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As we begin International Women’s Month, let me share some of the knowledge we got from inspiring women speakers during our recent 8th Go Negosyo Filipina Entrepreneurs Summit. One column is not enough to spread their inspiring messages and share their vision and personal missions.
With the goal to touch as many lives as we can, we invited a diverse group of speakers for this year’s FES. First was Karen Davila, an award-winning broadcast journalist. Karen’s speech was short but meaningful: nothing is impossible with hardwork. “Ang masipag na tao, tatalunin ang taong matalino at tamad,” she said.
As the host of the negosyo show “May Puhunan,” Karen has interviewed several entrepreneurs who have exceptional success stories. She advised the youth in the audience, “kapag kayo ay grumaduate at kumita ng pera, ‘wag niyo kakalimutan ang inyong mga magulang at mga kapatid. If you honor your father and your mother you will be rewarded.”
Renowned journalist, Maria Ressa also had an impactful sharing. The woman behind the most popular online social news network Rappler zeroed in on the impact of digitalization and the Internet on Filipino’s daily lives. “There are 46 million Filipinos that are active online. And these people are now realizing the potential of social media in fast tracking their businesses.”
Maria explained why the social media changes the game not just for entrepreneurs but practically for everyone. She said all business plans should have an Internet plan. She said the effective use of technology, especially the Internet could be the greatest asset of the company. It is a great equalizer. If one knows how to stay connected, it can help reduce economic exclusion, reduce social and political isolation and change leadership structures.
Ressa’s Rappler has been effectively using social media to crowdsource and collect big data. Ressa concluded that: “When we bring our own community and help each other, we can create a wonderful world.”
Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Sandy Prieto-Romualdez spoke next, and she shared their success story in the past 30 years. “Thirty years is something to be celebrated. Organizations come and go, and it’s amazing our company stood the test of time,” she proudly said. When asked about what kind of advertising she prefers when it comes to products, she said the entrepreneur should think first of the marketing point-of-view. There will be a certain platform that will fit with its advertising.
Sandy advised everyone not to be afraid of change. This is the same principle she applied to her company to pioneer Internet news in order to engage a larger market. For her, change stands for: courage, humility, aspire, never give up, sense of hope, go for sound strategies, empower your people.
Last, but of course not the least, was Miriam Quiambao- Roberto — bestselling book author and celebrity entrepreneur. We all know Miriam as a beauty queen when she was awarded 1st runner-up in the 1999 Miss Universe pageant. But she has come a long way from that. In her speech, Miriam shared her personal life story — a story of a strong woman who has struggled, but stood up with the help of God and her faith in him.
At the height of her fame, Miriam let go of everything for a man. Her life went on a downward spiral, having been separated, getting her life savings scammed, and even becoming broke. She instead turned back to God to get her life straightened out. It was a story of resilience and having a positive mindset in life. She now hosts the 700 Club Asia and is the president of her own real estate company.
Another woman from the audience offered to share her story on how her life changed when she attended the Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit two years ago. We remember her as Marivic, a mother and a woman entrepreneur from Tacloban who lost all their material possessions and business when Super Typhoon Yolanda hit their area. She narrated how their family struggled and almost gave up until she got the chance to attend the women negosyo summit, where she was mentored, guided and supported, particularly by our co-chairperson of the summit Alice Eduardo of Sta Elena Construction. Marivic had a “new lease in life” so to speak, as she was able to revive her business, but this time through a pharmaceutical distribution, so that she can work together with her husband who is very familiar with the industry.
These women are different in their own ways, but all of them have become successful. At Go Negosyo, we do our best to inspire and educate, so people can start to fulfill their dreams and create their new stories.
We are mounting next week, on March 10, an exciting forum on innovation as we always aim to create more innovative entrepreneurs in the country. This is an extension program of our Youth Entrepreneurship Development Workshop (YEDW) that focuses on mentoring young entrepreneurs. This will be called Mentor Me Innovation Forum and Go Negosyo’s program partner, the US Embassy, shall bring over key entrepreneurs and executives from the tech communities in the US like Google and IBM. We will also be joined by key enablers and innovative entrepreneurs in our country today. This project is in partnership with Navegar Fund, a private equity fund. Enderun College in BGC is the official venue partner. Those interested to attend can contact 637-9227 or visit www.gonegosyo.net