Another researched and exclusive article by the people of the www.epilipinas.com
Filipino American entrepreneurship is somewhat lagging behind our
Asian American brothers. The Koreans are far more the most business
owners, then the Chinese. But the most successful and more sophisticated
businesses are owned by the Chinese and a small percentage by Indians
all in varying degree of success.
Filipino businesses are mostly geared to the Filipino American markets.
These are mostly small stores, restaurants, cargo shippers (balikbayan boxes),
money remittance and other businesses that cater to the "kabayan" (compatriots)
Our research shows that Filipino Americans tend to start small and remain
small. Because primarily the market is small and also because of lack
of business management in the part of most owners. By remaining at the small
manageable level the owners can keep track of the operations by themselves
and no need to move up to the next level of the business model. We are confined
mostly in our little world as our objective is to remain competitive and profitable
with no risk at all or at a minimal.
Filipino Americans are mostly not the adventurous type and risk takers.
They will try to work it out by just working and doing the business on the side.
They just want to make sure a fall back is always there as a safety net, just
in case the business does not succeed but this concept most of the time
will not work as business need to be more than doing it and not just by hiring
few low paying clerks and doing the business a few hours a day. These are our
entrepreneurs. The biggest our businesses can get is to have few branches and
several franchises but still catering to the Filipino American market. Besides
these are labor intensive and knowledge of the language and people are required.
We are still doing it the old way.
Most immigrants that arrived previously without money were working in some
minial jobs that does not require public interaction. With the recent arrival
of more moneyed immigrants from Asia, the landscape changed. With
entrepreneurial skills from mother countries, new arrivals started their
businesses no matter how small. The Asian Americans mostly fall in this
category and owned small businesses like liquor stores, laundromats and dry
cleaning. The Cambodians are in doughnuts, the Koreans in liquor stores, lawn
services, retail clothing and dry cleaning, the Chinese are into restaurants and
import of goods from China and Taiwan.
The more recent arrivals of high tech skilled people from Asia, new more complex
business ventures were set up by these new technocrats. The Indians and Chinese
are the ones falling in this category. They started new start up companies with the
likes of Gemstar's Henry C.Yuen and Jerry Young of Yahoo both of Chinese descent; and
Sanjiv Sidhu and Gururaj E.Deshpande both of Asian Indian descent who are in
Forbes list of riches men in America for year 2000. A lot of Asians who studied
here for their masters and PHDs stayed and set up businesses in their field of
expertise usually in areas of their university researches. Some work for sometime
for financial stability, become acquainted with the American life and for more
training before launching their own high tech businesses.
The Filipino's ability to speak and understand English is sometimes a hindrance
to us in becoming entrepreneurs. Because we can communicate, we can find a job
somewhere despite our lack of skills. Tend to be content of being employed and
the financial security of the job contributed make us not being risk takers.
Though we are mostly middle class, very few of us really reach the top 1 percent
group of super rich Americans that prosper in the business world. Loida Nicolas
Lewis - who takes control of her husband's business (TLC Beatrice International
Holdings, Inc.) upon his untimely death, Josie Natori - successful lingerie
businesswoman, and Dado Banatao - an engineer inventor who made it big in computers-
are among the more successful and known Filipino American business people. However, a
few upcoming new breed of Filipino entepreneurs are cropping up in the new economy
(Internet) like Cecil Pagkalinawan who's company BoutiqueY3K just recently got capital
infusions from investors and Olivia Ongpin of fabric8 are all surviving in a very
Having new business models to emulate, we are hoping Filipino Americans can advance
further in the entrepreneurial ladder with more high tech themes. The concentration
of wealth in America is mostly in the hands of these new business moguls.They caught
the imagination of the world on how to amass a fortune in such a very short time when
it took the previous generations a life time to achieve. Bill Gates and Paul Allen
of Microsoft and Larry Ellison of Oracle knew the new ways to fortune in this modern
The KEYS to these successes are the knowledge of new technology and the acumen of
an enterpreneur. The two skills combined plus hard work and lady luck created these
riches men in the world. It was projected that in the next 2 years that there will
be an enormous growth in the new global economy based on the internet, the time to
think of going in the field is now or miss the window of opportunities all together.
Will Filipino Americans up to the challenge or we will just be spectators?
It's all up to us.
Forbes 400 Richest Men in America
Olivia Ongpin - Top Web Designer
Dado Banatao - Venture Capitalist / Inventor
Cecilia Pagkalinawan - Web Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur/Business Resource Center
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