The Gift of A Dream

PHOTO CAPTION: Myrna Yao launched her new book: “The Gift of a Dream: The GREAT Women Project” last Tuesday, September 15. Her dream is to empower more women and to see the micro entrepreneur become SMEs and grow globally.

In a recent study done by the World Economic Forum, Philippines was ranked as the 9th best country for women. This is a positive recognition for the efforts of the government and the private sector to continue to empower women in all aspects, including entrepreneurship.

Go Negosyo is fortunate to have one passionate Filipina entrepreneur, Myrna Tang-Yao, who has been empowering women to become champions in their own fields. Myrna is one of Go Negosyo valued partners in our mission to empower aspiring entrepreneurs.  She has joined several Go Negosyo summits and fora and has shared her humble beginnings and success story, as well as business tips, always inspiring and educating the audience. She proudly shares that she was inspired by our advocacy, Go Negosyo in empowering women in the country.

Myrna Yao is CEO of Richprime Global Inc. Her entrepreneurial journey started when she was still young. Her company distributes Mattel toys, one of the leading toy companies abroad, which produces Hot Wheels, Matchbox and the famous Barbie dolls. She is one of the featured entrepreneurs in our red book, the 50 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs and her story is truly remarkable.

Just last Tuesday, she has shared more than her story. She revealed her dream to all, through her newly launched book: The Gift of a Dream: The GREAT Women Project.  This book, as she said, is a dream come true.

In her book, she details her story as she worked for her father’s copra business in Camarines Sur. Normally, it was a job meant for men but this did not discourage her to excel. Her colleagues doubted her capabilities in manning the business. But she tuned them out and sought to do her best all the time. She shared in her book, “I envisioned every woman to be self-reliant – to have confidence in and exercise one’s own powers of judgment.” She has definitely lived up to it.

The book not only shared her entrepreneurial journey, it also discussed her project: The Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project when she was appointed as the Chair of Philippine Commission on Women by the former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. While she was appointed in 2004 and I in 2005 as the Presidential Consultant for Entrepreneurship, we were both aiming for progress and development for the country.

The GREAT Women Project is “a governance and capacity development project. It aimed to promote and support a gender-responsive enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment particularly those in microenterprises.” It aimed to provide women micro-entrepreneurs with (1) greater access to information, credit, skills training, technology and new markets, (2) increased participation in high-value economic activities and decision-making in their respective industries and sectors, (3) better work conditions and zero or minimal discriminatory practices, (4) social protection and other safety nets, and (5) better incomes from their enterprises. Thanks to Myrna’s leadership then, this project continued its mission to support the growth of women microentrepreneurs in all provinces.

One of the validations of the GREAT Women Project is the story of Erlin Sullano from Bacolod City. She shared that through this project, she was able to cultivate and improve skills as a manicurist. She was given training and a certification for it. She said, “I am very thankful for the training and certification through the project, as it has given me a better life. I have become a popular manicurist in my barangay and I am now able to save money. As a woman, I now feel that I have the power to make my life and my family’s life change for the better.”

This story, which is just one of the many stories of success from poverty, has proven that thru interventions like the GREAT Women Project, women’s lives can change.  Myrna’s  dream of empowering women through entrepreneurship is causing a dramatic transformation in the lives of Filipinas and her family.

As they say, women are prime movers of this country that is why we are proud to say that Go Negosyo initiates as well a lot of fora and Summits every year focused on levelling-up the capabilities of women.  Her involvement in our mission to transform the country into an enterprising nation is truly a gift for all of us as we are all aiming to turn the microentrepreneurs into small, medium and large enterprises. Slowly but surely, we can all make this dream into reality if we all work together to encourage not only the women but all Filipinos to have an enterprising mindset and attitude.

Dreaming is the start of a journey. Making it happen is more important. As Myrna shared, “The story does not end in the last chapter (of this book).” Women empowerment must continue until all women entrepreneurs become successful entrepreneurs!

Congratulations Myrna, and we support your fight to poverty through the GREAT Women Project!