New York – The Philippine Consulate General organized the first-ever Filipino American Women’s Entrepreneurship Forum in New York on 27 April 2019 at the Philippine Center.
The forum served as a venue where aspiring Filipina entrepreneurs met, engaged, and networked with four inspiring Filipinas who have grown their businesses in design, events, social media, beauty products, and dental services on-demand start-ups.
In his welcome remarks, Deputy Consul General Kerwin Tate said that the Philippine Consulate recognizes the myriad opportunities for improving lives in the Filipino American community, emphasizing that New York has a huge market where,“with the right product and the right effort, success is just around the corner.”
WE NYC Director Diana Franco talks about New York City initiative and programs that support and empower women entrepreneurs. (Photo by Robby Manubay)
Through WE Connect, women entrepreneurs are introduced to established professionals through mentoring, networking events, and the digital portal. The WE Master program help these women connect with credit-building services, coach them on capital planning, preparing loan applications and managing debt, as well as build their leadership skills. The WE Fund platform help them access affordable capital either through crowdfunding or from local lending institutions. Through WE Legal, these women receive legal advice from NYC’s top firms on a variety of crucial topics.
(L-R) Women entrepreneurs Carla Caramat, Jeanne Grey, Ivie Joy, and Mally Roncal during a panel discussion moderated by LedyAlmadin (far right). (Photo by New York PCG)
Each shared their stories on what sparked their desire to venture into entrepreneurship, their driving force and motivation to become successful, and how they raise and sustain the capital funding for their businesses.
Mally said that “timing is everything,” recalling her decision to start her own makeup line after feeling the toll of the demands of being a celebrity makeup artist and with people constantly asking her “how do you make that look?” She admitted that she was not the best makeup artist, but she knows that “I could do makeup, I can communicate what I know, I can sell something like nobody’s business, and I can speak from my heart.” She pitched her products to QVC, a broadcast TV home shopping channel network, and her products were completely sold out in 36 minutes.
Ivie Joy, who was working as a production assistant and designer at a floral shop, realized that her floral designs were being sold at weddings and gave her the idea that “if her designs are making money for these people, then it should give her the level of confidence that she can do it on her own.” Speaking about managing her capital which started at $2,000, she emphasized that she had to “choose the right people to work with and maintain good relations with owners of floral shops, vendors and clients she had worked with to deliver the highest quality of product.”
Jeanne Grey shares how she navigated through the social media influencer industry with no budget and capital, but only herself. (Photo by Robby Manubay)
Carla Caramat of Dentist on Demand talks about finding the niche and right market to succeed as an entrepreneur. (Photo by Robby Manubay)
A networking event attended by more than 100 participants immediately followed after the program. The participants were able to interact with these entrepreneurs whose products were also on display at the Philippine Center Gallery lobby.