A RISING multi-level marketing firm founded in Cebu is seeing more people earning from selling a Filipino basic commodity—rice.Just a year since it was founded by young entrepreneurs, Uprise Enterprise Philippines Inc. has already grown its network of rice distributors to more than 20,000.Started in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, chief executive officer Justhon Clyd Ang said the company has provided income opportunities to thousands who are seeking to become their own boss.Uprise was formed by Ang and his brother Jrron, the company’s chief operating officer and his cousin Jethro Chua, its vice president.Uprise is a Securities and Exchange Commission-registered multi-level marketing firm that sells a basic commodity that is rice, deemed to be the first in the Philippines. It is selling premium rice called Jasmine which is imported from Vietnam.“Since we started this company, we are happy to be able to give more people livelihood opportunities. Our goal has always been to create more livelihoods and income to our fellow Filipinos and hopefully to other nationalities when we expand overseas soon,” Ang told SunStar Cebu in an interview during the firm’s recent first year anniversary celebration at the Cebu City Waterfront Hotel.As they now have more than 20,000 members across Visayas, the company is optimistic to see exponential growth as it plans to expand and establish branches in Mindanao and Luzon. Currently, it has 10 branches in Visayas.“We want to be a national brand where people can really trust on us,” the young businessman said.While there is a negative impression about networking, Ang explained that people wanting to join this kind of business must understand how it works.Generally, he said multi-level marketing (MLM) firms have good business models, but people should take into consideration the the ethics of the company, its cultures, and system.Multi-level marketing is a legitimate business strategy used by direct sales companies to sell products and services. Existing members are encouraged to promote and sell their offerings to other individuals and bring on new recruits into the business. Participants are paid a percentage of their recruits’ sales.Ang shared he himself used to work for a beauty and wellness-focused networking company in the last eight years. So, he became familiar of the game in networking and how the industry works.Eventually, he decided to establish Uprise with his brother and cousin, inspired by the structure and business model of MLM companies but having rice as their main product. Rice, being a staple for Filipinos, is an easy sell, he said.Ang’s family has been into rice importation for the past 20 years, making it easier for them to build this rice-inspired business.The young CEO said they already have a lot of success stories from people who have grown financially after joining the company.To become a member of Uprise, one would only invest as low as P2,000 to as high as P12,000. He said the idea is basically offering people a business, whether they want to do it part-time or full-time.To those who join the company, they will have a package, and automatically sell the products. They are also entitled to get benefits and a lifetime discount.As in any multi-level marketing company, Uprise members will have their own business account, earn every time they refer people, and get a compensation and receive a payout every week.