Success Story: Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV

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By Alpha Miguel-Sanford


Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV at 35 is one of the 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) of the World for Business, Economic and Entrepreneurial Accomplishment. As the President of MicroVentures, which runs the multi-awarded social enterprise Hapinoy Program and the former Chairman of the Philippine National Youth Commission, Bam exemplifies the best attributes of the world’s young and successful people. Through his Hapinoy program, he helps Filipinos sustain small stores known as “sari-sari stores” in the countryside by providing microfinance to owners. Bam, being the first cousin of the incumbent President of the Philippines and the nephew of the late Senator Ninoy Aquino,  knows that his heart belongs to serving his countrymen.


In October 2012, he announced his candidacy for the Philippines 2013 Senatorial elections and wants to run under the ruling Liberal Party (LP).


This is his story:

AMS: Tell us about how you become involved in your current project and its

Bam: I was in government for a number of years which I enjoyed, but it came
to a point when I wanted to do something else.  My business partner
and I started to put up “businesses that helped people”.  There were a
few failures along the way, but we eventually met a number of
like-minded and talented individuals that would be instrumental in
putting up the Hapinoy Program.  It was our third endeavor, so in this
case, third time was the charm.

AMS:  What is your vision of these projects?

Bam: The overarching goal of our social enterprise is to improve the lives
and livelihood of our women micro entrepreneur partners.  By helping
them have more effective businesses, they can provide a positive
impact on their communities as well.  We fulfill this mission by
engaging the women in business opportunities and capacity-building.
In this way, we are slightly different than most traditional social
development initiatives.

AMS: Who or what inspired you to be who you are? Have you always been involved in similar projects?

Bam: My uncle, Ninoy Aquino, has inspired me a great deal.  His bravery and
heroism are two standards I still try to live up to in my own small
way.  Since I was young, I’ve always wanted to be in public service
because of his inspiration.  I’ve worked in government, in an NGO, in
media and now in social enterprise.  Not necessarily the traditional
view of public service, but public service nonetheless.

AMS:  Who are your motivators?

Bam: We aren’t here just for ourselves; the best life is the one lived for others.

AMS: If you were to tell us what are the most important skills that you need
 in order to be successful in life- what are they?

Bam: Being open-minded and ready to adapt to change.  Being hardworking.
Being as innovative as possible.  Having a strong and single minded
will that won’t give up easily.  Resilience.

AMS:  What are your next goals for yourself?

Bam: I might be running for public office.  That being said, the Hapinoy
Program’s immediate goal is to be truly nationwide and to increase our
partner base. (Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted in August 2012)

AMS: What is your definition of success?

Bam: If you are still standing and still fighting, you are successful.


To read other inspiring Success Stories, click here.


About the Author: Alpha Miguel-Sanford, is the founder and editor of Aspire.Motivate.Succeed. She is also the author of the book “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.You can contact her at, follow and like her on Facebook Page AMSDaily.