Victory over adversity: How Clarke started from scratch to now mentoring micro entrepreneurs

Victory over adversity: How Clarke started from scratch to now mentoring micro entrepreneurs

SME Inspirations

GlobalLinker Staff

GlobalLinker Staff

295 week ago — 5 min read

Organization: Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP)

Chairman and President: 
Clarke Nebrao

Year it was founded: 

Terravida Natural Ventures

Food & Beverage

Brgy, Yukos, Nagkarlan, Laguna


Running a business is not for the faint-hearted; it takes grit and courage to find success. Take Clarke Nebrao’s business journey as an example, the owner of Terravida Natural Ventures.

He is now one of the most respectable businessmen in the country, but he was not exempted from experiencing roadblocks when he started his business journey. “At 3:00 AM, my wife and I had to go to the market. We were micro-entrepreneurs (back then); no one is delivering (supplies) to us. Every day, we have to wake up at 3:00 in the morning to buy our raw materials and to cook our own products. Every day for almost four years, my wife and I did it while still having our own work,” Clark shares.

From humble beginnings, Clarke is now the President and Chairman of the Association of Laguna Food Processors (ALAFOP) and has been mentoring micro-entrepreneurs around the country.

In conversation with GlobalLinker (GL), Clarke Nebrao (Clarke) shares his business journey.

GL: Tell us about your business.

After we started the turmeric business in the country, I got involved in the Association of Laguna Food Processors wherein the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) consolidated all the food processors. For the past 10 years, this association has been helping DTI in developing our micro entrepreneurs – creating market and opportunities for them to highlight their product.

GL: What are the challenges you’ve faced in establishing your business?

First, I didn’t know anything about business. But 2008 became a very challenging year for me because my third kid had a rare heart disease that only afflicts one in every 5 million kids around the world. It needed financing. During that time, I was doing community work and my wife was working in the corporate world. To get the three million pesos (for the medication) was beyond our means. We didn’t know what to do. We didn’t know how to have an additional income. We already combined all our properties but it still fell short for Php3 million.

But something in us gave us the passion and conviction: we had to extend our child’s life. And the only way (to achieve it) was to create additional ventures so that we would have additional resources. Thus, we started our own business.

The only thing we had was our passion to create something. Passion to achieve our goal.  Passion to achieve the reason why we are here. For us, it was the life of our kid; it was for a more comfortable life for our family. And that became our reason, our inspiration to wake up every morning.

GL: How can UnionBank GlobalLinker help you grow your business?

With GlobalLinker, I’m very positive that we are not just creating a network that will support our micro-entrepreneurs, but we are also helping our micro-entrepreneurs see the potential of the future of commerce.

This is what we are doing. We are collaborating with GlobalLinker because we believe in the advocacy of building and creating that network to highlight the best of the micro-entrepreneurs in the country.


GL: What is your big business dream?

I really wanted to have a global presence – to have a product that comes from the Philippines that is palatable to the international market and here in the Philippines.

GL: What is your message to aspiring entrepreneurs?

My message to all micro entrepreneurs is just to embrace the business. This is the best time to come up with a business. Why? First, because our government agencies are more enabling. Second, our private partners, sectors, and collaborators are now selfless. You can even see business mentors now giving their own consultancies for free. Third, as a Filipino, you have it in yourself, the courage and grit to embrace success. 


Network with Clarke Nebrao by clicking on the 'Invite' on his profile. 


Disclaimer: This article is based solely on the inputs shared by the featured member. GlobalLinker does not necessarily endorse the views, opinions & facts stated by the member. 

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