6 young entrepreneurs recognized as 'NxtGen in franchising'

Sam Christopher Lim, Senior Vice President, Francorp Philippines

Posted at Oct 04 2015 12:06 PM | Updated as of Oct 05 2015 06:06 PM

From left to right: Bing Sibal Limjoco (PFA), Joanne Bernardo-Endaya (Happy Helpers), Jasmine Sarmiento (Beauty & Beyond), Homer Alvarez (Blue Nektar), Hans Yao (Paper Stone), Joseph Calata (Agri), Joanna Pinon (360), and Ginbee Go (BPI Family Savings Bank)

MANILA - Now on its 20th year, the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) continues to stimulate the growth of the industry by ushering in the next generation of franchise leaders.

On September 30, during the industry’s most prestigious awards event, the Franchise Excellence Awards (FEA), six young entrepreneurs were recognized as the first ever “NxtGen in Franchising” finalists.

The first NxtGen in Franchising Award seeks to promote franchising as a tool to accelerate business growth and recognize the brands and businesses that can scale up through franchising. It seeks to recognize young entrepreneurs who can be the next franchise leaders in the industry.

After an exhaustive search and selection process that yielded entries from north to south, the esteemed panel of judges chose finalists and a winner by judging each entry’s franchiseability and the owner’s ability to communicate the idea.

Agri, with its concept of a one-stop-shop of agricultural inputs, was declared the top winner and named the first ever NxtGen in Franchising awardee. Aside from providing a wide variety of products, the company also aims to enrich the buying experience of the consumers by providing hands-on demonstrations, technical advice, pre-sales and after sales support, training, and special promotions.

Established in 2011, it now has close to 100 outlets all over Luzon and is poised to expand across the country to help Filipino farmers become more productive.

Other finalists recognized during the FEA night were 360? Fitness Club, a fast, fun, and effective alternative workout for busy, young professionals. The club’s friendly and supportive atmosphere is a stark contrast to traditional gyms, and all its workouts are based on science.

Also making it to the finals was Beauty & Beyond, a skin and beauty services center that offers high quality products and excellent services at a more affordable price, advocating the idea that feeling and becoming beautiful is not a privilege but a right.

Joining the list of NxtGen finalists is BluNektar which offers cake shakes and dreams of becoming a recognized and respected beverage chain in the country. Its owner, who used to work as a bartender on a cruise ship, drew inspiration from the concoctions he prepared and thought of coming up with a beverage that evokes fun minus the alcohol.

As a testament to the wide reach and application of franchising, the next finalist recognized was Happy Helpers, a social enterprise that provides reliable and quality home services and, at the same time, provide livelihood opportunities to women living in Gawad Kalinga communities. It sees the rise of businesses catering to home services for advocates of vertical living. Happy Helpers opens a golden opportunity to offer professional and quality housekeeping and maintenance services to help Filipinos keep their homes in tip top shape.

Rounding up the list of finalists was The Paper Stone, a chic and trendy premium stationery and paper goods store that specializes in designs that delight. The store offers something for everyone - from scrapbooks and journals, to pens and eco-friendly pencils made from recycled newspapers; from craft stamps and stickers, to quirky erasers and lifestyle products.

Despite the varied nature and industries of the NxtGen finalists, what bound all of them together was their ambition and purpose. They look at hundreds to thousands of stores, and look at their market not in terms of the hundred million in the Philippines, but the hundreds of millions in ASEAN and internationally. And they see their social mission as integral to their business and not just another Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project.

With such strong businesses and owners who bring the standards of excellence and service to the next level, the franchise industry is strongly poised to continue growing for the next 20 years.

The NxtGen in Franchising Award is the first phase of the global search for the next generation of franchisors. To join the international contest and get a chance to win a trip to the United States together with an opportunity to network, make a pitch, and promote their ideas and concepts at the Next Gen in Franchising Summit to be held in the U.S., apply at http://nextgenfranchising.org/. Deadline is on October 30, 2015.

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Franchise Talk is a content partnership of ABS-CBNNews.com with Francorp Philippines. For more on franchising, contact Sam Christopher Lim at [email protected] or visit www.francorp.com.ph