Equipped and Empowered: Former OFW Launches Business Through the Help of LearnHub App

Marc Anthony Lumontad, 35, hailed from Masbate Island, Philippines. He decided to pursue work in Dubai, United Arab Emirates where he spent the next five challenging years as an overseas Filipino worker (OFW).

From the Philippines to UAE

Lumontad’s decision to work overseas stemmed from a desire to support his family, something that is very common to the plight of millions of overseas Filipino workers. He also wanted to save money and fulfill his dream of opening a coffee shop in his hometown. 

After having managed to land a job as a bartender in a coffee shop in Dubai, Lumontad continued to work for five years. He faced numerous hurdles, with homesickness being the most daunting. Every memory of home brought distress and made it tougher to work in a foreign land, far from the comfort of loved ones. Even then, he remained resilient, driven by the thought of being the primary provider for his family. He believed that his sacrifices abroad would ultimately benefit his loved ones back in the Philippines.

In 2023, he eventually decided to return home, uttering the heartfelt phrase, “It’s good to be home again,” which also serves as the project’s tagline of The Return Project. He had saved up enough money to make his dream of opening a small coffee shop in his hometown a reality. He loved coffee, and that drove him to dive into the world of entrepreneurship.

On returning to the homeland 

Even though he didn’t have any experience in business, Lumontad was determined to pursue this reintegration path. He asked his friends for advice, and one of them told him about the Seefar Academy learning app, which has free courses for OFW and for anyone looking to start their own business. 

Excited about the app’s potential, Lumontad downloaded it right away and started taking courses on entrepreneurship. He learned everything from making a business plan to applying marketing strategies.

Two weeks passed and Lumontad finished the entrepreneurship course. He sat back and thought about what he’d learned in those two weeks. “The course gave me a lot of useful information about running a business, like making business plans, doing market research, and improving product offerings,” he said. 

Equipped and empowered

Every part of the course felt like learning something new. Although at first, he felt a bit overwhelmed by how much there was to learn, he equally felt excited. He knew he was getting the tools he needed to start his small business.

He shared, “The (entrepreneurship) course was short but packed with helpful information. It was like getting a quick and useful lesson in entrepreneurship. There was no time wasted on unnecessary stuff, every lesson was clear and on point.”

With his new knowledge about business, he now feels confident and ready to apply his learnings on his small coffee shop.

Onwards and upwards

Now, after five months of hard work, Lumontad’s small coffee shop is now up and running. He was able to apply the lessons he learned from the Seefar Academy app in his everyday tasks from managing money or making customers happy.

In the future, he expressed his wishes to keep upskilling. When his schedules allow, he plans to take more courses on the Seefar app. He’s interested in courses like “Confidence in Action” and “Basic IT” to get better with technology. He remains committed to lifelong learning and continuous improvement in his entrepreneurial journey.

Further, through word-of-mouth promotion, he hopes to create a ripple effect of empowerment within his community. By fostering a culture of learning and sharing, he envisions a supportive network where individuals can thrive and grow together in their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Lumontad has successfully reintegrated so much so he made up his mind not to go back to working overseas. He loves being close to his family and the familiar sights of his hometown too much to leave. He wants to stay for good and focus all his energy on his small business.

With a clear goal in mind, Lumontad is excited about the future. He’s determined to build a stable and happy life, surrounded by the people he cares about most.

FREE COURSES on I.T., Entrepreneurship, Entering the Workforce and more! Only with LearnHub, free to download now: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.seefar.seefaracademy

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