MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte, August 28 (PIA) -- A group of individuals whose rags-to-riches success stories can inspire those wanting to follow in their footsteps banded together to do just that, to serve as willing life coaches for those with passion to go into business the entrepreneur way.

The Southern Leyte Business Club, Inc. (SLBCI), based in Sogod town, partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) provincial office, to conduct the first Southern Leyte SME Entrepreneur Summit scheduled on September 7 at Malipayon Shores Resort, barangay Jubas, Libagon.

Senator Bam Aquino is the guest speaker of the event, according to the organizers.

Tito Calooy, SLBCI President, said in a recent Action Center Kapihan sa PIA cable TV program, that their organization was born three years ago, in August, 2011, out of the need to meet the challenge of investing here in the province using whatever resources available, with limited finances.

The SLBCI was different from the Southern Leyte Chamber of Commerce and Industry, because the later was more composed of established businessmen, while the former was more centered on start-ups or the small and micro entrepreneurs, Calooy explained.

As a group, SLBCI created a demand for chickens by going into a food business called Sir Organco, a venture that boosts selling organically-grown poultry products for as long as the supply is available, in at least fifteen (15) franchised outlets in the city, in Sogod, and in Cebu – and still counting.

To sustain the supply, SLBCI went into chicken dispersal projects with families in Libagon and nearby areas called "Hapi Nay, Hapi Tay".

"We can put Southern Leyte in the business map as our province is a very strategic place for travelling goods to Luzon or Mindanao", said Rey Calooy, Tito's brother, who is a member of the Board of Directors of SLBCI.

The elder Calooy offered this advice to would-be entrepreneurs who lacked capital: the money will come later through an Angel Investor who will be sold out with the passion and the efforts you put in your enterprise.

Other SLBCI Board of Directors who also shared inputs during the Kapihan were Crisandee Laroa, Gavino Dejito, Lito Amaris, Erman Selibio, and the Manager of Padre Burgos Rural Bank Victor Pangilinan.

Padre Burgos Rural Bank and SLBCI is in the process of forging an agreement, in which the former will be the one to finance the dispersal projects of the latter to qualified takers. (ajc/mmp/PIA8-Southern Leyte)