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Monday, August 07, 2006

Special Edition on Financial Literacy for Overseas Filipinos and their Families (Part 1)

Ex-OFWs, advocates confront business realities
by Jeremaiah M. Opiniano

CALOOCAN—Former overseas Filipino workers trying their hands in business are discovering the cold truth of the market: rules are unforgiving to those unprepared.
While social enterprise advocates say the shock is due to lack of skills and training in entrepreneurship, former OFWs with businesses believe “luck” has something to do with it.
“[Going into business] is a daunting task when you don’t have a concrete business in mind before and upon your return to the Philippines,” Celestina Soriano said of her experience when she returned in 2002 after a 14-year domestic work stint in Hong Kong.
The 39-year-old mother of one owns a four-year-old home-based store, which was three-fourths full with food products.
She also operates a six-door apartment, currently all occupied by low-income families and students.She gave up her passenger transport business with the increasing prices of tricycle and jeepney parts, maintenance and fuel costs.
For Cecilia Icaonapo, operating a micro-store is enough.

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