How a sales agent became a successful entrepreneur in Camarines Norte

Lao Tzu once said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

Growth and progress always start from the beginning. The same is true for entrepreneurship, which requires daring, persistence, and self-belief.

Amelia Galero, a successful entrepreneur from Daet, Camarines Norte, is a perfect example of this.

As an appliance sales agent, Galero’s income was insufficient to support her family, and her husband’s income as a farmer was also not enough to make ends meet.

Determined to find a solution, she took advantage of the opportunities given by different government agencies.

She recalls: “Maliit ang aking income bilang ahente ng appliances, kaya sinubok ko ang magnegosyo dahil may konting alam ako sa paggawa ng kakanin (My income was small from being appliance agent, so I tried to do business because I had some skill in food processing).

Amelia Galero manages her own native delicacies business in Vinzons, Camarines Norte (Photo from Amelia Galero)

With the help of various government agencies, she pursued her interest in making native delicacies and worked hard to make it a success.

Her hard work paid off – she became a successful entrepreneur, sending her four children to college, three of them have already graduated, while one daughter is still finishing her studies at a university in Manila.

During the Women’s Month celebration in 2018, her success story earned her recognition as one of the Outstanding Woman Micro-Entrepreneurs of Vinzons.

In 2017, Galero participated in skills training in food processing sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

After completing the training, she started her business with a capital of P1,000.

Initially, she delivered 10 packs of donuts to a native delicacies store in Daet, which led to the store ordering hundreds of packs of different varieties.

In 2020, she obtained a loan amounting to P50,000 from the DTI, which she used as additional capital.

During the same year, the Basud Development Cooperative granted her another loan amounting to P600,000. She used this to fund the construction of her business facility.

Today, Galero’s business, Amy’s Cakes and Pastries, produces a wide variety of products that are supplied to several “pasalubong” (souvenir) stores in Daet and Vinzons in Camarines Norte, Pilar Port in Sorsogon, and Metro Manila.

She even has a client who repackages her delicacies and sells them at SM in Naga and Daet.

Some of the native delicacies produced by Amelia Galero. (Photo from Amelia Galero)

Galero has participated in several trade fairs in Camarines Sur, Albay, and Manila with the support of the DTI, where pandecillos and pili tart became the best sellers.

One native delicacies store in Vinzons is owned by her daughter, and its monthly gross sales are more than P150,000.

Galero now has 15 helpers, including six extras, who receive salaries of P1,800 and above per week depending on their skills.

Some part-time students also work on weekends. Her estimated net income is around P70,000 a month.

Galero, 62, believes that hard work and perseverance are necessary to succeed in business, but she also acknowledges the help she received from DTI.

Her business is one of the assisted Micro Small and Medium Enterprises of the DTI.

Amelia Galero's production facility located in the town of Vinzons, Camarines Norte

DTI Provincial Director Christie Rivera said that Galero was one of the mentees in the Kapatid Mentor ME Program in 2018.

She underwent several trainings and seminars like costing and pricing, marketing, human resource management, and financial management, among others.

The DTI provided subsidies and facilitated product development on packaging and labeling, Intellectual Property Office trademark registration, Food and Drug Administration license to operate and certificate of product registration.

She also joined several local, regional, and national trade fairs with subsidies on registration fees and/or hauling expenses from the DTI.

DTI also provided market matching, financing facilitation, and business advisory.

The Department of Science and Technology provided a loan of P174,000 for Galero’s sealer, table, dough, and cake mixers under the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SET-UP) program.

She already paid this loan and availed herself of another SET-UP loan of P150,000 for another mixer, table, and sealer.

Additionally, the Department of Labor and Employment awarded her a starter kit amounting to P25,000, which included a steamer, stove, grinder, and stove with gas.

Galero’s success as an entrepreneur in Camarines Norte is a result of perseverance, adaptability, and a strong work ethic.

Galero said: “Ang pagtanggap sa hamon bilang mga pagkakataon para sa pag-unlad at pagpapatibay ng isang matibay na etika sa trabaho ay naging mga pangunahing salik sa aking nagawa.”

(Embracing challenges as opportunities for growth and fostering a strong work ethic have been key factors in my achievements.) (PIA5/Camarines Norte)

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