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Last week, I shared with you in this column, Women Changing Lives, the stories of four inspiring Filipina awardees. But aside from the leading microentrepreneurs who continue to be inspiration to many, and our social entrepreneurs who are changing the world through their advocacies, we also recognize established and award-winning Pinay entrepreneurs who have made a name in their industries.
These are remarkable women who have focused their passion, creativity, and hard work into their negosyos.
Here are the second batch of awardees:
Abba Napa is the founding partner and concept development officer of the Moment Group. After finishing a degree in management at the Ateneo de Manila University, she took up restaurant management and culinary techniques in New York. Her first business venture was in retail, focusing on skincare. Later on, she founded the country’s largest retailers of casual footwear. But since she grew up in the food industry – her mother’s bakery and her father’s investment in restaurants like L’Opera, she went into the food business with a modern treatment. Thus, the establishment of The Moment Group. The Moment Group is the company behind ‘Cue, Phat Pho, 8 Cuts, Manam, Mecha Uma, and Bistro Du Vin.
Another female entrepreneur who is in the food industry is Judith Versoza of Aveate Management Corporation, or more popularly known as Josiah’s Catering – one of the pioneers in the catering industry providing full service to its clients. Starting from humble beginnings, Josiah’s Catering has been one of the popular and well-trusted food caterers in the metro and nearby provinces. Because of Judith’s innate passion for food, she also started Cuissentials, a canteen concessionaire that manages eight office buildings in Manila. She also opened a restaurant called Fat Daddy’s Smokehouse with branches in Marikina and Taguig.
Sherill Quintana is one of the inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs who just recently started, but has managed to grow her business exponentially. I can cite perhaps the unique innovation on its products, plus her passion and perseverance to differentiate. Her business, Oryspa Spa Solutions, is the first and finest maker of rice bran based spa products in the Philippines. She innovated and transformed rice bran or the byproduct of the rice milling process as the essential ingredient of her products. Because of her enterprise, she was awarded by the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) as the Most Promising Filipino Franchise of Franchise Excellence Awards 2015. She was also nominated to the ASEAN Business Awards for two categories: ASEAN Women Entrepreneur award and ASEAN Priority Integration Sectors Excellence Awards for healthcare. Barely five years in developing the Oryspa business, she is now the one inspiring and mentoring young entrepreneurs in Go Negosyo forums.
A long-time entrepreneur who deserves recognition is Yoling Sevilla of The Leather Collection. Since 1991, her business has been providing bags, briefcases, organizers, folders, small leather goods and other business accessories in high-quality leather. But what is more interesting is that the Leather Collection uses Green-Earth friendly materials. The designs of their products are stylish and caters to the lifestyle and fashion of the business industry.
Amina Aranaz-Alunan has made a name in the fashion industry for leading Aranaz Bags, one of the premiere manufacturer of bags, totes and clutches. Her designs are a perfect combination of classic styles and intricate craftsmanship. Aside from this, she is also the founder of SoFA Design Institute, Manila’s first specialized fashion and design college which offers a wide range of degrees, certificate programs, and short courses for designers and artists in the Philippines.
Mention the province Iloilo and one can immediately imagine a La Paz Batchoy. From a family recipe, Adelfa Borro shared her father’s well-loved La Paz Batchoy to the whole country, through Ted’s Old Timer La Paz Batchoy. Her father started the business with just P10.00 capital, but today their enterprise has reached different provinces in the country, including Metro Manila, with more than 40 branches. Because of Adelfa’s leadership in the business, she has guided the company to progress and development, including the formulation of new recipes and additional food offers.
If you have enjoyed imported snacks from different countries, you should thank Evelyn Lao-Yap and her company Benby Enterprise. After three years of being an employee, she started her business Benby, which is the leading distribution company handling multi-national brands. Without any sales or marketing background, she decided to join her brother in the importation business. She started by writing letters to international companies, asking for distribution rights. Today, her company is the distributor of Quaker Oats, Frito Lay, Ferrero, Loacker, Splenda, and other food and non-food products.
One of the Inspiring Filipina Awardees this year is the award-winning designer Delby Bragais. Delby is the president of The North Road Image and Fashion Group which provides custom-made bridal and luxe wear, designer ready-to-wear clothes, and image consultancy. Believing in the importance of a great image, Delby studied and specialized further to become the sole Filipino with the advanced “Certified Image Professional” level of certification in the image industry. Her ensembles have been recognized in different fashion shows in New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Singapore.
May I celebrate with them Filipina entrepreneurship, as they dedicate their lives in pursuit of their passion, excellence, and making a difference. They ignite others again to hope and dream and to succeed in life.
Let me invite you to join us on Feb. 18 at the World Trade Center for Go Negosyo’s 8th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit to experience life-changing lessons. This is a one-day activity centered on reinforcing the entrepreneurial spirit of the Filipina by equipping them with a positive mindset, as well as the tools and concepts necessary for them to pursue the path towards success.