These online entrepreneurs are proof that you are never too young to start a business
It is often daunting to think about starting your own business: storefronts, start-up capital, inventory, and much, much more. Modern technologies, however, have broken down barriers to entry in an unprecedented manner. As digital natives, Gen Z has jumped on the opportunities available in the e-commerce landscape to take control of their lives and become young, budding entrepreneurs. But how do they do it?
Launched in July by e-commerce platform Lazada, the LazStart program introduces to this go-getting generation the basic concepts and principles of entrepreneurship, as well as tips on how to leverage digital platforms, to build and scale a 21st-century business. Inspired by what they learned, these graduates of the LazStart program went on to start their own businesses and now share their experiences with their digital ventures.
Katrina Cacal: ‘You might encounter failure, but that will help in your journey’
“When I was much younger and just started my business, I really thought long and hard if I should start. [I thought] I was so young, I really don’t have any experience,” says 17-year-old business student Katrina Cacal.
Born with an entrepreneurial spirit, she was already selling trinkets to friends and family in the ninth grade. She then started selling her wares through social media marketplaces and eventually took the plunge into starting a brand: Jomarkat General Merchandise.
Capitalizing on opportunities during the pandemic, Katrina sells essential supplies such as facemasks and face shields through her online storefront.
“There’s no better time than now for you to explore and learn. You might encounter failures, but that will only help you in your journey as an entrepreneur.”
What is her tip for young entrepreneurs? “You really have to invest your time and effort to build your brand and expand,” she adds. “There’s no better time than now for you to explore and learn. You might encounter failures, but that will only help in your journey as an entrepreneur.”
Joselle Fajardo: ‘It should be something you are passionate about’
Unlike Katrina, landscape architect student Joselle Fajardo considers herself a “newbie” seller. But she didn’t let her lack of experience stop her from pursuing her dream, and instead looked for educational opportunities that would empower her with the knowledge to run her own business. Together with friends, Joselle now runs Clothing Royale PH, selling ready-to-wear fashion items that she would be happy to have in her own closet.
“It should be something that [you’re] passionate about. There will always be doubts, but if you’re doing something you really love, you can push through and overcome all the difficulties.”
What does she have to say for other “newbies” hesitant to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams? “People shouldn’t let the fear of failure get in the way of setting up their business,” says Joselle. “And for those interested in starting a business, it should be something that they’re passionate about. There will always be doubts, but if you’re doing something you really love, you can push through and overcome all the difficulties.”
Vincent Sy: ‘It is a way to stay productive’
“I’ve always had an interested in e-commerce but I didn’t know where to start,” says Vincent Sy. Looking to be productive despite the limitations due to the pandemic, Vincent decided to finally try to learn about how to start an online business. Now he balances his studies with running Comfy Home Essentials, which sells household items like electric fans, and even plant pots for all the #plantitas out there. And as a management engineering freshman, you could say that actually managing a business is the best experiential education you can receive.