Now on its final installment, our Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Across the Years feature culminates with previous awardees who have shaped industries such as media, publications, retail and fashion. We’ve also included the women who have revolutionized long-standing corporations from the inside as lauded intrapreneurs. This Thursday, on March 30, 2017, Go Negosyo will be awarding a new set of women entrepreneurs as the Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2017. As the much awaited awarding draws near, so does the end of the nationwide celebration of Women’s Month. As we continue on this 2017, let us not forget about the ever growing number of Filipina Entrepreneurs gaining recognition for their ability to be catalysts for change and leaders of true progress in our country.
Maria Ressa – Rappler
Maria Ressa was awarded in 2014 by Go Negosyo as a Filipina Starpreneur for her work as the CEO and Founder of Rappler. Ressa is among the most fearless and decorated journalists of Asia. She spent decades of her life in investigative journalism, concentrating mostly in exposing terrorist groups and networks across the Asian region. In her 20s, she set up a a group called Probe Productions which aimed to introduce television broadcasting to television. She then went on to become a well-decorated journalist with CNN. From a journalist, she became a director of the Southeast Asian operations of the global news group. Today, she has taken her vast experience in journalism and continues to evolve the landscape of journalism and media.
Sari Yap – MEGA Publishing Group
In 2012, Sari Yap was awarded as the STARpreneur in the field of Publishing for her work as CEO and Founder of One MEGA Publishing Group. Working in the world of fashion and publications was admittedly a rough journey for Yap. As the first nationwide fashion magazine in the country, Yap had to battle a lot of criticisms and doubts from investors and other naysayers. Her company has survived two financial crises, and today runs 10 magazines that focus on lifestyle, travel and of course, fashion. Yap has proven herself as a trailblazer in the local fashion publication industry and serves as an inspiration to many who choose to follow her path.
Marixi Rufino-Prieto – Philippine Daily Inquirer
As the Chair of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), Marixi Prieto was awarded as early as 2010 for her expansive work in publications during the Most Inspiring Women Awards hosted by Go Negosyo. Aside from PDI, Prieto is also the Director of several businesses such as Cebu Daily News, Hinge Inquirer Publication Inc., Inquirer Interactive Inc., Inquirer Publications Inc., Printown Group, Sunvar Inc., Investment and Marketing Association, Ionian Industrial Property Inc., Corinthian Industrial Property, Inc., HMR Enterprises, Inc., Lexmedia Realty, Inc., Var Buildings, Inc., Parkside Realty Development Corporation, Golden Pizza Inc., Golden Donuts Inc., International Family Foods Services, Inc., Mix-plant Inc., LRP Inc., Pinnacle Printers Corporation, Inquirer Holdings, Inc., Mediacom Equities, Inc., Matrix Resources Portfolio Holdings, Inc., and Excel Pacific Equities, Inc.
Natividad “Naty” Cheng – Uratex
Naty Cheng was awarded in 2014 as one of the Medium/Large STARpreneurs by Go Negosyo. As the co-founder and CEO of Uratex, many know of her inspiring story as a factory worker with cum business owner who pioneered the first foam factory in the country. Her husband and her started the business with a capital of 4,000 pesos and today, Uratex continues on as a multi-million peso business that has expanded its products from beds/foams, to adhesives, containers and plastic furnitures and now sells to countries all over Asia, the Netherlands and Australia.
Zenaida “Nedy” Tantoco – Rustan’s Commercial Corp.
Nedy Tantoco is the current Chair and CEO of Rustan Commercial Corp., the long-standing and most prominent high-end retail company in the country. Under the Tantoco’s, Rustan’s has outlasted many other department stores of the same concept—leading the Tantocos to be known as the first family of the luxury industry in our country. Today, Nedy continues to lead Rustan’s to greater heights as they diversified from home and fashion to food with Rustan’s Supermarkets. Nedy was awarded in 2011 by Go Negosyo as a STARpreneurs in the large category.
Marife Zamora – Convergys Philippines
Marife Zamora was awarded as a STARpreneur by Go Negosyo in 2012 and was later on awarded as one of the Most 100 Influential Filipina Women in the World in 2013. Zamora’s numerous accolades is due to her pioneering success in the corporate world as the Convergys Managing Director for Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East, and Africa, the company’s largest region. In the business process outsourcing industy, men dominate the leadership positions and Zamora is the only Filipina in the world who has reached the C-Suite level. Under her leadership, Convergys has become the number 1 employer in the Philippines in just a little over a decade.
Rizalina Mantaring – Sun Life Financial Philippines
Rizalina Mantaring is the current Country Head of Sun Life Financial Philippines. Under her leadership, the Philippine operation has implemented numerous industry firsts and innovations for which Sun Life is known, helping Sun Life become the number one insurance company in the country. With her background in IT, Mantaring was able to transfer the Philippines into the IT hub of the global Sun Life Financial Group in only five years. Before her ascent to leadership in Sun Life, the company had difficulty acquiring the number one spot in the country. Today, they’ve held on to the number on spot for 5 consecutive years. Mantaring was awarded by Go Negosyo in 2015 during the FIlipina summit for her often praised work and innovation in the Insurance industry.
Maria Fe Agudo – Hyundai Asia Resources Inc.
As the President of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI) Agudo received the 2011 Ernst & Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award. She was awarder due to her work with HARI not only in building the Hyundai brand in the Philippines as a formidable player in the auto industry, but also as an innovator in nation building through HARI’s engagement with government and private partners in sustainable community building projects such as the Hyundai Center for Green Innovation located in the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in Bulacan; Hyundai Embraces Lanao Partnership for Education program in partnership with Synergeia Foundation; and St. Scholastica Mission Hospital in Catarman, Northern Samar.
She is also the current President and co-founder of the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID) and a 2013 Go Negosyo Women Icons of Entrepreneurship Awardee.