Empower women, empower Philippines

PHOTO CAPTION: PLDT and Smart chief revenue officer and ePLDT president and CEO Eric Alberto, PLDT Chairman Manny Pangilinan, and presidential adviser for entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion.

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent and yearly, our family attends mass. While it is a sacred day for Catholics, it is also Valentine’s Day for everyone. I think it’s the only day in a year where I see many people wearing red, carrying flowers, or buying chocolates.

I think Valentine’s Day is one of the most celebrated days for women. Maybe because women are more into romantic things. But they do deserve all the love and affection that we can give. Most especially our wives, mothers, sisters and daughters.

In expressing our appreciation and love for them, we should also empower and support them as they pursue their goals and reach their dreams. As a father, I will always give 100 percent support to my daughters as they build their careers and enterprises. I will guide them, nurture them and encourage them all throughout.

Today, most of the micro, small and medium enterprises are run by women. These enterprises are born out of their passion, their desire to step up, or their goal to help others. When women pour their hearts out to what they do, they create wonderful things.

Look at how women run different industries such as retail, fashion, beauty, technology, agriculture, manufacturing, business processing and even in male-dominated fields such as construction, electronics and automotive. One example of a passionate woman entrepreneur is Alice Eduardo, president and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corp. Known as a woman of steel, she led her company to great heights because of her drive and hard work.

PNIOT February 15 Photo 1

Another inspiring Filipina entrepreneur is Marife Zamora who is on top of her game in the BPO industry as she leads Convergys Philippines as country chair.

This is why even at a young age, we must empower our daughters to be goal-driven, determined and confident. When we empower our women, we empower the Philippines.

Go Negosyo will recognize a new batch of empowered women entrepreneurs in this year’s Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards. The awarding ceremony will be part of the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit.

This coming March 6, we are hosting the 10th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit. This is our annual celebration of successful women entrepreneurs. Our goal is to reinforce the entrepreneurial spirit in them and recognize their capacities to be contributors of change and progress not just in our country, but also globally. This summit will highlight stories of inspiring women and how they have led their enterprises to its success today. This will be the biggest negosyo seminar dedicated for women!

Aside from being the biggest negosyo seminar, we will have the biggest one-on-one mentoring session on site. We have invited more than 150 mentors and experts who can share business tips and advice to the aspiring, micro and small entrepreneurs in attendance.

One of the highlights of the summit is the awarding of women entrepreneurs from different industries who have embodied the characteristics of an inspiring Filipina: passionate, positive and panalo (“can do”) attitude. These women are exemplary at what they do and how their businesses contribute to national development.

Yearly, we invite more than 50 speakers and panelists who can also share their insights, models and trends in the business. I will share with you the confirmed speakers next week. We look forward to a large crowd because yearly, we average around 7,000 participants. I am sure there will be more women attending.

For interested participants, you can still register at www.tinyurl.com/FES10registration.

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We have launched another development in the MSME community. Last Monday, Feb. 12, Go Negosyo, together with PLDT and Voyager, launched an SME e-commerce enablement program. This partnership aims to “boost the e-commerce readiness of MSMEs through a program that covers all aspects needed to participate in a digital marketplace.”

Through our partnership, we are extending a stronger support to the Department of Trade and Industry which aims to equip 100,000 MSMEs with digital solutions by 2020. Together with PLDT and Voyager, we are also strengthening the 3Ms: mentorship, money and market by providing business trainings, wider market reach and access to funds and capital.

Because of the digital business solutions and platforms being provided by PLDT and Voyager, we are allowing more MSMEs to grow and scale up. Some of the business solutions and platforms include Takatack, the online marketplace of Voyager, and Lendr, which is a digital lending platform where MSMEs can apply and process various loans.

As Mitch Locsin, PLDT FVP and head of SME Business, have said during the launch, this does not only empower the entrepreneurs by being present online, this also gives them the convenience of going digital and maximizing their potential to grow by fulfilling transactions through the digital solutions.

I believe digital technology is indeed a game changer for MSMEs. It provides them the opportunity to grow online and offline. The digital space will definitely enable them to take better control of their growth and prosperity.