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What can you say when over 25,000 women (and men) gather for Go Negosyo’s biggest women entrepreneurship summit last week? There were three days of negosyo seminars, consultations, ment2orships and forums. More than 50 successful Filipina entrepreneurs shared their success stories and answered questions from the audience who are mostly aspiring and existing small entrepreneurs.
With summit partners GMA Network, The Philippine Star and DTI, 20 women in three categories were also recognized during the event. Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto delivered the response in behalf of all the awardees. Our active women trustees Esther Vibal, Corazon Dayro Ong, Rosalind Wee, Myla Villanueva and Rica Limcaoco joined me, Atty. Felipe Gozon and Grace Glory Go in awarding the 2011 Filipina STARpreneurs.
To my surprise, even the seminar rooms and plenary areas on Saturday and Sunday were full in all sessions. Close to 400 exhibitors participated in the event.
Our Keynote Forum elicited new ways of thinking on how Filipinas can really be empowered and be the best ‘babae’ that they can be. The high-powered group composed of CHED Commissioner Dr. Nona Ricafort, Emily Abrera, Marixi Prieto, Elizabeth Lee, Rosalind Wee, Corazon Dayro Ong, and Myrna Yao had a great time discussing how they managed to reach success “despite” their husbands. Kidding aside, they shared how they manage their relationships as they pursue their passions in life. I understand how my wife got to be so empowered.
Our advocacy stands proof that competition can be set aside in the name of helping our Filipino brothers and sisters. We very much appreciate the presence and participation of Mrs. Marixi Prieto, in spite the fact that the summit was co-presented by The Philippine Star. This shows the strengthened partnerships between Go Negosyo and our partners. Indeed, everyone comes together in pursuing one goal for a better Philippines. I would like to extend my congratulations and thanks to the Belmontes of The Philippine Star and the Prietos of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The other fora were equally interesting as they discussed how to keep the balance between family and business. Thanks to Joy Abaquin, Grace Dimacali, Dr. Emma Guerrero, Jolina Magdangal, Regine Tolentino, Peachy Cheng-Medina, Dr. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, Tess Ngan Tian and Viva Andrada. Meanwhile, former Congresswoman Cynthia Villar, Cecille Guidote-Alvarez, Ruth Callanta, Cathy Manahan, Bai Sandra Basar, Darlene Tan Salazar and Dr. Pinky Valdez discussed the critical role of women in nation-building. The last forum talked about the importance of self-development, beauty and wellness. We thank Jeannie Goulborn, Cory Quirino, Wynwyn Ong, Nelia Siggaoat, Anna Meloto-Wilk, Lorna Banzon, Abby de Leon, Delby Bragais, and Khristine Gabriel.
We would also not forget to thank our male trustees Roland Hortaleza and Felix Ang and partners Eric Alberto, TG Limcaoco, James Bernas, Rico Garcia, in showing their support. Angelpreneurs Ping Sotto, Dean Pax Lapid, Luis Cruz, Butz Bartolome, Paulo Tibig, Willy Arcilla, and Ardy Roberto also joined our proudly women Angelpreneurs Tess Dimaculangan and Ma. Victoria Españo in mentoring and interacting with negosyante hopefuls.
Let me share a heart-warming message that one of our Angelpreneurs recently received. It read: “Thank you for inspiring me. Your talk has such a big help emotionally and brought knowledge to me. I had no job as of now, and during this time, (I considered the weakest point in my life) Your lesson enlighten me. Congratulations sir!” This was sent by Rebecca Garrucha to our Angelpreneur Ardy Roberto. Many have similar situations. Thank you to Rebecca for an uplifting feedback. It is our mission to touch more lives and help more Filipinos fight poverty through the negosyo advocacy.
Now, with the chaos in countries like Libya, Egypt and other neighboring states, no one can actually know how this could end. While we can say and be proud that we inspired many nations to follow our path in fighting for democracy through peaceful means, some countries in the Middle East can be quite different. The chaos can spread to uncontrollable levels. For countries without a clear leader, another dictator can rise in the midst of the battle to oust one. Many of our Filipino brothers and sisters rely on income coming from overseas parents and relatives who provide them with a better life here in the Philippines. We certainly hope these series of mass actions in those countries end quickly and peacefully.
I would also like to extend my congratulations to our new Ambassador Albert Del Rosario for a hands-on approach in the Middle East crisis. While the P10,000 assistance for the OFWs who were sent home may not last long, it will definitely help. Our country will need to prepare for many more Filipinos who may eventually have to go back home.
Creating enterprising Filipinos is the key. Many who work as OFWs realize the need for a better life for themselves and their family. They focus on how to give their kids a better education and prepare them for the future. Starting a business is always an alternative. But, it must be done properly and it must be well thought of.
As we create more entrepreneurs, more negosyos are created and more jobs will be created as well. As big businesses expand and with the growth rates projected by government, jobs will definitely be created. Many micro and small entrepreneurs need help. I am glad that big companies like PLDT SME Nation, Smart, BPI Family Bank, RFM, Avon, LBC, Unilever, Condura, eBay, HBC, BDO, Security Bank, Delta Airlines have adopted the advocacy of reaching out a helping hand.
The word negosyo or entrepreneurship is not alien anymore. The awareness that Go Negosyo has created, together with private sector and government partners, is also now pushing schools to add entrepreneurshiP in the programs. Even my good friend Joe Go has gone into more seminars with his Day 8 on negosyo. Brother Bo Sanchez also started his seminars on entrepreneurship, along with many other groups. This is what I wanted to see when I started Go Negosyo five years ago. And yet, we still have a long way to go in creating an enterprising culture among Filipinos.
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org or Joey Concepcion Facebook account. Visit www.gonegosyo.net. Watch the top rating GO NEGOSYO: Kaya Mo! on GMA News TV, Saturday and Sunday 8 to 8:30 a.m. Get daily Go Negosyo Text Tips in your mobile phone by sending GONEGO to 2910.