We had an overflow crowd of around 7,000 participants from 90 universities, which also included around 500 technopreneurs, who had the chance to learn from the dialogue with the country’s tech giants Engr. Dado and Manny “MVP” Pangilinan. The two are very busy people who put their schedules together because both have the passion to help Filipinos fight poverty.
Senator Ralph Recto likewise lent his time and gave a very remarkable and inspiring talk on his vision for 2020, and all the attendant requirements in health, education, food security, infrastructure, and technology.
Together with the 27 other successful technopreneurs who lent their time to share their knowhow and advise during our forum panels, they made the audience who packed the summit stay until the very end.
Towards the evening, I hosted a dinner for Dado and MVP to thank them for the support they have given by attending last year’s and this year’s summit. Dado is also spending more time with his other advocacies particularly the Phildev efforts of helping improve the level of education in science and engineering in our country. As Dado always says, this is the way forward to make our country develop faster and generate more successful technopreneurs.
That evening we also launched our 6th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit, a back to back summit right after the Techno, which is going to be held next week March 7. Senator Grace Poe, who will give the keynote address in the women summit, graced our dinner. Of course, Senator Cynthia Villar, a long-time Go Negosyo advocate and partner, with my co-chair of the 6th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit Alice Eduardo of Santa Elena Construction and Development Corp. likewise attended our launch.
I met Alice last year and was amazed at how she became the “queen” in a men-dominated construction industry, particularly when it comes to piling and foundation works. I heard that her company is the only Filipino group who could do huge piling works for large-scale construction projects of many big corporations like the SM group, Belle, Bloomberry, Megaworld projects, from residential, shopping malls, E-com centers, medical centers, entertainment centers, even private power and port projects. She quietly started her from in 1996. Even large foreign and local contractors are sub-contracting to her group for the piling and foundation works.
At the age of 48, and believe me she looks younger than her age, she has done over 100 big projects from the private sector for the past 18 years. But what made me ask her to be part of Go Negosyo and co-chair the event for us was her positive entrepreneurial personality and her passion to help people find their path to success, her love for her family, and being so humble despite all her success.
This is the same quality that I see in so many women who achieved success – their passion to serve whether in a public life like the case of Senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe, Rep. Leni Robredo, and Senator Miriam Santiago who was our guest speaker in 2013.
All the women we invited for our next summit this March 7 were equally successful and empowered women like Korina Sanchez, Karen Davila, and Nicole Hyala from media, and those in the private sector like Fe Agudo of Hyundai, Rappler’s Maria Ressa, DHL Philippines’ Yati Abdullah, Marife Zamora of Convergys Corp. and other inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs.
All these women possess the passion to serve and, I would say, the passion to excel. This is what we hope to showcase to those attending the 6th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit, the pathway to success, hard work, perseverance and passion to serve.
Women comprise 70 percent for our micro and small entrepreneur start-ups. We hope to see the passage of Senator Bam Aquino’s Go Negosyo bill which has passed 3rd reading. We recognize the support given by his fellow Senators Recto, Angara and Alan Peter Cayetano. The Go Negosyo bill hopes to consolidate the support that could be extended to the micro and small entrepreneurs such as the establishment of key Negosyo Centers around the country.
If big businesses enjoy tax and other incentives thru the BOI, it’s time we give our women entrepreneurs, who comprise the bulk of micro and small businesses, that chance to succeed. As our President pushes is for inclusive growth, it is thru the help of big business that inclusive growth can be a priority by creating inspiration, training and mentoring and hopefully, thru the Go Negosyo bill, will empower them to succeed.
On March 7, we are happy to have, aside from Senator Grace Poe and others I have mentioned, the youngest sister of President Aquino and our Fiesta Pasta endorser and major celebrity mompreneur Kris Aquino. She will definitely be giving an inspiring message to both men and women and the youth who will attend this event.
We will also be honoring this year’s inspiring women entrepreneurs for their exemplary performance in doing business.
March is the global celebration of Women’s Month and in honor of all women, our grandmothers, our mothers, sisters and our better half, it is best to appreciate and honor them by giving them the help needed to move up in life.