First Lady Atty. Marie Louise Araneta Marcos; United States Ambassador to the Philippines Marykay Carlson; Go Negosyo Founder Mr. Joey Concepcion; Paranaque City Mayor Eric Olivarez; esteemed guests, especially women entrepreneurs and champions with us today-a pleasant morning to all.

This Go Negosyo Women Summit is an opportunity for us to reflect on how far we have come to advance the needs and interests of Filipino women entrepreneurs. At present, women lead more than 300,000 businesses in the Philippines. And they represent optimism about our country’s economic recovery and growth. Initiatives like Go Negosyo are instrumental in explaining why and how we must keep supporting women engaged in business.

Women play a crucial role in Philippine business, and their contributions are essential in driving economic progress and creating a more equitable society. According to research, female entrepreneurs create jobs faster than their male counterparts.

Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table, leading to increased workplace creativity, innovation, and decision-making. When women succeed in business, they serve as role models and mentors for other women, inspiring them to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. This can help to create a virtuous cycle of empowerment and encourage more women to enter the business world.

Let me take a moment to acknowledge the strength and resilience of women entrepreneurs and business owners in the face of challenges. You are vital in driving economic growth and creating opportunities for our fellow Filipinos. Your hard work and dedication are truly inspiring.

I know that running a business takes work, especially in the current climate of uncertainty and change. But I want to assure you that your efforts do not go unnoticed. Your contributions to the economy and society are invaluable, and I do not doubt that you will continue to make a positive impact in the years to come.

Please know that you have my support and the support of DTI and many others as you navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. Keep pushing forward, stay

focused on your goals, and never give up on your dreams. This is my advice to you, you can achieve great things, and I look forward to seeing on what you accomplish.

We at DT consider it a priority to empower and support businesses, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), that serve as the backbone of our economy. For women leaders of MSMEs as well as larger businesses, we have designed initiatives that will enable them to overcome and thrive amid barriers in their access to money, mentorship, and the market.

We also aim to level the playing field for women by enabling them to grow their businesses. Women entrepreneurs can be part of initiatives such as the Rural Agro-industrial Partnership for Inclusive Development Growth Project, She Trades Philippines, and Investing in Women Asia. Women who own or operate enterprises are also among those, whom we will work to enable digital transformation so that these their businesses can thrive amid Industry 4.0 and the digital era.

I believe in women’s immense potential, capabilities, and strengths, Go Negosyo’s more than 200 women entrepreneur awardees and those we will recognize today are a testament to at what women can accomplish. Rest assured that, we at DTI, shall continue to support you as you contribute to nation-building.

Thank you. Mabuhay ang kababaihang negosyante!*

Date of release: 18 March 2023