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Close to 10,000 participants attended our Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit last Friday, March 6, at the World Trade Center. On its 7th year, our Filipina Summit never fails to empower aspiring entrepreneurs and students and guide them in the start of their entrepreneurial journey. Yes, their attendance to the summit is the start of their entrepreneurial journey as they are equipped with the right attitude and knowhow just by listening to more than 50 female panelists and guests. It was the biggest mentoring summit we ever had! Definitely, every year of Filipina Summit is bigger and better!
During my message, I shared the story of Marivic Quiero who was one of the participants in last year’s Filipina Summit. She was an entrepreneur from Tacloban wiped out by Typhoon Yolanda. She shared how she was blessed to be part of our summit and how she was assisted and closely mentored by leading construction entrepreneur, Alice Eduardo, our co-chair of the Filipina Summit. I was impressed by her determination to start anew. And I am sure that many entrepreneurs can learn a thing or two from her story. There are many trials in our lives, but it is up to us if we should stop or leap over it and continue.
In our keynote forum led by Ali Sotto, we were joined by empowered women from the Senate, House of Congress and the business sector. Sen. Cynthia Villar spoke about women empowerment through entrepreneurship and the livelihood programs that she leads. Rep. Leni Robredo, who now stands as a mother and a father to their family, shared how she manages to balance her work and personal life. She also continues the legacy of her late husband Sec. Robredo through the Jesse M. Robredo Foundation. Tessie Sy-Coson, who grew up in a business-minded family, shared how she learned lessons from her father, Henry Sy. She advised the students in the audience to grab opportunities in learning from summits like ours which can equip and prepare them for their futures.
We also awarded this year’s batch of Inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs who include Myrna Bituin of Betis Crafts Inc., Celinda De Guia of Ovation Productions, Roxanne Farillas of Plains and Prints, Kathleen Go of Universal Records, Emma Imperial of Imperial Homes Corp., Mary Lizabeth Lu of Komikasi Games, Riza Mantaring of Sun Life Financial Philippines, Josephine See of Peanut World, Stella Sy of Mint, Patis Tesoro of Patis Tesoro Shop, and Fe Vidal of CBN Boneless Bangus.
We also awarded social entrepreneurs Menchie De Guzman of Gantsilyo and Nanette Medved-Po of Friends of Hope Inc. Nanette has been awarded as well by BPI Ka-Negosyo with their Ka-Negosyo, Kababaihan sa Negosyo Financial Excellence Award.
We also paid tribute to iconic Filipina entrepreneurs who contributed to both the business and education sector. They are both in their 90s but are still sharp in making business decisions and in leading their respective companies. Socorro Ramos of National Book Store, who is now 92, shared that with ‘sipag at tiyaga’ one can reach their goals and be successful in life. Esther Vibal of Vibal Group believes that “From nothing, you can be something. Just work hard.” They truly deserve to be recognized as Lifetime Achievers in the field of education!
We also had an informative discussion with some of our awardees and entrepreneurs, Yati Abdullah and Marife Agudo and Rosalind Wee. They imparted how Filipinas can level-up in their lives and be successful entrepreneurs. Our awardees, Myrna Bituin, Emma Imperial, Ria Lu, Riza Mantaring, Stella Sy and Patis Tesoro shared how they started their enterprises and how they continue to lead them to growth and development. This forum was lead by broadcast journalist Karen Davila.
The next foras are as informative as the first two. I will share with you next week the panelists who shared their insights and gave advices to our audience. We also had Sen. Loren Legarda in the fourth forum which was one of the biggest fora we ever had.
In the end, we all learned a lot from this full-packed program. I hope that through our Filipina Summit, the growth in enterprises will continue and more and more Filipinas venture into entrepreneurship. The Go Negosyo set of summits, books, TV and radio programs this year will continue to provide their regular dose of knowledge. The Go Negosyo network and mentors will also be there to guide them in their journey.