8 Mar 2020, 10:00 — 7 min read
If there’s one thing that we should be proud of, it’s seeing more and more women who are actively choosing to challenge stereotypes, gender bias, and perceptions. Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, let’s honor women entrepreneurs who have stood against all odds to improve situations, make an impact, and pursue what they believe in as meaningful work.
Here are the five women entrepreneurs and UnionBank GlobalLinker members who proved that being a woman is never a limitation to growth.
With grit and persistence, Angelica Chongco managed to grow her business, Mayumi Organics—even if it meant waiting for four years before getting her biggest break, a million deal from a single client.
From P3,000 as a starting capital, Angelica built a successful business despite the challenges she had to face—managing her ventures while having a little business background, dealing with her insecurities, to raising her family.
When asked what kept her going despite the challenges, during an interview with UnionBank GlobalLinker, Angelica shared: This is where I found my purpose. It’s something that I’m not willing to give up even if I undergo difficulties.
“There were a lot of sacrifices on my part to the point that I’m not going out anymore. I’m not seeing my friends. I missed a lot of special occasions. But everything is worth it,” she added.
If you greatly believe in what you are doing, keep pursuing. Giving up is not an option. Just how Angelica faced and triumphed over all challenges before she got her big break to grow her business. While it may take time to grow your business, every sacrifice is definitely worth it.
When Benguet farmers were forced to throw away tons of vegetables due to oversupply, Iloisa Romaraog stepped in and offered a solution in the form of her online grocery store, Session Groceries. What started as a regular business has now become a more meaningful enterprise empowering and providing opportunities to farmers as they sell their produce directly to consumers.
“I’m happy to see our farmers getting empowered. It’s empowering because we are able to teach them how to sell their products,” Iloisa shares.
Take heart and do not be discouraged as every entrepreneur goes through a lot of challenges.
When you’re true to your advocacy, you will attract people who will believe and support your business. Session Groceries has received overwhelming support from people who also have the desire to help farmers. Because of this, the business was able to help more farmers. In fact, they were able to sell 2.5 million worth of rice in just a span of two months.
Iloisa is improving the situations of a marginalized sector, the farmers, by providing opportunities for them.
Starting young, Czarina had to deal with prejudice and awkward questions when meeting clients for her business. “They’d ask me, ‘Where’s your boss?’ and they’d be surprised when I tell them that I’m the boss.” But this didn’t stop Czarina to pursue her business. She made sure that in every meeting, she was going to put forward something meaningful on the table.
While she could have chosen the stable path of the corporate world, Camay Villeroz chose to make a mark by pursuing her advocacy: to empower the indigenous people of Ayta Magbukun in Bangkal Bataan by providing job opportunities and helping them become self-sufficient.
Despite receiving feedback from people that indigenous people are hard to train, and that her social enterprise, Impact Living, is doomed to fail, she pursued believing in the capabilities of the IP people. “What I learned is that when you train them, don’t impose solutions. Allow your community to be creative so they can enjoy what they are doing.”
Her project has blossomed into a social enterprise that seemed to be embedded in her life now. “The community has become part of my life. They have become like my second family."
Also read: This engineer turned social entrepreneur co-creates social impact with the indigenous people of Ayta Magbukun in Bataan
Going through ups and downs as a mother and entrepreneur, Lerma Ermitanio or fondly called as “Mommy Lei,” founded Mompreneurs Club PH to help fellow mompreneurs. She could have just kept the secret of her business success to herself, but she chose to share what she has learned. Mompreneurs Club PH now has over 8,000 members and counting.
“In business, the start-up phase may be the hardest part, but it doesn’t mean that keeping the business and your interest will not be a challenge as well. Sometimes your passion and joy to continue your business may dwindle due to unexpected circumstances. But take heart and do not be discouraged as every entrepreneur goes through a lot of challenges,” she encourages her fellow entrepreneurs. “Your ‘whys’ matter because these will be your anchors during the stormy seasons in your life and in business.”
Also read: Keep going. For the one on the verge of giving up
From mompreneurs, social entrepreneurs, hustlers, girl bosses, to female founders, we’re celebrating you. A day is never enough to show our gratitude for the impact you’ve made in our lives. We are proud of you! You make the world better and more awesome.
Happy International Women’s Day!
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