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Driving High-Impact Entrepreneurship
in the Philippines

November 23, 2020

  •   3 min read

“Entrepreneurs have to be 3M: magaling (skilled in developing a product, hiring people, and running a business), matino (ethical), mapagbigay (expecting them to pay it forward as we go along)."

MANNY AYALA
Managing Director
Endeavor Philippines


Manny is the Managing Director of Endeavor Philippines. Prior to his work with Endeavor, he founded Hatchd Digital, a tech incubator in the country. He was a co-founder of Hong Kong based M&A boutique, IRG, Ltd, where he worked closely with the Telecoms, Media and Tech sectors. Manny is also experienced in the Television industry having spent years working for Discovery Channel and Turner Broadcasting. He currently sits on the Board of Directors of Sky Cable.

THE INTERVIEW

Can you tell us more about the work you do with Endeavor?

Our mission is to create an economic multiplier effect by helping to scale up a special kind of entrepreneur that we call high-impact entrepreneurs. High-impact means 3 things – you have the best ideas, you have the skills to create something large and successful, and you pay it forward. Paying it forward means once you become successful, you reinvest your success in other entrepreneurs by mentoring them, sharing your networks with them, and even investing in them. The goal of Endeavor is that we help you, and then you multiply yourself by 10 so that there are others who become like you. Hopefully, that next layer of 10 will create another 10. We’ve been doing this now for 5 and half years in the Philippines. In Endeavor, we have a very particular screening process. Our entrepreneurs have to be 3M – magaling (skilled in developing a product, hiring people, and running a business), matino (ethical), and mapagbigay (expecting them to pay it forward as we go along.)

How promising is the Philippine startup landscape?

In absolute terms, it is promising. The market is certainly an attractive one – a large, young country that is on the road to building a real middle class. Every year is better than the previous one in terms of funding, revenue generation and new startups. But when you compare us to the rest of Southeast Asia you see that we have some catching up to do. We lag our neighbors, particularly Indonesia and Singapore, when it comes to funding and in terms of the value of internet based transactions. In terms of access to talent, there’s a lot of talent on the ground, especially managerial talent. For engineering talent, it’s hard to find senior engineers because a lot of them end up working overseas. For most Pinoys, the dream is still to work for big companies and get big salaries. It’s still not a cultural norm to start your own company but hearing success stories can be motivating. Lastly, the Philippines does not have a robust ecosystem in terms of access to experienced, professional venture capital. We have a handful of early stage investors in the country while other countries like Indonesia will have well over 60 players.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Follow advice of Simon Sinek from his book “Start with Why.” Figure out your why and the purpose of doing. I would suggest that simply making money may not be the ideal “Why”. I’ve observed that the pursuit of purpose trumps the pursuit of money in most cases.

Endeavor Philippines is the local arm of the global non-profit organization leading the high-impact entrepreneurship movement. With a presence in close to 40 markets all over the world, the organization helps their entrepreneurs accelerate their growth by giving them access to mentors, markets, capital, talent, and a platform to give back.

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