The entrepreneurial mindset entails creative thinking to overcome challenges, decisiveness, and the ability to hold yourself accountable for any challenges and setbacks along the way. If everyone thought like an entrepreneur, we would probably have more pro-active problem solvers tackling what needs to be addressed in our country and the world. At Abot Tala, this is what we hope to do: encourage entrepreneurial thinking among young people. As Jonny Nastro of Hack the Entrepreneur said, “Entrepreneurs are NOT born. They are driven to it. And this same drive enables them to do what is necessary to be an entrepreneur. If you have ever had a feeling in the pit of your stomach – that you are meant to do something bigger, more meaningful and all yours – you are an entrepreneur.”
With the help of industry leaders who took their time to mentor the teens, Abot Tala’s Tuesdays were blessed with the opportunity to sit down, discuss, and pursue business ideas.
Meet the Mentors
Olivier is an MBA and EMBA professor at the Asian Institute of Management who specializes in innovation management and corporate entrepreneurship. A French national who has worked in Microsoft and L’Oreal in France and in companies in the U.K and Singapore, he now helps business owners in the Philippines innovate and rejuvenate their business models, services, and processes. As a consultant, he has guided SMEs and MNCs so they can sustain growth, improve productivity and operational efficiency. He applies the same rigor to those who are at the starting line and to those who are already established using principles that cut across ages and stages.
Arnold de Guzman
Arnold de Guzman was Abot Tala Founder, Joei Villarama’s Go Negosyo mentor when she attended the big Mentor on Wheels event at the SM Mall of Asia. Arnold is a graduate of the De La Salle University and is the president of First Food Link Distributors, Inc. He enjoys mentoring start-up entrepreneurs because he loves the concept of paying it forward. He too was helped by generous mentors along the way and to show his gratitude, he tirelessly guides others who are just beginning their journey. While listening and giving advice to budding entrepreneurs, he is also able to come up with solutions for his own business challenges.
One of Abot Tala’s youngest guest mentors, Audrey is the Founder and Executive Director of WiTech -Women in Technology. Preparing to attend Standford this fall, Audrey was a Global Teen Leader in 2019 and a speaker at the United Nations. Her involvement with activism stemmed from her interest in technology when her middle school computer teacher asked them to have a snake navigate a maze using blocks that represented lines of code. When she expressed her intent to dive into tech full-time, she was met with doubt and no support. Audrey discovered that the tech industry was mainly male-driven, and most hackathons were dominated by men. She organized the Philippines’ first-ever Women in Tech student-led conference and has extended WiTech’s reach to underprivileged communities. After a trip to Marawi in 2018, they have supplied the Mindanao State University with laptops and conducted workshops on computer literacy and basic tech education.
He is the man behind the inspirational Library Renewal Partnership, whose mission is to build community libraries all over the Philippines, the initial goal of which was 200 but has now surpassed a thousand. Quintin has a degree in Political Science from Ateneo and three Master’s degrees from universities abroad: Oxford (Literature), Cambridge (International Relations) and Georgetown (Business Administration). He is a poet, an ANC business news anchor and the President of WEnergy Power which focuses on renewable, hybrid, and off-grid solutions. With all these varied involvements, another notable fact about Quintin is that he was diagnosed with ADHD. This never hindered him from pursuing his widely varied endeavors and this is also why he understands that a center like Abot Tala is a necessary option for our teens—because we can never box our students into one program and expect it to work for everyone.
Enrique believes that as a leader, you’re actually 80% listening and only 20% talking. This simple belief alone is such a great lesson he’s taught our teens, which is not only practical but highlights that true leaders are servants who can communicate. For him, motivation is influencing people to do willingly what must be done. Enrique is the founder of the “Mober” app back in 2016 and he has over 20 years of knowledge in the business management industry. Enrique excited and impressed the teens at Abot Tala when he showed them his latest project: an instant heater which does not rely on electricity or battery and built into convenience food packaging.
Taking a quick look at our mentors’ resumes, one might think that only top-tier university students have the privilege of learning from the finest. In Abot Tala, we make sure that our teens learn from the best, even before they begin their adventure through college and career.