While creative businesses may seem different and more exciting compared to those in other industries, they also go through the same motions that every enterprise does. Go Negosyo’s Mentor Me on Wheels aimed to shed light on this important matter.

Mentor Me on Wheels is a series of free mentorship programs in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), which gathers seasoned professionals to act as mentors for aspiring and existing MSMEs. The latest rollout was held last April 8 at the SM Mega Fashion Hall, hinging on the theme “creativity and innovation”.

Focusing on the different arts industries such as visual arts, fashion and lifestyle, and culinary arts, MSMEs were advised one-on-one by the likes of Pepe Dioko, director, producer, and writer; Rajo Laurel, fashion designer and founder of House of Laurel; and Margarita Fores, chef and founder of Cibo.

Mixing creativity and innovation

“With the right mindset and level of creativity and innovation, most of you will shine and persevere in the business community,” said Joey Concepcion, founder of Go Negosyo. “The government, with the help of DTI, Go Negosyo, and the private sector, will be here to mentor you especially in areas on how to use and source money to grow your business and on how to reach more markets for your products and services.”

Before everything else, creative entrepreneurs must reflect first on their objectives. “The first thing… is to really have an introspection and align your personal goals and your business goals… because that will [determine] the difference in terms of what you will need to do to prepare yourself for business,” said Jay Aldeguer, President of Island Souvenirs Group.

In setting these objectives, creative entrepreneurs also need to integrate innovation in their DNA. According to Bernie Liu, CEO and President of Golden ABC Inc., innovation keeps businesses evolving and growing.

“To magnify the creativity of Filipinos, we need innovation,” he said. “Creativity alone will not bring us to the global platform. It is a good foundation, but we need innovation.”