competence, confidence, critical thinking and creative innovation.
“The department, through YEP, opens an opportunity for young individuals not only to engage in business but more importantly sustain ideas and enhance competence for them to take part in our envisioned economic development,” Banquerigo said.
Meanwhile, DTI Provincial Director Brenda Corvera said that the activity initiated with the Agusan UP pushes for nine priority industries or commodities and is a way of telling the youth to help the DTI and the province find innovation and areas of improvement on current products.
“Our aim is not only to increase awareness and to push our youth to pick a choice and go with entrepreneurship but also for them to be aware of the economic development agenda of the province,” Corvera said.
Agusan del Norte Governor Dale Corvera said the contest is just the beginning of the activities in the province, “so that the planted seeds of interest towards entrepreneurship among the youth will grow and prosper.”
TuoNegosyo, a word play of the words tuon (learn) and negosyo (business), is a competition that started in September 2020 with 10 shortlisted participating teams that have undergone a series of mentoring and business pitching prior to the finals dubbed as the Shark Tank Pitching.
Manoligao Pag-Asa Youth Club took home P50,000 cash prize, while runners-up Shecore Lush from Cabadbaran City and BunotPh from Kitcharao received P30,000 and P20,000, respectively.
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