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Ilonggo restaurateur goes from entrep to mentor

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Ilonggo restaurateur goes
from entrep to mentor

By Leonard T. Pineda, I

Determination and perseverance are key traits that aspiring entrepreneurs should possess in order to achieve success.

This was conveyed by Emerson Lim, a young and successful Ilonggo entrepreneur, who has already carved a niche in the food business in Iloilo City.

“As an entrepreneur, you must not have the level of comfort so you have to persevere and be determined enough to achieve your goal,” said Lim, who is currently the managing partner of restaurant “Pares ni Jimburg” which has been operating for five years now.

“We have two branches in Iloilo and one in Manila,” he said, adding that they are planning to expand for two more branches in Metro Manila.

The restaurant has become popular to locals and foreigners of different ages especially for its house specialty, “Butter of the Gods.”

Lim said it was a challenge, at first, to introduce “Pares” to the gastronomic culture of the Ilonggos but through determination and perseverance, the restaurant was able to offer a superb food experience to the public.

“It started as a 10-seater ‘carinderia’ but I am happy that we are thriving and we intend to put two more branches in Manila by the end of the year,” he shared.

Lim is also a part of the pool of mentors of the Kapatid Mentor Me (KMME) project, which is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship (PCE) to help the country’s micro and small enterprises (MSEs).

“I was a food consultant then for DTI and they needed a specialist they can tap when it comes to food. I have been a mentor for three years now,” he said.

He said that aspiring entrepreneurs should take advantage of the KMME initiative so they can learn various business concepts and develop the insight needed in scaling up and sustaining an enterprise.

“They can get information for free and they can test their hypothesis if it is correct,” he said.

When asked what to consider before starting a business, he said that it is important to identify their client base and the added value of their products for their customers.

“Otherwise, these will not match and it will be difficult to succeed,” he said in the dialect.

He said that he has mentored about 80 mentees already under the KMME and these individuals still contact him even after the consultations to provide feedback.

“Some are afraid to consult for fear that their idea will be stolen. But it is how you implement your idea if it will become successful or not,” he said.

He emphasized that entrepreneurs are not “risk-takers” but they are “calculated risk-takers.”

“You have to weigh pros and cons. If the pros outweigh the cons then why not?,” he said.

As valuable advice to would-be entrepreneurs, he reiterated the importance of possessing determination and perseverance.

“If they want to be entrepreneurs, they need to be persevering and determined,” he added.

DTI-Iloilo recently conducted the “Mentor Me on Wheels” at SM City Iloilo, which was participated in by 389 mentees. Also, 50 mentors offered one-on-one sessions with the participants.

The mentorship event focused on two topics with regards to business mentorship: entrepreneurial mind-setting and marketing. (JBG/LTP/PIA-Iloilo)

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