Myrna and Melvin Rojo are two people you should get to know. A husband and wife team who were only concerned with providing for their family’s needs. They were both teachers by profession, and they lived a simple life in Iloilo City, ensuring their three children’s safety. Melvin left his family in 2002 to work in a Brunei Darussalam International School. It was not an easy decision, but he had no choice. Myrna followed her husband and settled in Brunei after five years.
Myrna has a degree in Home Economics, and her baking skills are still intact. She baked treats and cakes for Melvin’s coworkers at school while she stayed at home. Soon after, she began making personalized cakes for fellow Filipinos and foreigners in Brunei. Her cakes were trendy at weddings, birthdays, and anniversaries. The couple saw baking as a good opportunity at the time. They considered doing the same thing, but this time at home. So, in 2014, Myrna and Melvin returned to the Philippines to start their own cake business.
They formalized their operations in July 2014, when Myrnz Creation Cakes and Pastries registered with the DTI. Their baking was done at home in Mandurriao, Iloilo City, with the assistance of their children.
Because they were former OFWs, the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) encouraged them to apply for the OFW Reintegration Program, a special loan program in collaboration with government banks to support business development OFWs and their families.
As a result, in February 2015, they attended the Entrepreneurship Seminar at Negosyo Center Iloilo City, as required by OWWA and LBP. It taught the couple the fundamentals of starting a business and the groundwork needed by start-up entrepreneurs like them.
After the seminar, the couple worked closely with an NC business counselor to package their business plan and submit all other LBP documents within a month. While waiting for the results, the couple attended Negosyo Center training, such as Food Safety and Financing Forum. They also enrolled in the DTI’s SME Roving Academy’s Labelling Consultancy for the Processed Food Sector. They were given label designs for their cake boxes and packaging.
Their efforts were rewarded in September 2015, when LBP approved their business loan for Php 500,000.00. They honed their entrepreneurial skills further by attending additional training at the Negosyo Center, such as Effective Selling and Negotiation Skills, Marketing Fundamentals, Tax Education, Internet Introduction, and Manufacturing Management.
Myrna and Melvin have now opened their store, allowing them to expand their market. From home baking to setting up production facilities in their new store, the Negosyo Center was there every step of the way.
It’s fascinating to see how their network of customers and partners has grown due to the training, events, and programs they’ve attended. They’ve met “special” people and hosted learning visits from various agencies and businesses interested in their story. They also shared their story in front of a large crowd at the 1st Negosyo Center Convention in Manila in December 2015. Melvin stated that the best thing the Negosyo Center provided them with was the opportunity to return home with their families and provide food for the table and send their children to school. It was made possible by Myrnz Creation Cakes and Pastries and Negosyo Center.