News & Features
Aug 01, 2023
InLife Negosyo Challenge winners share stories of progress
Four women-led enterprises are all set to chart their transformative journeys to further their social causes, thanks to the cash grant and mentoring support from the InLife Negosyo Challenge.
The women leaders of Panublix Innovations, Empath Corporation, HeySuccess Virtual Assistance Services, and Magwai talked about their learnings from the mentoring sessions, and their plans to step up their enterprises during the recent InLife Negosyo Challenge Virtual Impact Showcase.
“Last year, the Insular Foundation launched the InLife Negosyo Challenge for women-led and/or for-women social enterprises whose businesses bring innovative solutions to social issues. After intensive online learning and pitch sessions, four women-led businesses won cash grants, six-month long in-depth and needs-based mentoring and technical assistance, and access to structured peer learning support,” Insular Foundation Program Manager Tere Melad said.
The InLife Negosyo Challenge was presented by Insular Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Insular Life (InLife), in partnership with the InLife Sheroes Advocacy and Movement and Villgro Philippines, and with support from inBEST Ventures.
“With the total grant prize of P2 million, the women enterprises were able to open new markets, hire the right talents, create new products, explore new strategies, and upskill the community they support,” said David Pangan, inBEST Ventures co-founder and co-managing partner.
Noreen Bautista, Panublix CEO and co-founder, said the one-on-one consultations helped them improve their enterprise promote a regenerative economy by connecting fiber farmers and artisans to the market and to sources of sustainable materials.
Magwai CEO Czar Carbonell said the mentorship helped them reframe their strategies and priorities. She added that the cash grant helped their operations and sustainability cause as the maker of marine-friendly personal care products.
“In the past years, there was a surge in interest in sustainable products. This is especially true for the younger generation, Gen Z. While there are eco-friendly alternatives, most of these falls flat in terms of consumer expectations, and we believe that in order to truly convert consumers into lifelong users of sustainable products, it needs to be uncompromising, effective, and accessible, and that is our commitment in Magwai,” Carbonell said.
Championing E-Entrepreneurship, Mental Health Care
HeySuccess founder Paula Bayao said the training, technical assistance, mentorship and cash grant will support their vision to empower 10,000 Filipinos, specifically those in the Cordillera region, to e-entrepreneurship within the next five years. She added that HeySucess’ growth strategy will focus on acquisition, activation, retention, referral, and revenues.
Empath CEO Steph Naval, for her part, shared that the cash grant helped them focus on technology, operations, business development and marketing. “We went through a lot of foundation-setting, strategy and business development during the past couple of months. I am really looking forward to launch Empath 2.0 with a bigger and stronger team,” Naval said.
Empath provides community-curated mental health care solutions for schools, workplaces, and non-profit organizations.
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