#WhatsNext: Want to start a business? First, find what the world needs

MANILA, Philippines – It's not the target market, the capital, nor the strategy that you should be first thinking about if you're planning to start a business.

"Find something that the world needs. Align your business with that need," said EJ Arboleda, CEO of Taxumo, a startup company that helps make filing taxes for freelancers and SMEs easier.

Arboleda, one of the speakers from the first-ever #WhatsNext workshop by Rappler and Certified Digital Marketer Program (CDM), believes that a successful and sustainable business shouldn't just be profitable. It must have a purpose – to solve some of the world's problems.

EJ ARBOLEDA. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler


Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Arboleda wanted to solve a common problem of freelancers and small to medium enterprises (SMEs): they lack human resources or finance departments to perform administrative work, like filing taxes. Taxumo does these for them instead, so they can focus more on their passion.

It's very much like choosing a job that will make you want to stay for a long time. Studies show that most people now, especially millennials, are happiest and stay the longest in their jobs if they see that the company they work for is driven by a purpose and is trying to make an impact on the lives of others. 

This is why Katrina Manalo, founder of Aurelia & Amelia, a startup company that produces ethically-made accessories so they can send underprivileged girls to school, and also one of our #WhatsNext workshop mentors, went from being someone who just likes to sell to someone who likes to sell and earn so she can help those who are in need.

During one visit to Tondo, she saw young girls, their bodies covered in soot, working in small-scale charcoal productions instead of going to school. That sparked in her a burning desire to have a purpose.   

KATRINA MANALO. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler


Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

“The world is measuring success differently now. It’s not about the profit. It’s about the impact you make on people’s lives,” said Manalo. 

So, as the #WhatsNext workshop participants filled out the unique selling proposition (USP), costings, and other sections in the lean business canvas, they were guided by the combined learnings from the mentors and their fellow aspiring entrepreneurs. 

“Doing events like #Whatsnext is very helpful and meaningful. A lot of Filipinos are now getting into the startup industry. The power of startup can really change lives especially if you're doing it with a purpose,” shared Manalo.

CLASS PICTURE. The participants of the first ever #WhatsNext workshop. Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

CLASS PICTURE. The participants of the first ever #WhatsNext workshop.

Photo by LeAnne Jazul/Rappler

Do you feel like there’s something more you can and want to do with your life? Let us help you figure it out through Rappler’s #WhatsNext program.

"#WhatsNext is an opportunity to create new experiences and create new connections,” said Carla Yap Sy-Su, Head of Strategies and Connections, Rappler.

If you also want to meet passionate people, attend our second workshop entitled "Beyond Profits: Making Meaningful Movements" on November 11, 8-5 pm at the Rappler HQ. Learn how to create social marketing campaigns for your business from our mentors, Jourdan Sebastian of Taclob and Raf Dionisio of The Circle Hostel.

For more information on #WhatsNext, visit: https://rappler.com/brandrap/whatsnext. - Rappler.com


Marj Casal

Marj Casal heads the content team of BrandRap, Rappler’s sales and marketing arm. She helps create native advertising campaigns for brands like San Miguel Brewery, Shell, GCash, Grab, BDO, and more.