Today, we are recognizing the latest batch of Filipina entrepreneurs who have shown great examples to the next generation. Many of you would ask, why are we doing this? Why are we recognizing women entrepreneurs? We are honoring them because aside from taking care of their families, they still have time to pursue their dreams and lead enterprises.
We are fortunate to have President Rodrigo Duterte today to witness and hand the trophies to all the awardees. For the past years, we usually hold this awarding ceremony in World Trade Center in front of thousands of Filipina entrepreneurs and students. But this year is special. With the presence of the President, the awarding ceremony will be in Malacanang.
Executive Secretary Bingbong Medialdea and DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez will also attend the ceremony. I also asked Tessie Sy-Coson, Vice Chairperson of SM Investments Corporation, and one of the leading women Filipina entrepreneurs today to join us. I’m sure there are many young women who look up to her.
We are recognizing micro and small entrepreneurs because 99.6% of the enterprises in the country are from this sector. Despite their size, they are committed to reach their own success. In many seminars and Mentor Me programs of Go Negosyo, most of the attendees are women who run retail shops or food establishments. By awarding fellow micro and small entrepreneurs, we hope that others will see them as an inspiration to continue their journey and flourish in their industry.
In our mission to promote inclusive growth, we are recognizing two Filipina entrepreneurs with inclusive business models which have helped low-income communities including and most especially our farmers. As inclusive business category awardees, we want them to become ambassadors and promote the good advocacy of this type of business model.
We also have one youth awardee. Today, many students opt to become entrepreneurs after their graduation. And that is great. Because when Go Negosyo was starting, entrepreneurship is not one of the top career choices in our country. Through our youth awardee, Go Negosyo is reaching out to the young generation and hoping to instill in them the entrepreneurial spirit.
As mentioned last week, we are also recognizing women entrepreneurs who have also enabled and empowered fellow women entrepreneurs. They served as guides and mentors to many entrepreneurs in the community and because of them, these entrepreneurs were led to the right track of doing business.
To complete the list of awardees this year, let me share with you the women entrepreneurs who have shown that positive mindset, plus great passion, multiplied by extreme persistence is the right formula of success. These medium-large entrepreneurs led companies and brands and survived challenging business world. They are inspiring because of their heart for their craft and perseverance.
First on our list of medium-large entrepreneurs is Felicia Atienza who leads Chinese International School Manila (CISM). Restaurateur Ana De Ocampo is also an awardee because of her dedication to the food industry by establishing Wildflour Café and Bakery. When Havaianas arrived in the Philippines, it is because of Anne Gonzalez of Terry S.A and she is included in this year’s batch.
An advocate of local art, Sheree Gotuaco is also one of the awardees this year. Sheree is the CEO of Omnimoda International with brands including Freeway, Ensembles, and Solo. In this category we also selected an intrapreneur. Intrapreneurs are people working in an organization with an outstanding entrepreneurial mindset. For this, we selected Gina Lorenzana, Vice President for Personal Care of Unilever Philippines. Considered as one of the inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs today, a former domestic helper Rebecca Bustamante Mills now leads Chalre Associates, a multinational recruitment firm for senior management officers.
Adding to the list of awardees is Mary Ann “Baby” Montemayor of Villa Margarita Hotel & Catering. Villa Margarita started as a hotel in 1991 and eventually ventured into catering in 1993 to small private functions. Last on the medium-large entrepreneurs is Evelyn Palomo of the Great Image. Great Image is known nationwide for its quality and professional photography services.
We are also honoring Filipina entrepreneurs who are in the industry for many years, have surpassed challenges, celebrated triumphs and made their own legacies.
First to be called as a Go Negosyo Filipina Legacy is Corazon Dayro Ong of CDO Foodsphere. CDO is known as one of the most established meat manufacturing brands in the country.
Mercedes Gotianun, Chairman Emeritus of Filinvest Development Corporation is also one of the legacy awardees this year. Together with her late husband, Andrew Gotianun Sr., they led the company to greater heights throughout the years.
Rosalind Wee of the W Group of Companies is also one of the legacy awardees. Starting from an agribusiness, she has ventured into other areas including realty and development.
Last but definitely not the least is Nanay Coring or Socorro Ramos. At 94, we consider her as one of the oldest Filipina entrepreneurs in the country. The story of National Bookstore has been shared many times over the years but it still continues to inspire aspiring and young entrepreneurs. She is really an example of a legacy entrepreneur!
These are the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs of 2017. I hope that through this, we can inspire the next batch of entrepreneurs in the country!