Pinoy Entrepreneur: Jennifer Ebrada
Events Plus Consultancy
Event Plus is a Dubai-based full-service destination management company. It offers a full spectrum of destination services such as groups and incentives programs, conferences, corporate events, teambuilding events, AV production, weddings, destination PR, sales representation, and corporate outbound group travel.
I have been in Dubai since 2003. Just like most of our fellow Filipinos, I came here with a hope that I will only stay for couple of years. Then 2 years became 5 years, and next thing I knew I was already on my 10th year mark. Eventually, I decided that I didn’t want to be an employee anymore. In early 2014, I launched Events Plus. I did everything on my own, from the business plan, down to the website. I had very minimal capital. I even worked from home during the first 6 months to save cost. My hospitality experience, determination and dream were all I had to start with.
Being an Asian entrepreneur with a start-up company is definitely not easy. We like to think that ethnicity doesn’t matter, but the reality is that some – if not most – people will assess you and your business at face value. And as a start-up company, the real struggle is to build a solid level of trust with your prospective clients. These are very challenging circumstances indeed, but you just have to plow through them, continue knocking down doors and give your 100%. One day, it will all pay off. This has been my experience as an entrepreneur.
We are now 4 people in the team with a representation office in UK and Germany. I’m also looking at setting up a satellite office in the Philippines, hopefully by next year. Despite the obstacles, I am proud to say that the future is looking bright for our company.
My Life As An Entrepreneur
The most obvious advantage of being an entrepreneur is being your own boss having the freedom to work whenever and wherever you want. You’re working for yourself and nobody else. You may find yourself working 18 hours at any given day, but in the end its all for you. Every day is full of opportunities.
But in as much as it is exciting and joyful, it can also be lonely and scary. The stress levels of making all the decisions can sometimes be overwhelming, and can put a strain on your personal life. Your work schedules can also be wildly erratic. However, the pro’s still outweigh the con’s. It’s all a matter of striving for work-life balance, and setting your priorities straight.
My Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
An entrepreneur’s life is not for everyone. It requires a lot of perseverance, determination, and most of all, patience. Always strive to give the best service to your customers and try to always say “yes,” even if their requirement seems impossible. It’s a fierce market out there. Your only edge is how well you serve the needs of your clients. If you think you have what it takes, go for it. Go for it now.