Filipino entrepreneurship in Dubai and Northern Emirates on solid track - GulfToday

Filipino entrepreneurship in Dubai and Northern Emirates on solid track


Aspiring and established Filipino entrepreneurs with the speakers in Dubai. Kamal Kassim / Gulf Today

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Two organisations from different sectors are in collaboration for the continuous growth of Filipino entrepreneurship in Dubai and the Northern Emirates.

These are the Filipino Social Club (FilSoC) and the Philippine Business Council-Dubai and the Northern Emirates. The former is the Dubai Government-related non-profit, non-political, non-religious community organisation, licensed by the Community Development Authority-Dubai to collaborate with multi-cultural groups and support community engagement programmes under the Philippine Government and the host country, the United Arab Emirates.

The latter is the non-profit institution licensed by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce since 2001 to support Filipino businesses in Dubai through connections and networking, as well as continuing education, mentoring and training activities.

Gulf Today learnt of the cooperation from the FilSoc-organised and hosted “Empowered OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers): Unveiling Filipino Entrepreneurial Success” held on Saturday evening in Dubai.

In that first-of-a-series of FilSoC events timeline-d for 2024, Transforma Asia owner/personality development coach/Human Resources professional Sugar Espadera-Lumingkit, EZone founder/managing director-PBCDNE-Membership director Mariben Christine Eustaquio, and I-Fern Dubai chairwoman Thelma Vargas – shared their transformation into business owners. Through the question-and-answer forum, their insights were known as they have taken into consideration first and foremost the opportunities they have had and taken advantage of as OFWs.

A major take-away from their respective talks was that while being and becoming a business owner is a common dream, particularly in these present times – as becoming the boss and the consequent cash that comes with being a successful conglomerate is the best in the world – it is a falsity that being a businessman is all glamorous for numerous bumps, no matter how man avoids, obstructions would erupt. In the end, to thrive and to grow is to seriously consider that money and talent are utilised for the good and not mainly for profit. 

All of them said that while entrepreneurial knowledge and skills must be part of family upbringing and the educational system, no one beats entrepreneurs if they learn how to listen to consumers and manpower feedback as also significant are mentorship and continuing learning initiatives and programmes.

In his inspirational message, Philippine Consulate General (Dubai)-Economics Section head Vice Consul Kenneth Jim Joseph Jimeno lauded the FilSoC decision in assisting its members, particularly those whose ambition is not only to improve their lot but more importantly become active contributors to jobs creation wherever they would be.

“I am a nurse by profession. I had the aspiration to help my family. I have varied interests. As I progressed in my career I realised and I commend FilSoC for organising this event because no one has the monopoly of knowledge. I commend FilSoC because one of the thrusts of the Philippine Government (is financial literacy and by this activity you encourage one another in acquiring the capacity and the capability) to create jobs and therefore help in nation-building. The Philippine Consulate General (Dubai) supports you,” Jimeno said. 

Among the audience was former Philippine National Police officer Bobby Rodriguez, 17 years in the UAE and a Filipino Yachtsman Club member who set up with fellow Filipinos in late 2023, the Everrest Star Furniture Factory LLC in Dubai which he co-owns. He was often heard agreeing and uttering his own opinion during the talks of Vargas, Lumingkit, and Eustaquio.

Post-interviewed, he termed the session as “helpful,” adding that he looks forward to the FilSoC-PBCDNE collaborations which would boost “our confidence as business owners.”

It was learnt that FilSoC membership is at 1,900.

From the open forum, FilSoC vice president Ellanie Villena clarified that the collaboration is only meant for FilSoC members.

She added on the margins: “We organised this event to inspire our members, 80 per cent (1,520) of which have the great potential for independent ventures. They come from the skilled and professional segments. Some have started their own businesses. Others are planning to. We want to  emphasise the ample community support available, recognising the opportunities in the UAE. FilSoC is here to empower and support its members to kickstart and grow their businesses and working closely with the PBCDNE which is more adept and experienced in building up entrepreneurs and their know-how would be a big plus for our enterprising countrymen.”

Duria on Monday said that PBCDNE is open to the possible linkages as empowering and helping Filipino entrepreneurs through networking, trainings and other continuing learning initiatives is at the core of the non-profit business organisation.

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