(A Success Story of a Young Entrepreneur)
She doesn’t need a Business Degree to prove to the world that she can be successful in business through sheer guts and determination. A High School graduate, Mrs. Cecilia D. Hapita of San Vicente Bacon, Sorsogon City, now in her late thirties, married, with two (2) kids started a Root Crops Processed Chips ( e.g. taro, camote, cassava, gabi, etc.) as well as Pili and Handicraft Businesses with a petty P500 in her pocke t and a persevering character amidst all odds. Using her innate skills and business acumen, and with the help of small business loan providers such as PALPSI and ARDCI, she was able to turn around the business into a very lucrative medium-scale entity named,“CELEX ENTERPRISE” of which she is the owner/proprietor.
Her lucky break in business accidentally started when she was introduced by Mayor Sally A. Lee to Ms. Gina Lopez (now Secretary of Environment & Natural Resources) who was able to taste the root crop products in one of her visits to the city. The Secretary, after trying other home-made products of other businesses, singled out the processed chips of CELEX ENTERPRISE, and the rest is history. Since then, the enterprise supplies 100 kilos of processed chips weekly (amounting to P120,000.00 per month) to Ms. Gina Lopez’s outfit known as “G-STUFF” at Rockwell, Makati. With only one staff in her shop at the Sorsogon City Grand Terminal, and three (3) workers at her residence-cum processing plant, she ventured into other outlets such as Mike & Gerry, One Burgos Street, Alabang Store and other strategic places. The Enterprise is now earning a gross income of about P170,000.00 per month or P 2,040,000 annually.
It’s not all “bed of roses” for Ms. Cecilia in her journey to success. Just like other mortals, she has her own personal problems which affected her emotionally. In addition, the seasonal drought affects the supply of raw materials needed for her business. Also, the perennial problem of cash shortage does not elude her during “not-so-juicy” times. And other mundane problems such as the “crab mentality” traits of some of her not-so- supportive and friendly acquaintances. Ms. Cecilia considers these as challenges and her strong-willed character urges her to pursue her dreams. No wonder, the Enterprise continues to grow. With the help of the People’s Organization composed of more than 30 farmers, the business will have its own regular workers from raw materials production to processing of processed and packaged products. Since the business is getting bigger and demand for the products increases, Ms. Cecilia joins Trade Fairs at Mega Mall, IPEX and other marketing activities of DTI and other government and private entities. It is not surprising then that the business will one day penetrate the international market especially with the additional mechanized slicer machine through the auspices of DOST which assists the Enterprise with an interest- free loan payable in three (3) years amounting to P405,000. Because of this, the City Government is currently assisting her to avail of the city’s livelihood loan. It is not beyond imagination that one day the micro business which started with a meager capitalization of P500.00 will one day be a multi-million peso business through the guts and determination of this young entrepreneur. (T. Fortes)