FIVE women micro-entrepreneurs have been recognized by an international non-profit organization for their accomplishments in maintaining and sustaining their businesses.
On Dec. 6, 2023, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi) Microfinance held the Entrepreneurs Summit with the theme “Sulong Negosyante: Charging Forward to Unlock the Potentials of Women Entrepreneurs” which focuses on women microentrepreneurs who have grown and sustained their businesses.
“Embracing the challenge, demonstrating resilience, and determination in the face of adversity — these are essential characteristics of a successful individual,” said Amaya Cristina Aboitiz-Fansler, president and chief executive officer of Rafi and Rafi Microfinance.
At the summit, Rafi Microfinance collaborated with the Asia Impact Foundation Inc. (AIFI), an international non-governmental organization, to support women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia. The partnership aims to create a positive impact and aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, recognizing and awarding outstanding women micro-entrepreneurs.
Terry Farris, founder and trustee of AIFI, expressed satisfaction with the progress made by women entrepreneurs, acknowledging the challenges they face. He emphasized that the journey is not easy and expressed hope that stakeholders will continue working closely and not give up on supporting these entrepreneurs.
“Never let anybody tell you no. Always look for how do I keep going when no one else is there to help me,” said Farris.
The Power Pinays: Mauswagon Entrepreneur Award is an award given to honor outstanding women entrepreneurs. Out of 200 nominees from across the country, 13 emerged as finalists with five women receiving the award for each category.
Delia Inoc, owner of a shell craft and hog fattening business, and Virgilia Bonghanoy, owner of a general merchandise store, won in the category of Leaders of Decent Work and Economic Growth- Mauswagon.
Analyn Baria, owner of a digital printing and school supplies store, and restaurant won under the Leader of Decent Work and Economic Growth- Youth Category.
Maylin Ligad, president of Ritazo Women Workers’ Association, a sewing business, won in the category of Leader of Responsible Consumption
Ailyn Flormata, owner of a native bags business, who won in the category of Leader of Industry Innovation, shared that her initial challenge was establishing connections during the beginning phase, especially in reaching out to her audience. However, she was determined to expand and actively engage in various social media groups to expand her connections.
“The most difficult thing to do is to start what you’re dreaming of, especially when putting up a business. You have to take risks and prepare yourself for failure,” said Baria, who is from Ajuy, Iloilo, in her acceptance speech.
The summit also showcased locally handmade products of merchants from Rafi Microfinance. The summit is part of a series of events in line with the 25th celebration of Rafi Microfinance Inc. in elevating the lives of micro-entrepreneurs and their families.