Millennials get a bad rap. Many a think piece has been written about their alleged laziness in the workplace, and there's been a wide variety of how-tos about managing the millennial employee. But even if there is a grain of truth behind all those allegation, there are also many who buck the negative streotypes. The hardworking millennials below have risked the comfort of a regular desk job to put up their own businesses and achieve success.
Leandro Leviste, 24
Former Yale student Leandro Leviste is the founder and CEO of Solar Philippines, the largest developer of solar rooftop power plants in Southeast Asia. Leviste founded the company when he was just 21 years old, seeing an opportunity for cheaper solar-powered energy in his home country, whose electricity rates are one of the highest worldwide. Solar Philippines will be exporting solar panels worth over P 10 billion by 2018, to countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Myanmar, India and the US.
Koh Martinez Onozawa, 27
Japanese-Filipino Onozawa co-founded LoudBasstard with his friend Franz Ignacio in 2012. Since then, the company has expanded its product line beyond bamboo music amplifiers to hybrid speakers and a phone stand. All its products are handmade by artisans from a poor community in Onozowa’s home province of Cebu, serving as their main source of income. According to Forbes, LoudBasstard averages monthly revenues of USD 20,000.
Henry Motte-Muñoz, 30
French-Filipino civic leader Munoz helped found two initiatives that are helping out the common Filipino. Bantay.ph, formed in 2012, is a platform that uses technology to raise awareness on good governance and encourage citizens to fight corruption. Three years later, his next venture, Edukasyon.ph, was created. Edukasyon.ph is an online database that helps students view their education options all in one place and also enables them to apply to schools for free.
Gian Scottie Javelona, 24
At 19, Gian launched the first mobile app for a school in the Philippines that covers access to students' records and enrollment forms—the former PUP student grew tired of excessively long lines during enrollment that he started hacking out the school’s systems to find a more efficient way. In 2013, Gian founded OrangeApps Inc., a web and mobile platform that offers end-to-end services for schools: assisting them with online enrollment, tuition fee monitoring, class scheduling and more. According to Forbes, OrangeApps has reported USD 2 million dollar valuation to date.
Shahab Shabibi, 21
By the time he was 20 years old, Shabibi has already built at least five companies, creating his first at just 13 years old. This natural entrepreneurial spirit has led him to open Machine Ventures, an incubator that provides financial support and management guidance to those who want to start their own businesses in the country.
Carl Ocab, 24
It was Carl’s dad that introduced him to the idea of making money through blogging, when his dad told him that his Internet addiction was wasting his time and money. At 13, Carl founded Carl Ocab Internet Marketing (CarlOcab.com), which became one of the highest-ranked sites on Google in the Philippines when using the keywords “make more money.” Carl also runs Rich Kid Media, a web development and branding company.
Matthew Cua, 29
Cua's SkyEye is a startup that designs drones that perform aerial surveys and develop mapping infrastructure for precision agriculture, electricity lines, government institutions, real estate and engineering companies, among others. SkyEye is part of the United Nations’ Office for Coordination of Human Affairs, which is asked to participate in times of natural disasters. Cua is also managing director of the Ateneo Innovation Center and CTO of Awesome Lab Inc., anspecialty technology company whose services include new technology implementation, product augmentation, and data analytics.