According to the World Bank, only one in three businesses are owned by women around the world. In a space traditionally dominated by men, it's inspiring to know Filipina entrepreneurs who successfully established their businesses.
Take a look at four inspiring Filipina entrepreneurs who can motivate women in business to continue taking steps toward their own goals.
Mylene Abiva - The Fearless Filipina Entrepreneur
The CEO of FELTA Multi-Media Inc has an inspiring story as one of the most notable women in tech today. Her transition from the child of the owner to CEO wasn't an easy journey.
She was a trade relations officer in the U.S. when her family asked her to come back home. They needed her to manage FELTA Books Inc. When Mylene took the reins, she faced many challenges such as the Asian Financial Crisis, a volatile business environment, and a company buried in debt.
Armed with corporate knowledge from the US, she was able to lead the family business towards digitalization. To this day, she continues to find ways to move the business forward.
Financial lessons from a fearless Filipina entrepreneur:
“If you can self-finance your operations, do it. Too many businesses dig themselves a deeper hole because they borrow too much and they can’t pay their way out of it because of interest rates.”
Learn more about her inspiring story, here.
Pinky Yee - Go Negosyo's 2022 Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneur
Known as a Marketing and Sales Growth Superstar, Pinky Yee pushed the definition of corporate success in the last 30 years and is now redefining retirement.
Pinky was instrumental in shaping the mindset and work ethic of Goldilocks. Under her leadership, managers received a holistic experience in selling pastries, preparing supplies and products, and doing administrative work. She underscored the importance of listening and learning from everyone within the company, including those in subordinate positions. Through her leadership, the company grew from nine stores in 1988 to over 400 stores nationwide n 2015.
When she experienced a health setback in 2018, she took the opportunity to start her own venture. Aside from keeping her corporate work during the day, she drafted business plans at night to launch her own brand of natural cleaning products, LivClean.
Retirement fund lessons from the Filipina entrepreneur:
“Kung ito ang pera mo, you should be able to separate it into three: what you need to live by, what you need to set aside as your investment money, and what you will use to help your community.”
“I put part of my retirement fund in a low-risk investment. Low-risk lang kasi I do not want naman a high yield, gusto ko lang may little bit of interest. If I place my money in high-risk investment portfolio or products, it’s just like putting it in business kasi may risk din yun. Businesses are high risk din especially during COVID times when the situation is volatile.”
Learn more about her journey as a Filipina entrepreneur, here.
Justine Cordero - Wellness Entrepreneur
Justine Cordero's journey as an entrepreneur has its share of success and heartbreak. Color Manila, the sports event company she built, brought wisdom and experience that other aspiring entrepreneurs can learn from.
Unlike other running events, Color Manila tapped a completely different market. It welcomed participants from every skill level, not just experienced athletes. While the brand gained popularity, its cash flow was already hitting the ground. It was an adventurous venture but it was doomed to fail without financial planning. In 2019, Color Manila was sold.
Backed by the lessons she gained from her first venture, Justine runs several businesses in different fields. She operates Blackwood Resort with her husband and leads Women's Fitness Philippines. She became more discerning with her new brands and companies, applying logic over love. Most of all, she made business financial planning a priority, not an afterthought.
Lessons from a failed venture.
“Apart from the financials, you have to ask yourself as an entrepreneur about the time you will be spending in your business. Given the profit margin that you’re going to get when you scale, kamusta yung health mo? Mentally, would you still have time? Is it worth it?”
Take inspiration from the wellness entrepreneur, here.
Kamela Seen - from Household Manager to CEO
Financial planning in both business and household is key for Plato Wraps CEO Kamela Seen. Faced with the challenges of a long-distance relationship with her husband, she started a catering business. This generated additional income for their daily household budget enabling them to save most of her husband's income. She put their finances in order. After six years as an OFW, her husband was able to come home for good.
Business opportunities soon arrived for the couple. What started as a bakery eventually grew into branches and then franchising opportunities.
She knew that the most important financial skill for any wife, mother, or business owner is budgeting. As their business expanded, Kamela made sure that they were able to stay true to their core values and continue to live within their means. She also looked into insurance products that can help protect her family, savings, and income. For her, insurance is one way to safeguard everything that she and her husband have worked so hard for.
Lessons from a mom entrepreneur.
“Ang unang ginawa ko ay nilagay ko kami ni Tony sa payroll,” says Kamela. “Kung ano ang payroll namin, ‘yun lang ang pera namin. Hindi dahil may business ka, pwede ka nang kumuha [ng pera] agad-agad. Hanggang ngayon, sweldo pa rin kami, pero ini-increase ko naman.”
Learn bright ideas from Kamela Seen, here.
Successful entrepreneurs are a testament to the lessons and rewards of running your own business. It's more so inspiring for young women to know female entrepreneurs who were able to create a name for themselves along with the brand and business they created.
Learn inspiring lessons from these Filipina entrepreneurs. Your business goals can be achieved with the right strategy, commitment, and passion. Talk to a financial advisor today to be guided on your journey as an entrepreneur.