9 March 2024 (Sat) 11 PM | Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Parañaque

First Lady, Louise Araneta-Marcos; United States Ambassador to the Philippines, Her Excellency MaryKay Carlson; philanthropist and chairman of Teach for the Philippines, Elizabeth Eder Zobel-Ayala; pioneer Go Negosyo mentor, M. Rosalinda Wee; Go Negosyo founder and Private Sector Advisory Council Lead for Jobs Sector, Joey Concepcion; colleagues in government; distinguished guests; ladies and gentlemen—good afternoon.

Inspired by the entrepreneurial spirit of several of my women friends and acquaintances, I am thrilled to celebrate the Go Negosyo awarding today! The awardees’ pathways to success exemplify grit, grace, and overcoming challenges. Theirs’ are stories of empowerment, tenacity, and guts that our countrymen and women can learn from.

Today, we are lucky to have women who inspire us with their outstanding accomplishments in their chosen fields—from public service, media, sports, and entertainment to technology, education, food, and fashion. What better way to celebrate Women’s Month than celebrating the light of our home, the light of our nation?

Again, congratulations to all the Go Negosyo Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awardees 2024!

Awardees, your respective journeys have been remarkable. You faced the many challenges of entrepreneurship with much grit and perseverance. I believe your stories need to be told repeatedly to as many people as possible. Beyond success, your stories are stories of overcoming obstacles and enduring hardships. Beyond this, your stories are those of empowerment. Your journey also shows tenacity, flexibility, consistency, and creativity that keep you going a long way.

According to the ADB survey on women entrepreneurship in the Philippines, most female MSMEs lack registration beyond the basic barangay permit. This situation indicates that women struggle with registration and may lack interest in moving their businesses to the next level. We also learned that women-owned MSMEs have more difficulty accessing and using financial services and products, including digital financial services.

But let me tell you, from DTI, we extend a helping hand to all Pinay entrepreneurs navigating the constantly changing tides of business. We in the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) have initiated several programs to support your business expansion.

One example is addressing the issue of access to capital and credit, which is now possible with our Small Business Corporation’s RISE UP program. This multi- purpose loan program has soft terms and can easily be accessed by our small businesses. Last year, 2023, the RISE UP provided PHP 1.66 billion worth of loans to over 6,500 women MSMEs.

We also have the IDEAS Project, which seeks to enhance the participation of ASEAN women MSMEs in the digital economy. Until 2026, about two more years from now, these programs’ e-business training toolkits and modules will be available to Pinay entrepreneurs.

The DTI under the Marcos Jr. administration stands with you — all the awardees and all the women entrepreneurs on your achievement. Together, we can build a sustainable and inclusive Bagong Pilipinas through support, guidance, and inspiration. Your success is the nation’s success.

Salamat po at mabuhay ang women entrepreneurs! ♦

Date of release: 09 March 2024