It has been an empowering day for more than 15,000 participants who came at the World Trade Center last Friday, March 2 during the 4th Women Entrepreneurship Summit! In partnership with GMA 7 and The Philippine Star, Go Negosyo continues to honor and empower the Filipina to break barriers, achieve success and move up in life. The attendees were a good mix of people, ranging from aspiring entrepreneurs, employees, government and civic groups, to people with disabilities and students from schools and universities.
In his opening speech, Go Negosyo’s founder Joey Concepcion expressed that Filipinos are not destined for poverty, but greatness is for those who want it most. GMA’s Chairman & CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon shared his insights on the contributions of women in our society. Ms. Sara Soliven de Guzman, Board Director of the Philippine Star, also showed her support through a short message.
Men, women, and young people alike were inspired by the lives of this year’s ten Go Negosyo Women STARpreneurs, who were composed of Elma Arboleras, inventor of the Intelligent Bus Utility System (iBus); Olivia Limpe-Aw, president of Destileria Limtuaco; Penk Ching, owner of The Pastry Bin; Susana Guerrero, president of Cravings Group of Companies; Maritel Nievera, president of Cabalen Corporation; Ma. Lourdes Ragas, owner of Carolina’s Lace Shoppe; Antuza Refalda, founder of Kalinga Brew; Rubby Sy, CEO of Forever Flawless Face & Body Center; Sari Yap, CEO & Founder of Mega Publishing Group; and Maritel Zamora, Managing Director for Asia Pacific and Europe, Middle East, and Africa of Convergys Corporation. Go Negosyo also cited three special women for being enablers and social entreprenuers. This year’s Woman Enabler awardee is Erlinda Bartolome, Managing Director of GMB Franchise Developers, while the Women Social Entrepreneur awardees are Putlih Kumalah Sug-Elardo of Sulu Royal Coffee and the People’s Alliance for Progress Multi-Purpose Cooperative, and Desiree Duran of Basuit Farmers Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
From the 13 awardees, BPI Family Bank selected one STARpreneur who has the most inspiring story and has displayed financial soundness in managing her business. This year, the BPI Family Business Excellence awardee is Cabalen’s Maritel Nievera. Multiply.com also awarded three of their women Multiply-neurs: Ms. Sol Villamayor of Digital Traincase as Multiply’s Alpha Merchant of the Year, Ms. Bianca Donato of The School of Satchel as Multiply Pinay Pride, and Ms. Adeline Co, Ms. Jasmin Hong and Ms. Jocelyn Tuazon of Little Emily Shop as Multiply Rookie of the Year.
During the program, Go Negosyo took the opportunity to thank the organization’s partners in its pursuit of promoting the spirit of entrepreneurship. These institutions include GMA Network, Philippine Star, PLDT SME Nation, Smart Communications, MERALCO, RFM Corporation, BPI Family Bank, Avon Cosmetics, LBC Express, Multiply.com, Orchard Property Marketing Corporation, Isuzu Philippines, and Valueline.
Successful personalities and womenpreneurs came to share their stories during the talks conducted throughout the day. In the morning program, GMA news anchor and Kapuso Foundation’s Executive Vice President and COO Mel Tiangco inspired people by sharing her life on being a woman for others. The afternoon talk sessions featured former Isabela governor and the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay awardee for Government Service Grace Padaca who talked about challenges and triumphs in government; Belo Medical Group’s Medical Director Dr. Vicky Belo on beauty, health, and wellness; Multiple Intelligence International School’s founding directress Mary Joy Canon-Abaquin on nurturing child strengths; former OFW and Mynd Consulting’s founder Myrna Padilla on breaking barriers and achieving success; and the former regional president of Starbucks Asia Maria Mercedes Corrales on becoming the best that one can be.
In between the talks are two fora featuring more women personalities. The morning forum, which talked about a woman’s road map to success, pooled successful women such as Villar Foundation’s Congresswoman Cynthia Villar, GKonomics’ Pinky Po, Asia America Initiative’s Honey Sumndad-Usman, women STARpreneurs Antuza Refalda, Marife Zamora, Olive Aw, and Elma Arboleras, and woman Social Entrepreneur Desiree Duran. Meanwhile, the celebrities who sat down together in the afternoon forum on celebrities with business excellence are Regine Tolentino, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan, Vina Morales, Angeli Pangilinan, Fanny Serrano, and Miriam Quiambao.
Participants also got a chance to be mentored by the Go Negosyo Angelpreneurs, as well as members of the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines and the Association of Image Consultants International (AICI) Philippines. On top of that, two separate seminars were held simultaneously with the main program, which featured top women speakers talking about how to start and run a business, as well as women issues such as health and wellness, beauty, and women’s rights. Among the speakers are Delby Bragais of AICI, V Cargo’s Paulo Tibig, woman Enabler awardee Erlinda Bartolome, fashion blogger Tricia Gosingtian, Mansmith & Fielders, Inc’s Chiqui Escareal-Go, Zen Zest’s Michelle Asence, The Budoir Dolls, Ineng’s barbeque Michelle Santiago, Dr. Mitch Dado of Capitol Medical Center, Jovita Nadal of National Nutrition Council, Reema Chanco of Power Plate Philippines, Public Attorney’s Office, Krav Maga Philippines, and Danah and Stacey Gutierrez of The Plump Pinay.
More than 200 aspiring and existing entrepreneurs took the opportunity to display the latest business models and ideas that can be adapted by the participants who would like to start their own negosyo. A Wish Ko Lang segment during the lunch break gave one lucky woman an opportunity to start her own business with a Swift Hotdog negosyo cart and a Kettle Korn dealership package. Furthermore, a mini variety show at the end of the program showcased performances from famous Kapuso stars, who wowed the crowd with their amazing talents. Among those who appeared are Chynna Ortaleza, Mikey Bustos, Steven Silva, Lirah Bermudez, and Sarah Lahbati. Kyla, Lovely Embuscado, Kyla, and Jonalyn Viray also rendered their talent during the program. RJ Ledesma and Ali Sotto were hosts and forum moderators in the morning program; while Maey and Betong hosted the afternoon segments, with Luanne Dy and Go Negosyo angelpreneur Mylene Abiva as afternoon forum moderators.
This is the first major summit of Go Negosyo for 2012. For seven years, Go Negosyo has been at the forefront of promoting the entrepreneurial mindset. It has been four years since the first Women Summit, yet it still continues to uplift spirits and inspire Filipinos!
Watch out for the regional Young Entrepreneurship Summits and the DTI-Go Negosyo caravans and Negosyo sa Barangay!