The Power of Women: Successful Filipino Female Entrepreneurs who Inspire

Denise Emille Duque
March 08, 2023

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Gender bias is a widespread issue in business, affecting women at all levels. Gender bias is defined as the systematic and often unconscious attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs that favor one gender over the other, frequently to the detriment of women. However, despite many challenges such as gender bias, a lack of funding and resources, and societal expectations, women have demonstrated remarkable resilience and creativity in pursuing their dreams and building successful businesses.

This article will highlight women who have achieved great success in their fields and have served as role models for aspiring female entrepreneurs in the Philippines.


Successful Female Entrepreneurs in the Philippines

If you look closely, you'll find that our country is blessed with a number of remarkable, successful, and inspirational Filipina businesswomen. These bright Filipinas have successfully implemented their enterprises, concepts, and interests. Whether they founded or inherited them, they are the main factors in the success of their businesses and companies. These women are entrepreneurs in both business and social ventures. They have assisted our local communities as well as our country's social and economic development.

There are many successful female entrepreneurs here in the Philippines. Here are some notable examples that will surely inspire you.


Socorro Ramos

Socorro Ramos— the founder of the National Bookstore, went from being a saleslady to being a multimillionaire, making her the picture of success. Her experience demonstrates that in order to succeed, one must be resilient and a fighter. 

Socorro was about 18 years old when she began working as a saleswoman in a Goodwill Bookstore— owned by his brother Manuel in Escolta, Manila. In 1940, she and her husband started the National Book Store. The store's name was Socorro's idea as she would often notice the term "National" stamped on cash registers, which is quite fitting for it is considered as the pioneer in providing textbooks, novels, and other educational and office necessities of the Filipinos. 

National Bookstore's success continued, and the company now has over 2,500 employees and branches across the country. Maria Socorro Cancio Ramos is now in her 90s. Nanay Coring is a great inspiration to all those who struggle because she is the embodiment of overcoming challenges.


Vicki Belo, M.D.


Dr. Vicki Belo, a Filipino dermatologist and television personality, founded the Belo Medical Group and is well recognized for her work as a cosmetic surgeon. She is regarded as one of the most significant and influential individuals in the Philippines' cosmetic surgery industry and has won recognition on a global scale for her expertise in the field.

Over her career, Belo has built a reputation for using ground-breaking and innovative treatments in the field of cosmetic surgery, particularly in the fields of body contouring and skin rejuvenation. She has also been a vocal supporter of patient safety and moral guidelines for the cosmetic surgery business.

Belo has been a prominent figure in the media in addition to her work as a cosmetic surgeon, appearing on a number of television shows and hosting her own talk show. She has also been a regular contributor to a number of print and online publications, where she has shared her expertise and insights on the most recent trends and developments in the field of cosmetic surgery.

Vicki Belo has made significant contributions to the field of cosmetic surgery, including raising awareness of the importance of patient safety and ethical standards in the industry.


Natividad Cheng

In the Philippines, Natividad Cheng is a highly successful and inspiring female entrepreneur. She founded Uratex, the country's largest foam manufacturer, and has grown it from a small start-up to a multibillion-peso company with over 30 factories.

Cheng's entrepreneurial journey demonstrates her dedication, hard work, and innovative mindset. She founded Uratex in 1968 with only a few machines and a small production area, but through her leadership and vision, the company has grown to become an industry leader, supplying high-quality foam products to customers in the Philippines and beyond.

Cheng is well-known for her philanthropic efforts, which include support for various charities and causes in the Philippines. She has received numerous awards and accolades for her contributions to business and society, including being named one of Forbes Asia's "Heroes of Philanthropy" in 2014.

In general, Natividad Cheng is a remarkable and inspiring female entrepreneur who has made significant improvements to the economy and society of the Philippines. Her story is an inspiration to aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly women, who want to make a difference in their fields.



Corazon Ong

Corazon D. Ong, a prominent food manufacturer in the Philippines and a highly successful female entrepreneur, founded CDO Foodsphere.

In 1975, Ong established CDO Foodsphere with just a single modest stall in a public market, offering meat products to neighborhood residents. She was able to grow her company and eventually transform it into a multi-million dollar company with over 20 factories and a variety of food products due to her hard work and dedication. Ong's success is a testament to her sense of initiative and her capacity to spot business opportunities. She is renowned for her hands-on management style and dedication to providing Filipinos with high-quality, affordable food products.

Overall, Corazon D. Ong is a great and successful businesswoman who has had a big impact on the Philippines' food manufacturing industry. Her success story serves as motivation for ambitious company owners, especially women, who want to launch profitable businesses that improve the economy of their country.

Rica Mananquil Trillo

Rissa Mananquil Trillo is a well-known figure in the beauty and fashion industry in the Philippines. She is a former model, beauty columnist, and now the co-founder and creative director of Happy Skin— a popular local beauty brand that offers a wide range of makeup and skincare products. 

Aside from her successful business venture, Rissa is also known for her philanthropic work. She is an advocate for education and has worked with various organizations that aim to improve the quality of education in the Philippines. 

Rissa is also known for her timeless beauty and impeccable style, which have earned her the title of style icon and influencer. She has appeared in a number of magazines and online publications for her fashion sense and beauty advice.

Overall, Rissa Mananquil Trillo is a well-known and influential figure in the Philippine beauty and fashion industries, known not only for her business acumen but also for her advocacy work and personal style.

Arielle Escalona


Arielle Escalona is a managing director of Fruit Magic Co. Inc. She is known for revolutionizing healthy fruit and vegetable juices by expanding Fruit Magic to Pure Nectar. Pure Nectar now has 16 distributing outlets and has expanded its business in Brunei and Singapore. 

Arielle showed that perspective is key to success in all aspects of life, from academics to business. She demonstrated that, as a millennial in business, what others might consider inexperience can actually be what differentiates your company from the competitors. And she proved that to the people of the country by expanding their 27-year-old family business through Pure Nectar.



Sofia Elizalde

Sofia Elizalde is a well-known social entrepreneur, environmentalist, and the founder of Step Up, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering communities through education, sustainable livelihood, and environmental conservation.

Step Up has implemented various programs and projects under Sofia's leadership that have had a significant impact on the lives of underserved communities in the Philippines. Education and scholarship grants, livelihood and entrepreneurship, health and nutrition, and environmental conservation are among the initiatives covered.

Sofia is also a well-known figure in the Philippine fashion industry, having founded Bags for the People, a sustainable fashion brand. The products of the brand are made from upcycled materials and provide employment opportunities to marginalized communities.

Sofia has received numerous awards and recognitions for her efforts, including being named one of Forbes Asia's "30 Under 30" Social Entrepreneurs in 2016. Overall, Sofia Elizalde is a well-known figure in the fields of social entrepreneurship and environmental advocacy, known for her commitment to improving the lives of the Philippines' marginalized communities.


Women have made significant strides in recent years, and there are many inspiring examples of successful women in their respective fields— that we can include in this article. These women are role models and inspiration to others, and their success stories show that gender should not be an impediment to achieving one's goals. 

In every industry, including business and finance, politics, entertainment, and sports, there are successful women. They have destroyed gender barriers and made it possible for women in future generations to realize their full potential.