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Whenever I look at my mom or my wife, I am amazed by their capacities as a woman. Their duties as a daughter, mother, wife, or sister, coupled by the other hats they wear in their lives impresses me. Their passion, dedication, and more so their sacrifices are commendable. They are definitely doing a great job!
Many Filipina entrepreneurs today are also leading companies and conquering industries to the best of their abilities. That is why Go Negosyo, for the past 12 years, recognize Filipina entrepreneurs who are positive, passionate, and personify the “panalo” attitude. More than 200 Filipina entrepreneurs have been awarded over the past years and this year, we are adding 26 Filipina entrepreneurs to our list of Filipina inspirations.
Let me share the first batch of Go Negosyo’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs 2017 who will be awarded on March 30, in Malacañang Palace.
Young entrepreneur and advocate Arizza Ann Nocum spearheaded the KRIS Library, an organization which aims to promote peace through education. KRIS or Kristiyano-Islam Library is an education center which provides students and children in poverty and conflict-stricken areas in Mindanao with books, computers, and other educational resources. Aside from KRIS Library, she also founded the Good Karma shirts which sells t-shirts to raise funds for different foundations and organizations. At a young age of 22, Arizza is one of the inspiring young leaders in our country.
In our interest to promote inclusive business models, we recognize Rachel De Villa and Felicitas Pantoja. Rachel de Villa leads Cropital, a crowdfunding platform that aims to connect investors to farmers. Anyone can help fund our farmers through a form of investment. She has developed a technology to help alleviate the lives of our farmers. Felicitas Pantoja, on the other hand, encourages peace through the use of coffee. Through Coffee for Peace, she helps improve the lives of coffee farmers through their coffee-growing model.
We also recognize Filipina entrepreneurs and advocates who have empowered many micro and small entrepreneurs (MSEs). Doris Ho, Pacita Juan, and Sen. Cynthia Villar are the women enablers this year. Doris Ho, who led the APEC SME Summit, has empowered MSEs through her various efforts. Pacita Juan, through her Echostore, has provided a way for MSEs to reach a wider market. She is also an advocate and supporter of the coffee industry. Sen. Cynthia Villar, as we all know, has various livelihood and employment efforts through the Villar Sipag Foundation. She has been supporting programs for microentrepreneurs and have prioritized them in her legislation.
For the micro and small category, we have eight Filipina entrepreneurs to recognize. First on the list is Cherrie Atilano, the founding farmer of Agrea Philippines which aims to develop a model for sustainable agriculture livelihood programs and environment for farmers, fishermen and their families. Imelda Dagus, a former OFW, is now a passionate entrepreneur through her Dennis Coffee Garden café. Through her business, she is uplifting the Tausug heritage and Sulu Coffee.
Evellin Daytao, who owns Daytao’s Native Cakes, is also an awardee this year. She has found her passion in highlighting her province Tarlac through the use of native ingredients in her Filipino delicacies and snacks. Buro Buro Springs Vermi Farm, led by Pamela Henares, has introduced efforts in organic farming industry through vermiculture and vermicomposting. Her farm is considered a premier destination for organic practices.
Maria Lydia Lomibao is also an awardee for her innovative use of pili nut in revolutionary products through her business J. Emmanuel Pastries or House of Pili. Arlene Mabute, owner of Mabute Lumpia Wrapper & Cheese Stick Maker, became a successful entrepreneur with an initial capital of a P300. She may have experienced many trials, but with her resilience, she now supplies lumpia wrappers and cheese sticks to different markets.
Another young entrepreneur who is part of this year’s roster of awardees is Honie Krizia Navor. She leads HK Stone Craft Trading which sells and installs imported granite and tiles and builds homes and other constructions. Last, but not the least, in the micro-small category is Ester Shiela Vitto who owns Bahag Footwear and Repair Shop. She innovated the use of car tires as slippers and sandals.
The are just 14 out of 26 awardees this year. I will share with you the next batch next week.
The women awardees embody the modern-day successful Filipino women with an enterprising attitude, passion beyond measure, an innovative outlook on doing business, and have the heart to contribute to inclusive growth of our nation.
We are proud of their personal achievements in their entrepreneurial journey. We hope they can inspire a new batch of women entrepreneurs to move and create positive changes in the country.