Five Tips in Building Entrepreneurial Skills That Matter According to Alice Eduardo


“The entrepreneurial life is one of challenge, work, dedication, perseverance, exhilaration, agony, accomplishment, failure, sacrifice, control, powerlessness…but ultimately, extraordinary satisfaction.”-David S. Rose

According to Ludwick Marishane, there are some entrepreneurial skills that can be learned. However, entrepreneurial attitude is not something that can be taught. In this regard, it would be best if entrepreneurs or would-be entrepreneurs would do their best to develop their attitude in approaching business ventures and endeavors. However, this does not mean that enhancing entrepreneurial skills should be disregarded in favor of honing solely your entrepreneurial attitude.

Indeed, if you wish to become your own boss (considering it is the much-coveted career in today’s modern society), there are merits to developing some entrepreneurial skills. However, this begs the question: What specific entrepreneurial skills would you need to improve? Which ones of these would propel you into making sound business decisions and aid you in your future corporate endeavors?

Well, from one of the most established business women in the Philippines (a construction magnate known and aptly named “Woman of Steel”), here are the skills you should develop and improve as according to Alice Eduardo herself:

1.) Take a different path

One of the cardinal signs of a successful entrepreneur is his or her ability to think outside the box. Creativity is an often overlooked skill when it comes to business ventures as newbie industrialists would be relying on old tactics and techniques which seasoned and established people in business staunchly depend on. By being creative, you can effectively see things differently and provide solutions to problems. Build or develop your creativity skills by intentionally trying something new.

2.) Start a business

Regardless of whether big or small, you get your first brush with entrepreneurship skills in opening a business. Managing a business is an excellent avenue for you to build your skills crucial to entrepreneurship. Such skills would include negotiation, sales, marketing and business planning. Do not be afraid to mistakes as with any business venture; your errors are paramount to teaching you to make better and sounder business decisions.

3.) Be tenacious in your dealings

No successful entrepreneur ever broke ground by playing too safe. In this regard, you should stick to your guns when it comes to challenges. Do not back down and persevere. However, this does not mean that you would throw critical thinking and thorough decision-making out the window. Calculate the risks, weigh your options and embrace the challenge.

4.) Delay gratification

Know that even the most established business ventures had had their own series of failures when it first began. When it comes to successful businesses, nothing happens overnight, and on top of that, there is no guarantee that such a business will take off. Indeed, more often than not, you will experience countless failures with almost zero rewards. However, your persistence will be rewarded when you finally hit the jackpot. Control your impulses and know how to delay gratification. Learn how to say no when needed and commit to doubling your efforts when it comes to working on your business ideas.

5.) Manage your own finances

The pecuniary aspect of a business venture is integral to the success or failure of the same. In this regard, as a smart entrepreneur, you must develop an excellent business acumen that includes the best way to manage your own finances. You must have at least a basic understanding of how finance works as this is crucial to running your very own company. There is no need to rely on an accountant, but it is essential for you to understand how the basics such as profit, loss, assets and cash flow of the company.

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Steps to Success: Five Integral Tips for a Strong Start According to Alice Eduardo

“Success does not lie in results but in “efforts”, “being” the best is not so important, “doing” the best is all that matters…” –Unknown Author

It is no question that a success story in business has to start somewhere. After all, Apple did not become the next big thing overnight, and it took Facebook quite a while before it finally took off. Indeed, even seasoned entrepreneurs would have their fair shares of experiences whether that may be refining underperforming industries, innovating new business or simply overhauling existing operations. In this regard, it is important to note that making a strong start is pivotal to the success of a business.

Before stepping into the proverbial entrepreneurial waters, factors paramount to the successful launch of a particular industry should be considered. A combination of knowing how and why you are taking action and thoroughly reviewing every planned step are just a few of the things you should have in mind. To help you in your entrepreneurial endeavors, here are some of the most essential and critical factors you need to be aware of when it comes to running a successful business.

1.) Offer what people want to buy, not just what you want to sell

All entrepreneurs have visions, and in this regard, they come up with products and services that they think would be helpful to consumers. Unfortunately, most of the time their visions would fall short, and unsurprisingly, it would pale in comparison to their competitors’ merchandises. Instead of creating or conceptualizing something new, it is best to shift your perspective on a specific high-performing category and refine your niche in that area.

2.) Have flash flowing ASAP

No business can run without cash flow. In fact, it is the lifeblood of any business as it is vital to sustain underwhelming profits. With this in mind, you need to think of ways to start cash flow immediately. To do this, service-oriented businesses usually ask for deposits on work up-front (balances are to be paid upon delivery). It is basically the same with retail (positioning specialty or high-ticket items as an added value). One important thing to consider is that there must be little to no gap between the time labor and stock inventory is paid to the time you actually get remunerated.

3.) Find ways to keep costs low

Running a business means money would likely come in and out of your hands. In this regard, keeping track of the finances that go in and come out is of paramount interest in ensuring your accounting is organized—and that you are not suffering from any significant losses at all. Furthermore, this is an excellent way to bring in positive cash flow (bringing in more cash than paying out). To have a positive cash flow, you need to think of a way to keep your costs and expenses low. This means paying vendors up front to give you a better leverage in negotiating lower prices, never paying for retail, opting for more affordable but quality items and the like.

4.) Always overestimate expenses and underestimate revenues

Be conservative with your numbers. However, this does not mean that you should resignedly accept those numbers. Rather it means that you properly arm yourself with the information you can easily work with. Be realistic with your numbers by gauging the sort of endeavors and activities you would need to do in order to boost marketing and sales.

5.) Focus on sales and marketing

Making a sale is integral to a successful business—in fact, it is as if nothing would happen unless a sale is made. As a sale is an imperative driving factor in keeping your business alive, it is important for you to come up with creative ways to get leads that convert to sales. This is where marketing comes in. Be aggressive in your marketing tactics and make sure that you keep getting repeat sales from your customers.

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Powerful Women: Who is Alice Eduardo?

“I think that women are powerful and they are multifaceted and they are survivors; they do not have to depend on a man to do the things they needed them to do. Whether it was hunting or lifting heavy things. So, what is a man’s place now? Who knows?!” –Rashida Jones

You might have heard of her name before, but do you know the struggles and challenges she went through before achieving success?

Alice Eduardo might be a common moniker, but to construction magnates and most engineers, her name is a household appellation. Widely regarded as a woman of steel, Alice Eduardo is somewhat of a heroine in the world of construction and engineering—particularly to women with similar aspirations. She had her humble beginnings at first, but today this 48-year-old single mother spearheads one of the biggest construction companies in the Philippines. Her endeavors were rewarded through consistent diligence, hard work, and commitment amidst an industry that is predominantly run by men. Today, you see some of her handiwork in the form innumerable buildings you see around Manila as well as the foundations you walk on.

Early on, Alice already had dreams of becoming an engineer despite her mother’s repeated requests of her taking up a course in the medical field. Coming from a very traditional Filipino family, Alice Eduardo’s mother wished for her daughter to become either a nurse or a doctor and as a result, she was heavily discouraged from pursuing an engineering course as this was seen as a man’s job back in the eighties. Nevertheless, Alice graduated with a degree in management as a compromise after which she helped in the family’s garment export. It was not until in the year 1995 where she had her first brush with the construction industry when she was asked to supply steel to a construction project. As working on construction has always been her lifelong dream, Alice accepted eagerly and gave it her best shot. It was this deal with Concrete Aggregates that gave her the avenue to start her construction company.

It was in that same year that Santa Elena Construction was born, one of the leading construction firms in the country that provides foundation works, ports and harbor and horizontal construction. Alice Eduardo spearheads this construction company and is known for truly delivering to their clients as well as an unwavering commitment to excellence.

Unlike most individuals, Alice did not wade in through the realm of the construction industry with baby steps, but rather she took on big projects right away. This was all made possible with the track record she had with her first projects and the trust a notable bank in the country gave her. With all this, she was heavily rewarded—most notably when one of the country’s tycoons, Henry Sy sought her help in realizing his vision which would then become the biggest mall in the country, SM Mall of Asia. He did all this despite the Asian financial crisis and Alice was one of the few key people who had the right equipment to undertake the construction of their foundation. This was just the start of Alice’s excellent track record in the construction industry and soon word began to spread that she was a competitive individual who can deliver projects ahead of schedule without compromising the quality.

Today, Alice Eduardo continues to deliver projects that are marked with her dedication to excellence and good quality. Indeed, one can say that Alice Eduardo has found home in the form of construction steels and beams as it is where she feels most at home and where she is recharged. With all these, one can say that this powerful woman has finally found her wonderland at last.

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Santa Elena reaffirms long-term support for PVL

The all National University Bulldogs-crewed Mega Builders yielded the gold medal to Cignal HD Spikers in the finals of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference, but their silver medal finish proved enough to secure a long-term sponsorship from their prime backer, Ms. Alice Eduardo (shown in inset photo with team manager Junjun Abcede), president and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation.

Ms. Alice Eduardo, head of one of the nation’s largest construction companies, took time out from her busy schedule to watch the last two of the extended best-of-three title series between her sponsored team, Mega Builders, and eventual champions Cignal HD Spikers.

She so immensely enjoyed the edge-of-the-seat action with her two children and the way the Volley Bolts gave battle more so that she committed herself to continue supporting the Premier Volleyball League, another groundbreaking event organized by Sports Vision with Asics as its official league partner and Mikasa as its official game ball.

This was the first time that her company, Santa Elena Construction and Development Company, supported two teams in a Sports Vision league. Its originally backed squad, the Sta. Elena Wrecking Balls, also finished in the Final Four in the PVL Open Conference.

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What’s Next for Santa Elena Construction?

SANTA ELENA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION is no stranger to the line of well-known construction firms in the Philippines. It has bagged major construction projects – from setting the foundation for Entertainment City’s Solaire Resorts and Casino, City of Dreams and Resorts World Bayshore to the general construction of power plants in Batangas – where it gained its extensive experience and expertise in construction. It is the first Filipino contractor, run by entrepreneur Alice Eduardo, to outbid local and international construction firms in working with Siemens. This particular feat proved the company’s quality of service meets the international standard in all its projects.

Last Project

Sta. Elena’s last stint was Four E-com Center by SM Development Corporation situated at SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. The E-com Centers, marketed as office spaces, are nearby MRT and LRT routes as well as buses circulating in National Capital Region (NCR). Ninoy Aquino International Airport is also a few minutes away from the compound. Still, the accessibility and ease of travel are not only the highlights of Four E-com. The building is 16 stories with a full basement and four podium parking. It includes 11 office levels that house retail spaces at the 5th-floor podium and ground levels. Its design concept comprises three adjacent towers springing from a common podium and features E-com building’s signature landscaped deck at the 5th-floor podium.

Sm Mall of Asia
Sm Mall of Asia
The Podium

Construction Opportunities for 2017

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the first quarter of 2017 recorded a 6.4% growth. Manufacturing, Trade, and Other Services were the primary driver of growth for the first quarter. However, necessary infrastructure has to be set up for the Philippines to sustain its economic growth.

The Philippines ranks 57 in the  World Economic Forum Competitiveness Rankings for 2016, yet it lags behind its ASEAN neighbors concerning infrastructure, and for the past administrations, the allocated National Budget for infrastructure development has never reached the 5% of GDP. The Aquino administration only covered 2.9% of GDP that is why the current administration, under the leadership of current President Rodrigo Duterte, embarked on a grand and visionary plan that aims to bolster the country’s development.

The program dubbed as the “Build, Build, Build” Plan is the boldest infrastructure development program in the Philippine history. The “Build, Build, Build” Plan includes public infrastructure projects essential to the sources of investment and production capacity in the country. The administration did not conceal the huge amount the plan requires to complete the project. This year, the government will spend P847.2 billion for the initial projects. Completing the projects will amount to P8-9 trillion (about $160-180 billion) which will last until the end of Pres. Duterte’s term. Infrastructure spending share of GDP will increase from the meager 5.3% to 7.4% in 2022.

The increase in government spending for infrastructure has been backed up by the Department of Budget and Management by implementing reforms to the bureaucracy. The Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Procurement Reform Act (R.A. 9184) had been revised for a seamless procurement process, to make projects less vulnerable to arbitrary delays and to streamline documentary requirements. There is no reason for construction firms to shy away from bidding on public infrastructure projects.

Construction companies have been presented a window of opportunity to shine this year. SANTA ELENA CONSTRUCTION AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION should take the opportunities presented by the current administration to partake in bids for the construction of public infrastructure. A successful infrastructure project would cement Sta. Elena’s status as the certified and trusted construction firm in the local scene. Infrastructure projects up for bid are posted online at the Public-Private Partnership Center website (, Bases Conversion and Development Authority and various government agency sites. It is up to Sta. Elena to make to its next move amidst the opportunities in this Golden Age of Infrastructure.

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