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GGTW Session with Miss Cathy Chiong: Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs during the Pandemic

For Cathy Chiong, owner of Only Vegan Food Cebu, her commitment to go vegan to save animals and help save Mother Earth are the main reasons why she started her vegan grocer in Cebu. Because of her strong advocacy, she became the Girls Got This ‘Works’ guest speaker during one of the sessions with the girls last March 13, 2021 held at Bidlisiw Foundation Inc., Looc, Mandaue Office. Bidlisiw Foundation Inc., a local non-government organization, is Fundlife’s Girls Got This ‘Works’ partner under the Entrepreneurship and Employability Training Session.

“Basically, I put up my vegan store because I want to reach out to people that it is possible to shift from consuming meat-based products to plant-based ones. As an advocate myself, I know pretty well the struggle of people transitioning to veganism. Although Cebuano’s are meat-lovers, there are plant-based alternatives that they can enjoy which tastes exactly like meat,” says Cathy during the session.

“It is nice to start-up a business which you are really passionate about. Even though I started mine during the peak of the pandemic, I managed to position in this industry because people nowadays are becoming more conscious about their health,” she added.

“How can I become like you, Miss Cathy?” one of the girls asked during the session.

“Think about what you really love doing and think about what other people need. If you can combine both of these, you can absolutely go on and start-up your own business. Hard work, perseverance, and passion are essential values you need to equip yourself when you want to become entrepreneurs,” Miss Cathy answered.

The virtual session went on with Miss Cathy introducing different vegan foods she sells in her store such as vegan corned beef, vegan lumpia (spring rolls), and a variety of ready-to-cook, ready-to-heat frozen plant-based food like “Worth the Health Food” products. Only Vegan Food Cebu also sells milk substitutes, vegan snacks, cheeses, ice cream, and more.

When asked about the values they learned from the virtual session, the girls quoted:

“Hardwork is the value that I learned from her. I think if I will work hard from today, I will become successful like Miss Cathy,” Trishia

“To become passionate and know how to save my money,” Nezza said.

“I want to be consistent and follow my dreams,” Shella answered.

“Hardworking and helping my parents,” Neslyn quoted.

“I learned to identify what I love doing so it is easy for me to start my own business,” Nina said.

Finally, at the end of the session, the girls enjoyed a free Blueberry Cheesecake delivered straight from the Only Vegan Food Cebu. The girls expressed their gratitude towards Miss Cathy because she is one of their inspirations to follow their passion and dreams, and become successful entrepreneurs someday.

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