Inspiration from our 2014 Biz Plan Winners

By: Vittoria Offeddu and Ting Claravall

As we get closer to this year’s graduation ceremonies, the Aidha team caught up with the three winners of last year’s Best Business Plan Awards to hear more about their journey’s since graduating from Aidha…

Kristine Navarro

1st Place, Best Business Plan 2014

Business Plan idea: A student hostel she will name, “Tatay Honesto Homes” -which will reduce students’ travel expenses and eliminate the dangers of commuting during the typhoon season.

Brief history: Kristine resigned her job as a pharmacy officer in Masbate, Philippines, to become an FDW in Singapore. Supported by her employer, this adventurous and highly motivated girl quickly identified Aidha as the ideal environment to empower herself.

What she has been up to: Participating in the ADP has given me a direction though I didn’t actually start my business yet. I have already found the source of funds, did the market study and have a time based plan for execution.”

Where she is today: “I’m still in the planning and process of securing some initial investment to start my business.” To that end, she’s still saving and tracking her expenses. A few years ago, Kristine could have never dreamed of setting up her own business. Today she is a target-oriented, confident woman, who is not afraid to set ambitious goals for her professional and personal life.

Her advice to the Class of 2015: “Sometimes people tell you it is impossible. But there is no such thing as ‘impossible.’”

Merry Ermalyn Singhay

2nd Place, Best Business Plan 2014

Busines plan idea: A self-sustaining nail art salon planned for implementation in 2018.

Brief history: As the oldest of six children, Merry has always followed her natural instinct to provide for her family. Eleven years ago, she left her job at a garment factory in Manila, Philippines, to become a FDW in Singapore. As fate would have it, her employer’s friend was a mentor at Aidha. Merry enrolled and was able to combine her zealousness and her incredible enthusiasm into generating ideas for her dream business.

What she has been up to: Although she initially felt like an underdog, Merry reached the finals for both the Best Business Plan and the ADP Big Pitch. Nonetheless, she keeps improving herself in the ADP, impressing everyone around her.

Where she is today: Merry now recognizes the role that education played in her development and knows that the budgeting and planning skills learned at Aidha will remain fundamental for the rest of her life. Today, the shaking girl sitting in the back of the classroom is nothing more than a memory.

Her advice to the Class of 2015: “Focus on your dreams and let your business plan come from your heart.”

Emi Lestari

3rd Place, Best Business Plan 2014

Busines Plan idea: Emi plans to transform her passion for sewing into not one, not two, but three different businesses: a fashion boutique, a dressmaking course and a complete wedding parlour.

Brief history:

As an FDW, Emi had been supporting her family for ten long years, when the decision to join Aidha changed her perspectives. She quickly learned how to manage her finances and soon embarked into her first investments: a piece of land and a cow.

What she’s been up to: Thanks to Aidha’s teachings, Emi was able to develop a clever step-by-step business strategy and transform her initial purchase into a flourishing cattle rearing business, now a stable source of income for herself and her family.

Where she is today: Between teaching bi-weekly dressmaking classes and volunteering, she still finds the time for additional self-development courses.

Her advice to the Class of 2015: Don’t be afraid of failure, your success is in your own hands.”

Meet the next Business Plan Awardees at the Aidha 2015 Graduation Ceremony on Sunday, 29 November 2015 at the Singapore Polytechnic Convention Centre. Tickets available online at the Aidha website  and at the Student Services desk at the Aidha campus, Room 201, United World College South East Asia, 1207 Dover Road.

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