Changing the world one van, one business at a time

Changing the world one van, one business at a time image

Text: / Photos: | posted October 30, 2009 12:34

Ur Van, Ur Business Program Special Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

When Universal Motors Corporation launched the innovative Ur Van, Ur Business (UVUB) Program in 2006, it revolutionized the landscape of vehicle marketing and its role in the development of the country.

UVUB started out as a salute to the innate entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipinos. It promotes and encourages entrepreneurship as the key to a better and improved life with the versatile Nissan Urvan as the ideal business partner.

At its very core though, UVUB is not only a marketing program. It is an advocacy, a commitment to contributing to the development and improvement of the Filipino society with the underlying principle of helping others help themselves. The rationale is the realization that we have the capability and the responsibility to position our products not just to sell them but also to aid, uplift, and support those who have less in life.

Under the program, P1,000.00 is donated to the non-profit organization Center for Community Transformation (CCT) for every Nissan Urvan sold. The program provides seed money to assist underprivileged microentrepreneurs as well as provide funding for Entrep-Skwela, a grassroots level entrepreneurship training program.

Today, UVUB has helped over 3,000 families and assisted in the creation of more than 4,400 individual jobs.

Recognizing the impact entrepreneurs have on other people and on society, as a whole, UVUB partnered with SGV Foundation and the ABS-CBN News Channel for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2009 awards banquet held recently at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. UVUB honored selected entrepreneurs who share the program's mission of promoting the parallel development of business success and social awareness at every turn.

Recipient of the UVUB Inspiring Entrepreneur Award was Ricardo Reyes, Jr., more popularly known as Ricky Reyes. Reyes's inspiring rags-to-riches story has been retold many times and his trendsetting innovations and lasting contributions to the beauty industry are well-acclaimed.

Beyond the glitz, glamour and success though is a compassion for others that is evident in Reyes's numerous charities and beneficiaries. He runs the nationwide livelihood program Hanapbuhay at Bagong Buhay sa Isang Gunting at Isang Suklay, which trains people from impoverished communities to become hairdressers. Reyes is also the founder of CHILD Haus (Center for Health Improvement and Life Development), a 220-bed home for children with cancer.

The UVUB Inspiring Entrepreneur Award was also given to Mary Grace Arboleda-Young, President of the Cordillera Coffee Company, Inc. Arboleda-Young, a native of Kalinga Apayao, decided to put up a social enterprise that would benefit the native coffee farmers by establishing fair trade practices and protecting them from exploitation. At the same time, the company aims to promote the rich cultural heritage of the Cordillera region.

Eventually, the company established Coffee AID (Assistance for Indigenous Development) to empower coffee farming communities by providing them with volunteer and investment opportunities and spearheading various community livelihood and development projects.

Both awardees share UVUB program's vision of being a catalyst in the realization of every Filipino's entrepreneurial dream for a more developed and productive society as well as the mission to uplift the lives of as many Filipinos as possible.

Both awardees are testaments to UVUB's belief that becoming an entrepreneur means enriching not only yourself but also empowering the lives of countless others.

As Elizabeth H. Lee, Executive Vice President of Universal Motors Corporation and founder of the UVUB program, says "Becoming an entrepreneur gives one the opportunity to make a difference in other people's lives and we are all in the business of changing lives for the better."