In the first half of the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Across the Years feature, we focused on the legacies and social innovators in order to encourage our readers to dream big and have hearts of compassion. For the second part of this feature we wish to capture your imagination and minds with these group of educators, beauty and wellness proponents and food entrepreneurs who have been constant inspirations in the entrepreneurial journeys of women from all over the country. On March 30, 2017 Go Negosyo will be announcing a new set of women entrepreneurs as the Inspiring Filipina Awardees of 2017. We can’t wait for what stories will unfold then but for now, we hope this list will quell your thirst for inspiration and motivation:
Helena Benitez – Philippine Women’s University
The late Helena Benitez was a champion of women’s education as a veteran educator, former senator and administrator of the Philippines Women’s University. As a senator, she authored several laws advocating the advancement of education and women’s right. She has received many accolades and awards, amongst them are the 2007 Manila Awardee, 2009 Woman Awardee, and the 2013 Womenpreneur Icon from Go Negosyo. She lived to be one 102, and her legacy carries on through PWU and the numerous lives she has touched. Her former residence has also been turned into a heritage home found in San Juan.
Preciosa Soliven – O.B. Montessori
In 1966, Dr. Preciosa Soliven opened the first OB Montessori school in the Philippines. OB Montessori has become the country’s premier co-educational institution that nurtures the inner teacher of the child and develops them holistically through its Prepared Environment and specially trained teachers. Through the innovative programs in entrepreneurship, agriculture, performing arts and leadership training, the school has reconditioned Filipino children to become “citizens of the world”. Today, the school has several campuses in Metro Manila, a 16-hectare farm in Alfonso, Cavite; several ecumenical shrines; a 30-year old Child and Community Foundation and a new school of Culinary Arts – Istituto Culinario. Go Negosyo Awarded Dr. Preciosa Soliven for her innovative and modern approach to education during the Filipina Summit in 2013.
Mary Joy Abaquin – Multiple Intelligence
Mary Joy Abaquin was awarded by Go Negosyo in 2014 as a Filipina Starpreneur for establishing the Multiple Intelligence School (M.I.S.). Abaquin’s involvement with Go Negosyo dates back to when she wrote the successful book “8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs” published in 2010. The Founding Directress of M.I.S. is a pioneering educator and advocate for innovative practice and reform in the education sector. Her school’s tagline “Where Every Child is Smart” is widely celebrated for being the first educational institution in the county that has integrated Entrepreneurship in the Basic Education and High Schoo Programs. Today, the school is receiving continuous praise for introducing kids to entrepreneurship at an early age and recognizing the different kinds of intelligence a child can possess.
BEAUTY & WELLNESS
Dra. Vicky Bello – Belo Medical Group
Dra. Vicky Belo is a household name to most Filipinos. Known as the doctor of the stars, she was awarded by Go Negosyo as a 2011 Starpreneur under the Large Enterprise category. She obtained her M.D. locally before training and receiving further qualifications in Thailand and the U.S. She is a speaker and guest lecturer for several institutions locally and abroad. Her success as an entrepreneur started out as a chain of clinics the became known for being the go-to places for cosmetic surgery for celebrities, and has now grown to become a retail powerhouse with Belo Cosmetics reaching drugstore and supermarket shelves nationwide.
Cathy Turvil – Nurture Wellness Spa
Founder of Nurture Wellness Spa Tagaytay; leader in the wellness spa industry; founded the first internationally accredited spa school in the Philippines; Founding President of Spa Association of the Philippines. Over the last 12 years, Nurture Wellness Village has continued to evolve and expand. Ms. Turvill’s spa began to incorporate additional wellness aspects such as improved nutrition. She introduced her clients to healthier foods from Nurture Wellness Village’s own organic garden offering delicious meals that are prepared on site with all fresh ingredients. One of the spa’s most recent innovations is The Workwell Project. This project is a corporate wellness program that encourages employers to invest in the health of employees by offering the services of the Nurture Wellness Village. Turvil was awarded by Go Negosyo as a Filipina Starpreneur in 2014.
Dr. Rosalinda Ang-Hortaleza – HBC
Dr. Rosalinda Ang-Hortaleza is the chief executive behind the beauty and cosmetics brand, HBC. What started out as six stores of Hortaleza Viciador, which Dr. Rosalinda inherited with her husband, has now expanded to more than 200 branches nationwide thanks to the smart rebranding and renaming of the business to HBC. Dr. Rosalinda strongly believes in the right of every woman to feel beautiful. This is the reason why the brand offers a wide range of beauty and cosmetic products and impressively reasonable prices—gaining a big following of loyal customers. In 2011, Go Negosyo awarded Dr. Rosalinda as Starpreneur for her enterprising and spirit for doing business inclusively—prioritizing the mass market to provide accessible beauty products for all.
Corazon D. Ong – CDO Foodsphere, Inc.
Corazon D. Ong was awarded in 2013 as a Trustee as the Founder of food processing giant CDO Foodsphere, Inc. Ong has been lauded for her ability to keep the company afloat despite several waves of crises hitting the industry and the country. The diverse line-up of meat products offered by CDO decorate the aisles of grocery stores and are a staple in any Filipino’s pantry. What started out as a venture into helping augment her own family’s income has now become a food enterprise that is largely admired by the entrepreneurial community.
Abba Napa – The Moment Group of Restaurants
Abba Napa was amongst the Filipina entrepreneurs awarded by Go Negosyo during the Filipina Entrepreneur Summit last 2016. Napa’s story was also featured that same year in Go Negosyo’s 55 Inspiring Stories of Women Entrepreneurs. Her business venture, The Moment Group, is responsible for some of the metro’s hottest restaurants and bars. Customer favorites like 8cuts, Ooma and Din Tai Fung are just some of the restaurant offerings under Napa’s group’s belt. The group looks forward to bringing more restaurants to delight Filipino foodies in the future and taking their business to greater heights.
Lydia De Roca – Lydia’s Lechon
Lydia De Roca’s name is synonymous to the famed Filipino fiesta staple of lechon. For over 50 years now, Lydia’s Lechon has provided the iconic roasted dish to parties and gatherings nationwide. Equally impressive to the growth of her business is the underdog story behind it. Lydia’s Lechon started out as a simple bangketa stall in the 1960’s. But because of her hard work, perseverance, and of course, tasteful renditions of menu items featuring lechon, Lydia’s Lechon now sits amongst the most successful local food enterprises in the country. In 2011, she was awarded by Go Negosyo as Starpreneur for her success in taking a well-loved Filipino dish and turning it into a thriving business.