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Today is the 8th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center. You still have a chance to listen to and learn from the inspiring and empowering talks of Filipina entrepreneurs and icons. Join us as we empower more Pinays to become womenpreneurs.
Previously, I shared stories of entrepreneurs who are into fashion, food, retail, beauty and wellness, and advocacies. In this column, let me share stories of Filipina entrepreneurs who are passionate educators who are making a difference in the country’s education system, and three celebrity entrepreneurs who are models, endorsers, and fashion icons, but have started their entrepreneurial journey through a brand that represents their personalities.
Technological Institute of the Philippines’ president Elizabeth Q. Lahoz is one of this year’s Filipina awardees. Dr. Elizabeth assumed the presidency of TIP in 2003. She succeeded her parents — Dr. Teresita U. Quirino and the late Engr. Demetrio A. Quirino Jr.,TIP founder and first TIP president. She is one enterprising second generation entrepreneur who has succeeded in modernizing and bringing to a higher level the quality of education in their school. She has spearheaded programs that have helped TIP to become one of the largest and most prestigious private college specializing in engineering and technology programs that put emphasis on applied innovations and closely linked quality of graduates with what is needed by the industry. Aside from this, through the school’s Inhinyera Club, she advocates for the encouragement of Filipinas to take up engineering courses. They also give out around P80 million worth of scholarships each year to poor but deserving students.
Another awardee is Rossana Llenado of AHEAD Learning Systems Inc. At an early age, Rossana started her entrepreneurial journey by selling different merchandise to her classmates and friends. After graduating from UP Los Baños, she then started AHEAD when she was just 26 years old. The company pioneered offering review and tutorial services for college entrance examinees to the best universities in the country. Today, AHEAD has diversified its service brand into AHEAD Tutorial and Review Center, AHEAD Professional Network, and AHEAD Online.
Another Filipina entrepreneur who is in the field of education is Rowena Matti. Her mother, Rosario Tambunting-Juan started the Sacred Heart School in 1968. It was in Sacred Heart that Rowena was influenced to run an education institution. Her strong desire to change the education system in the country further developed after taking up her master’s degree at the Asian Institute of Management. Rowena and her Galileo Enrichment Learning Program developed an effective program that answers the parent’s requirements for a learning process for their children. The English and Math enrichment program is fitted to the individual needs of the children. It welcomes students from preschool to elementary from ages 3 to 12.
To complete the list of 18 Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2016, we will also recognize Martine Cajucom, Bea Soriano-Dee and Georgina Wilson of Sunnies Studios.
Martine Cajucom was a creative head for retailer and manufacturer American Apparel in Los Angeles. During her stay with the company, she headed creative ad campaigns from product development, visual merchandising and brand management. In 2012, she moved to Manila and co-founded Sunnies Studios.
As for Bea Soriano-Dee, she began her career as a model and started her own apparel business with, then partner, now husband Eric Dee. Eric is the son of one of Go Negosyo’s featured entrepreneur – Rikki Dee who leads a number of famous restaurants in the country. She was part of the Professional Models Association of the Philippines.
Georgina Wilson is the marketing director of Sunnies Studios. She has been a model, host, and endorser for many multi-national brands. She was also the host of Asia’s Next Top Model Season 3.
These inspiring Filipina awardees will be recognized today in the summit with more than 10,000 participants composed of students, teachers, institutions and organizations, and many aspiring and micro entrepreneurs.
We will be joined today by women in governance such as Sen. Grace Poe, Sen. Cynthia Villar, and Rep. Leni Robredo; women icons such as Kris Aquino, Karen Davila, Sandy Prieto-Romualdez, Maria Ressa, Miriam Quiambao, Ali Sotto and Chal Lontoc del Rosario; and champion entrepreneurs Rosalind Wee, Myrna Yao, Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, Emma Imperial, Olivia Limpe-Aw, Dra. Vivian Sarabia, Laura Bertotto, Catherine Dizon, Chit Juan, and many more.
Go Negosyo mentors Angelpreneurs like Mylene Abiva, Tess Dimaculangan, Jorge Wieneke, Butz Bartolome, Paulo Tibig, Vix Madlangbayan would conduct free mentoring sessions throughout the day.
We thank also our Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit co-chair Alice Eduardo of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation.
I can say our sustained efforts in the past 10 years to develop an entrepreneurial culture and competence-building have empowered many Filipinos and Filipinas to pursue their dream with passion and knowhow, with perseverance and a more innovative mind that can help them move up in life. Some are even becoming game changers and are contributors to positive change and innovation we need in our society. We are here to spread success and prosperity to all. Let us all support them as they continue to drive the country forward.