Perseverance Pays Off

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Edrian B. Banania, Junior Writer

Entrepreneurs like Allan Caldosa from Tacloban City proved that determination can transform a humble printing shop and pasalubong center into a thriving hub of local entrepreneurs and community connections.

Allan was born and raised in Alangalang, Leyte, where he spent his early years before moving to Tacloban to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts. Raised by farmer parents, Allan’s upbringing instilled in him the values of hard work and resilience from an early age.

Guided by these values, Allan strives for the comfortable life he has always dreamed of. Now, he is a member of Tacloban Entrepreneurs’ Associated Marketing, a cooperative composed of 36 local food processors and manufacturers. He manages a pasalubong center that resells products of a cooperative and connects microentrepreneurs to a wider market.

Before venturing into the business world, Allan spent two years as a teacher after graduation before deciding to shift into entrepreneurship.

In 2001, he established his first printing shop in Tacloban Downtown. However, the Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated his printing shop, causing extensive damage to his equipment and supplies. Undeterred by this setback, he utilized his savings to create a fresh start. He rented a commercial space in the Tacloban Conventional Center to revive his printing shop and reselling business, which started in 2003.

However, during the pandemic, when he noticed that the coop operation temporarily stopped, he began reselling local delicacy products as his way of helping local producers. He became a cooperative member and played a pivotal role in processing all required documents and fulfilling requirements for the cooperative. Eventually, he was appointed as the secretary of the cooperative.

Allan faced numerous challenges throughout his business journey, especially during the pandemic. This posed difficulties in reaching clients, product distribution, and meeting client orders. However, through dedication, passion, and a strategic entrepreneurial mindset, he gradually adapted to these situations and overcame them.

As his business expanded, so did the need for capital. In 2023, with his stable business venture, Allan became a Quick SME Loan (QSL) client of CARD, Inc. (A Microfinance NGO). He took out his initial loan of PHP 20,000, which he used as additional capital to sustain day-to-day business activities. Over time, he obtained additional business loans from CARD, Inc., totaling up to PHP100,000, which he used to purchase necessary equipment and appliances for the printing shop and pasalubong center.

Despite strong competition, Allan maintained business operation sustainability and revenue generation through his strategic plans. His pasalubong center now offers a variety of products from different local food manufacturers and processors in Leyte.

Unlike before, the coop’s presence has stabilized and significantly impacted the lives of its members by connecting them to a broader market and government programs such as DTI Fair Trades and conventional training programs in Tacloban. Through Allan’s store, locally produced products now reach a wider customer base, mainly from Leyte, Samar, Manila, and Cebu.

Reflecting on his journey, Allan expressed gratitude for the support and trust he received from CARD, which played a crucial role in his business’s success. He dreams of expanding his business venture to help local entrepreneurs cater to more clients and promote local products across national and international markets by strengthening trading efforts.

“My business journey has been no easy feat. Apart from my dedication and passion, the support and trust I received from CARD, Inc. truly helped me keep going, and the financial assistance they provided played a significant role in my business,” Allan said.

Allan’s perseverance has finally paid off. His printing shop continues to stand strong, offering a diverse range of quality and cost-effective printing services, including tarpaulin and t-shirt printing. Meanwhile, his pasalubong center proudly showcases products from 36 local manufacturers who are part of their cooperatives.

“For those who want to venture into business, know that it will not be easy. You will face many hurdles and must be confronted with dedication, passion, and bravery. Always remember that in business success, it is crucial to ensure and maintain the quality and affordability of the products and services,” he concluded.

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