With the Philippine economy expected to expand even more this 2016, the Association of Filipino Franchisers Inc. (AFFI) has laid out plans to further empower entrepreneurs and the role of entrepreneurship in nation-building.
In its first general membership meeting for the year, AFFI shared its “Thrive Towards 2020” strategy to CEOs and leaders of member-corporations and partners, while commemorating the milestones it set in previous years.
In his keynote address, AFFI President Jerry Ilao of Ink-All-You-Can discussed how the association introduced in 2015 a number of innovative programs geared towards its vow of empowering entrepreneurs in the country.
He pointed out AFFI’s most successful activities last year including the first ENTREPRUN; the Business Unusual where experts shared their knowledge on intellectual property and labor law; and the AFFI Open House which provided a glimpse of how some of AFFI’s biggest member-corporations started, how they operate, and how they continue innovation inside their companies.
AFFI is also known for its unique mentoring programs from seasoned entrepreneurs who have made it their advocacy to help new businesses grow. At the 14th Franchise & Business Expo last October 2015, the association introduced the Business Journey where participants were taught and guided every step of the way in looking for and securing a business or franchise. The program included one-on-one mentoring sessions with owners and CEOs of successful AFFI enterprises.
Mr. Ilao describes being part of the Business Journey as “one of those moments that you feel blessed to be an entrepreneur, knowing that somehow, you were able to give inspiration to another person and make a difference in their lives.”
Thriving towards 2020
Going on its 20th year as the premier organization for entrepreneurs in the country, AFFI also shared its five-year roadmap at the said event.
“Our vision for the next five years is to help our members succeed and thrive by 2020 through activities and programs geared towards learning together,” said Mr. Ilao.
The success of the last Business Journey prompted AFFI’s board members to look into expanding the program in the coming years. Initial plans include offering it to the public outside the Franchise & Business Expo, which means that a group of 10-15 people will have a chance to visit some AFFI members in their respective workplaces where they will be given the opportunity to have a dialogue.
“It’s the first of its kind, because now, we are moving out of the walls of the seminar room and bringing education right where the action happens,” Mr. Ilao pointed out.
This year, AFFI has also expanded its Executive Committee and created a Leadership Council to get more of the organization’s members involved in its operations. On top of this are plans for roadshows and caravans around the Philippines and some neighboring countries in Asia.
The growing number of millennials and the shift in power towards the youth also takes a huge place in AFFI’s current roadmap with the Education Committee launching a Youth Council Program inside the organization.
“These young people are the future of this country and we can’t just let this opportunity pass without training them to be young entrepreneurs,” shared Mr. Ilao.
But perhaps the highlight of the entire event was the unveiling of the Seal of Entrepreneurship Excellence that will be given to AFFI members as the embodiment of their commitment in the coming years.
“It signifies our vow to push boundaries and challenge our own limitations. That we are not afraid to face competition from both local and international brands. That we are pursuing excellence for our employees, for our partners, and most importantly for ourselves,” said Mr. Ilao.
AFFI was founded in 1997 by Bob Juan of Labandera Ko, Armando Bartolome of GMB, Tony Cruz of Pancit Malabon, Jorge Wieneke and Jose Magsaysay of Potato Corner, Teresa Laurel of Goto King, Pacita Juan of Figaro, and Richie Cuna of Fiorgelato to raise awareness for entrepreneurship in the country and lend support for fellow MSMEs trying to make it in the cutthroat world of business.