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Last Friday, the daughter of my brother Bernie got married. My niece, Erica, tied the knot with Francis Reyes. She is the first grandchild in our huge Concepcion clan to get married. During the wedding rites, the priest said he will not congratulate them until they hit their 50th wedding anniversary. How true… A number of marriages today are falling apart.
March is Women’s Month. For the last three years, Go Negosyo has been dedicating one of our biggest annual entrepreneurship events for the women sector. I believe that women are the heart of this nation, which can simply be seen in a family. In a home, it is the woman who is the soul. She brings the emotions in the family, as we men are less capable of that. She is the family organizer in our homes.
In fact, 70 percent of start-up microentrepreneurs in our country today are women. They are the ones who find ways to make sure the needs of the family are met. Today, most borrowers in every micro finance institution in the country with the highest repayment rate are women. In fact, every year in Citi’s Microentrepreneur of the Year Award, majority of the winners are women. Occupying key posts originally dominated by men, women are now becoming a dominant force in our nation.
Tomorrow, March 4, at the World Trade Center is the beginning of Go Negosyo’s biggest women entrepreneurship event –the 2011 Go Negosyo Babae Kapuso Ka ng Bayan Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo. Joining us in putting together this event in honor of women are GMA Network’s President and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon, who is a Go Negosyo Trustee, and The Philippine Star president and CEO Miguel Belmonte. Atty. Gozon, Miguel, and I are anchored on our solid partners – our wives, who have brought us to where we are today.
The event will house a record number of diverse exhibitors with new ideas, mentorship programs, tools, and servi-ces that can help entrepreneurs. This summit and expo is for the whole family and not just for women. It aims to empower Filipinas by boosting women entrepreneurs and addressing concerns and issues that women, in general, face about health and wellness, fitness, family, workplace and many more.
Babae Kapuso Ka ng Bayan Summit and Expo will be a three-day event (March 4 to 6) that will feature different entrepreneurship and women topics in plenary sessions and seminar rooms. All you have to do is enter the World Trade Center and decide which topic or session you would like to learn from. There is a specialized topic prepared for those who would like to start their own business, or those who would like to grow their business, or those who would like to have initial knowledge in marketing, or for those who would like to listen to the inspiring stories of successful Filipina entrepreneurs. We have set up three days of certified fun, learning and recreation for the whole family.
We will be opening our doors to entrepreneurs, government representatives, students, teachers, women groups and organizations, employees, and to everyone who would like to learn and take advantage of what we have prepared. There will be booths and exhibitors showcasing different business models, especially for women. The summit and expo aspires to holistically empower the Filipina through our entrepreneurship advocacy.
Together with GMA Network and The Philippine Star, we will also be honoring the 2011 Filipina STARPRENEURS. Eight women will be recognized for the large enterprise category, eight for the small medium enterprise (SME) category, and four for the social enterprise/entrepreneurship enabler category.
The GO NEGOSYO FILIPINA STARPRENEURS award is our way of recognizing inspiring women entrepreneurs and enablers, who have made a difference in their fields and have become role models as women with positive enterprising mindset, passion and innovative skills. The Starpreneurs are women who have gracefully balanced life, family, pursuits, and service to community.
Our Inspiring Filipina Starpreneurs in the large enterprise category are: Dr. Vicki Belo, Medical Director of Belo Medical Group; Natividad Cheng, CEO of Uratex Group of Companies; Dr. Rosalinda Hortaleza, chairman and CEO of HBC Inc.; Dr. Gennevieve Ledesma-Tan, founder and president of Southville International School and Colleges; Elizabeth Lee, COO of Universal Motors Corp.; Nelia Siggaoat, president of Manels Leathergoods Corp.; Zenaida Tantoco, president of Rustan’s Commercial Corp.; and Myrna Yao, founder and COO of Richwell Trading Corp.
To be recognized in the SME category are: Merle Alferez, founder of MSA Academic Advancement Institute; Sara Black, owner of Sara Black Photography; Lydia De Roca, owner of Lydia’s Lechon; Mary Grace Dimacali, president of Mary Grace Foods Inc.; Dr. Emma Guerrero, president of Bioessence; Grace Gupana, CEO of Abs Bitter Herbs; Marlyn Montano, owner of Holy Cow Animations; and Tess Ngan Tian, founder and president of Lot’s A Pizza.
In the social enterprise/entrepreneurship enabler category, the Starpreneurs to be recognized are: Ruth Callanta, president of Center for Community Transformation; Pacita Juan, founder of Echostore; Alegria Limjoco, CEO of Francorp; and Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto, Governor of Batangas Province.
They are our 2011 Filipina Starpreneurs –20 women who have lived lives that continue to inspire and encourage all Filipinos of different generations to aspire for success.
Felix Ang, one of our Go Negosyo trustees, is a truly inspiring entrepreneur with a humble beginning. Even though he did not finish college, he has done quite well for himself, as he is the exclusive distributor of Mercedes Benz and other luxury cars in the country today. Last Thursday, he hosted a cocktail for clients and friends. Quite a number of Go Negosyo entrepreneur-advocates were present, as Mercedes Benz celebrates 150 years. Not everyone knows that Felix started as a car parts salesman. Now, as a Go Negosyo trustee, he shares his success with small entrepreneurs through mentorship and urging them to become like him one day.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top rating GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! In QTV, Saturday and Sunday 8-8:30 a.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips in your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910.