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Valentine’s Day is always a special day for women. I guess women are more enthusiastic about all this romantic stuff. For couples who’ve been married for a long time, just as my wife and I have been married for 28 years, sometimes we tend to take Valentine’s Day for granted, our excuse being Valentine’s Day is everyday with our spouse.
Women play a great role in our life; they are mothers to our children which is important as we men can’t give birth. They bear the pains and difficulty of child birth, and traditionally, the mother stays at home especially in the early years of the child to make sure that love and affection are given.
Most men, especially as they build up there negosyo, can sometimes become absentee fathers. We become so busy, and before we know it, our kids have grown. It’s inherent in most women to really take care of the kids’ needs that they even look into the far future on how to provide for the children. This somehow explains why most micro and small entrepreneurs are women, especially from the lower income group, as they seek a better future for their children and provide for their needs.
A woman’s instinct allows them to seek for greener pastures, making sure the family has food on the table, and this is why many of them would go into direct selling with companies like Avon, Splash Corp., Fern-C, Ever Bilena, Herbalife, and Natasha. Women would run eateries, sari-sari stores, stalls in wet markets, and the list of small businesses goes on. Both grandmothers from my father and mother’s side were micro entrepreneurs. My Lola Herminia, Dad’s mother, sold liquor to the Japanese; while my Lola Vic Araneta, my mom’s mother, started the Feati University and Feati Bank, which was renamed to Citibank. Lola Vic also started the first airline company, Feati airlines.
As we lead on to the month when women are honored for their role in society, which is this March, it’s important that we continue to help empower them. I’ve asked some of our empowered Go Negosyo women entrepreneurs on their thoughts about the women of today. Here are what they have to say…
“Women are the heart and soul of today’s society—in their role as mothers, sisters, friends and leaders; in nurturing, protecting, inspiring, developing and supporting their families, colleagues and employees. They are the backbone of societies and families, providing unbeatable strength, unwavering and unstinting love.” – Cathy Turvill, owner and president of Nurture Spa Village
I do believe that women in the Philippines tend to be more empowered than their counterparts in other countries. While there are still challenges to be overcome in the arera of harassment and discrimination I still do believe that we are fortunate to live in a country where the attitude towards women is quite progressive. – Carla S. Limcaoco, director of Philippine Transmarine Carriers Inc.
“I want the world to view women based on the content of their character. And I want all women to know that with knowledge and a deep belief in themselves, they are empowered to tear down any artificial barrier to success that the world may attempt to impose upon us.” – Myrna Padilla, founder of Mynd Consulting, 2009 Go Negosyo awardee
“Women play multiple roles from being a pillar at home, the heart of a company, and the hand of service that is borne out of the natural need to nurture and serve. Women are key players in SMEs as they translate their passion and skills into innovative entrepreneurial activities.” – Joy Abaquin, directress of Multiple Intelligence International School, author of Go Negosyo: 8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs
“Women today have higher education, more entrepreneurial opportunities, come from dual income households and have higher purchasing power. Women are natural multi-taskers: managing the household, augmenting the family income and instilling family values—turning into ‘wonder women’, and at times ‘supermodels’ all at once. Today’s women exemplify BEST: Beauty, empowerment, sensuality and transformation.” – Mylene Abiva, president and CEO of FELTA Multi-Media Inc., Go Negosyo Angelpreneur
As International Women’s month this March is approaching, Go Negosyo is preparing yet again for our 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo. Happening on March 2 at the World Trade Center, the summit aims to honor and celebrate women in the country, and we’ve lined up topics, talks, and seminars catered especially to the needs of women today. Go Negosyo has partnered again with the GMA Network, and the summit will be wearing the theme “Babae, Kapuso Ka ng Bayan.”
As always, the audience can expect some of the most influential and inspiring women who’ll be present to mentor, teach and give advice to other women as well as aspiring entrepreneurs. Some of the key women to expect are former Las Piñas representative Cynthia Villar, GMA7’s Mel Tiangco, former Isabela governor Grace Padaca, Dr. Vicki Belo, former Starbucks Asia regional president Maria Mercedes Corrales, Dynamic Mynd Consulting founder Myrna Padilla, iBus System inventor Elma Arboleras, and Asia America Initiative’s Honey Sumnad. You can also expect celebrity entrepreneurs such as Regine Tolentino, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Fanny Serrano, Daisy Reyes and Miriam Quiambao.
Apart from that, we’re currently judging the nominees for this year’s Women STARpreneurs, an award given to outstanding women entrepreneurs in partnership with The Philippine Star. The winners will be awarded also at the summit. We are looking at 47 nominations recommended by various organizations, and from this shortlist we are selecting 10. These 10 will surely be another batch of highly inspiring entrepreneurs whose stories are a reminder that every Filipina can achieve success.
We hope that these large and successful entrepreneurs can help start up entrepreneurs, majority of whom are women, grow into large entrepreneurs one day. And this 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit and Expo is organized every year to make that happen.