Joby Linsangan-Moreno was supposed to study to become a doctor after graduating as a medical technologist. Oliver Rempillo was working in a government agency as an exhibitions designer and organizer but thought of setting his sights elsewhere. And Corazon "Baby" Coligado, a registered nurse, couldn\\\'t land the job she wanted abroad.
The three then decided to take different paths to career success. With a little capital and a lot of effort, they have become successful entrepreneurs, proof that you don\\\'t need more than P50,000 to get started in business.
But each had a different reason for going into it.
"At that time, I wanted to do something different, something exciting and liberating," says Linsangan-Moreno, who, instead of pursuing a medical degree on top of her medical technology education, put up Orange Blush Salon in June 2003 in her native Cabanatuan City.
The licensed medical technologist, who went into the salon business with just P30,000, recalls: "I come from a family of professionals, and my friends were either employed or were planning to go work abroad. None of them, except my boyfriend [Lawrence Moreno] who\\\'s now my husband, considered going into business."
Linsangan-Moreno has since grown her salon to seven branches: six in Cabanatuan and its surrounding towns in Nueva Ecija, and another in Sta. Rosa in Laguna.
In the case of Rempillo, he decided to start a business along the same lines as his job of designing and organizing booths for exhibitions with CITEM (Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions), an agency under the Department of Trade and Industry.
"Basically, I set up En Theos Creative because it\\\'s what I\\\'d been doing all along," he says of the business he and his wife Mira founded in September 2007, also with just P30,000. "It\\\'s been ingrained in me since 1999, so I stayed in the design field."
Rempillo says he saw an emerging market for the services of exhibitions companies after learning of the construction of SMX, a major exhibition hall beside the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
For a long time, he says, companies only had the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC), the World Trade Center (WTC), and the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) as major venues for exhibits. "In the mid-\\\'90s, SM built the Megatrade Hall [at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City] but it used to only host small shows," he says.