IT WAS IN Africa that Carmina Bayombong, child of non-government organization workers, first caught glimpse of poverty. This was cemented around a decade later at the University of the Philippines Diliman where while finishing her degree in industrial engineering, she met other students who were forced to drop out due to lack of resources.
FOUNDERS WHO were formerly employees have that one moment where they realized they had to give up their corporate careers. For Ginger Arboleda, the 33-year-old chief operating officer and cofounder of Taxumo, that moment came in 2012 when she was due to a promotion that would catapult her into an executive position at a banking giant she had been working at for more than six years.
AKABA’S 24–year–old Chief Operating Officer Daniel Lumain was immersed in implementing policies for government-run companies before the country changed leadership in 2016 and put an end to his two-year career.
I DON’T WANT to start a food business that solely sells food,” said Francis Reyes, the 25-year-old CEO of Caravan Food Group, Inc., parent company of rolled ice cream store Elait and donut shop OverDoughs. “I want to send a message through food,” he added. “I want to hire people who the usual food entrepreneurs wouldn’t hire.”
WHEN 28-year-old Katrina Chan returned to the Philippines in 2012 after finishing her studies in the US, the local tech start-up community was just in the “awareness and capacity building” stage, a stark contrast to where she came from.