Women in Entrepreneurship: Building Businesses and Empowering Communities

omen in Entrepreneurship | Image taken by Sierra Koder, from Unsplash

In a world where resilience meets innovation, female entrepreneurs stand at the forefront. Together, these women weave stories of success, leadership, and community impact.

As we gear up to celebrate Women’s Month, it is also an apt time to shine a light on the remarkable Filipino women entrepreneurs who embody the essence of empowerment.

In this article, we will talk about influential people who have not only carved their path in the business landscape but have also become beacons of inspiration for young women and aspiring entrepreneurs alike. Through their tenacity, these women have achieved remarkable success and uplifted communities.

These stories are a testament to the extraordinary accomplishments of Filipino female entrepreneurs in celebration of women worldwide.

This is a tribute to the women who have not just shattered glass ceilings but have also laid down stepping stones for the next generation of ambitious and empowered leaders.

Successful Female Entrepreneurs in the Philippines

Here are the most successful women-owned businesses that comprise the most recognizable brands and trailblazing companies in the Philippines.

Soccoro Cancio-Ramos (National Bookstore – Books and Office Supply)

While Soccoro Ramos may not be as much of a household name as her ventures, she has proven herself to be a trailblazer in the business world. She is no other than the famous woman entrepreneur behind the National Bookstore, the Philippines’ largest book chain by scope.

The first store

As the co-founder of the company, Soccoro started her entrepreneurial journey alongside her brother during the Second World War. Their first store along Escolta in Manila had a promising start, but when the war reached the Philippines, it was one of the collateral damages.

Challenges to the business

When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, their store was forced to hide American books, and they resorted to selling office supplies.

Eventually, all the merchandise was reduced to ash during the Battle of Manila. Undeterred, Soccoro persevered through the trials, even overcoming the devastation caused by a typhoon.

Unprecedented success

Her resilience became the catalyst for the business’ remarkable success, transforming National Bookstore into a literary cornerstone with over 145 branches across the Philippines.

In 2017, she received the Outstanding Manilan Award, a testament to her enduring impact and legacy as one of the most celebrated women entrepreneurs in the nation.

Angeline Tham (Angkas, Ride-Hailing Service)

Amidst the complaints about traffic in bustling cities across the Philippines, Angeline Tham emerges as a voice of change and innovation with Angkas. Not only is she currently one of the successful women entrepreneurs making waves, but she is also a visionary female entrepreneur in the transport industry.

Before Angkas

Angeline’s journey from a former JP Morgan banker to an entrepreneur is nothing short of remarkable. Before Angkas, she launched one of Singapore’s top online auction outfits.

In addition, she also contributed to Softbank-affiliated funds. Later, she ventured into the ride-hailing industry with Grab and introduced Grab Bike and Grab Express locally.

The beginnings of Angkas

In 2017, she carved her separate path by founding Angkas, a motorcycle ride-hailing app.

With thousands of dedicated biker partners and millions of app downloads, Angkas provides a solution to the traffic problem. Moreover, it also exemplifies the success of a female entrepreneur tackling real-world challenges.


Beyond business, Angeline Tham passionately advocates for the safety and regulation of motorcycle taxis. This is in recognition of its impact on the daily lives of millions of Filipinos.

Ultimately, her story embodies the spirit of resilience and innovation, marking her as a driving force in the realm of successful women entrepreneurs.

Vivian Que Azcona (Mercury Drug – Pharmacies)

Another formidable presence among women in business is Vivian Que Azcona. As the president of Mercury Drug, the largest drugstore chain in the Philippines, she exemplifies unwavering leadership.

Humble roots

The legacy of this thriving pharmacy chain, spanning around 1,200 locations across the nation, finds its roots in the resilience of Vivian’s late father, Mariano Que.

He started the business in 1945 by selling medicine from a pushcart and established the first store in Manila. This humble venture then provided affordable drugs in the aftermath of World War II.


In the hands of Vivian Que Azcona, Mercury Drug has not only sustained its prominence but soared to greater heights. This is especially true during the challenges of the pandemic.

Vivian, who is also the largest shareholder of Mercury Drug, has steered the company through innovation as she introduced digital delivery services and drive-thru facilities.


Accordingly, Vivian’s dedication to service and tireless efforts did not go unrecognized. In 2021, she received the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Asia Corporate Excellence and Sustainability (ACES). This award underscored her impactful role among successful women in business.

Alice Eduardo (SECDC – Construction and Development)

The field of construction has always been deemed a man’s business, and few women venture into this sector. Those few women are currently led by Alice Eduardo, the president-slash-CEO of Sta Elena Construction and Development Corporation (SECDC).

Challenging norms

Alice Eduardo has not only defied norms but has become an inspiration in one of the traditionally male-dominated industries.

Her journey as a business owner in the real estate development firm has been marked by groundbreaking achievements. On top of this, she also has a genuine commitment to nation-building.

Commitment to nation-building

Alice’s leadership at SECDC has propelled the company to prominence in the country’s infrastructural development sectors.

As a result, it took on monumental projects such as ports, harbors, bridges, roads, and power plants. What sets her apart is not just the list of contracts but a sincere commitment to the nation-building process.

Inspiration for a generation

Notably, Alice Eduardo’s impact as a successful female entrepreneur extends beyond her own. She also stands as a blueprint for other women hoping for gender equality in fields dominated by men.

Through her visionary approach and dedication, she has reshaped the landscape of infrastructural development.

Jessica de Mesa (Kindred – Women’s Health and Wellness)

Many aspects of women’s health remain quite taboo subjects in the country, which hinders healthcare access to many. This is the gap that Jessica de Mesa tries to fill with her health and wellness startup, Kindred.

Accessible women’s health

Using digital technology, Jessica de Mesa aims to provide women in the Philippines with accessible and high-quality health services.

As such, Kindred has become a beacon of empowerment, particularly crucial during times when community health centers faced disruptions in reproductive health programs.

More specifically, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed Jessica to venture into the healthcare business in the Philippines.

Understanding women’s needs

Specializing in discreet online sales and delivery of contraceptive medicines, Kindred addresses women’s health with innovation and sensitivity.

Through Kindred, she not only offers essential health solutions but also exemplifies women taking charge in the health and wellness sector. This, in turn, paves the way for more inclusive and accessible services in the industry.

Jessica, a former nurse with a diverse background, heralds the emergence of more women entrepreneurs in the business landscape.

Inspiring a new generation

To be a successful business woman is one thing. But to be an architect of change that shapes communities and inspires the next generation of women leaders is another.

Overall, these women from different entrepreneurial landscapes showcase that success comes in various forms.

The likes of Socorro Ramos, Angeline Tham, Vivian Que Azcona, Beatrice Campos, Alice Eduardo, and Jessica de Mesa stand tall as some of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the Philippines, each contributing uniquely to their respective industries.

However, they are not alone; there are countless other female entrepreneurs making significant strides and demonstrating a commitment to community impact.

As we celebrate these women, it is essential to also recognize the importance of the need to support women entrepreneurs.

Additionally, we must also start the conversation on building an environment where their ideas flourish and their businesses thrive.

Through their endeavors, these remarkable women are leaving an indelible mark on the business landscape. More importantly, they are also paving the way for a more inclusive and empowered future for the next generation of women entrepreneurs.

Ultimately, the stories of these women prove that Filipinas can soar to the ranks of prestige. Who knows, maybe one will eventually become like the most famous woman entrepreneur and media empire owner, Oprah Winfrey.

Start your own entrepreneurial journey in Camella.

Start your journey towards becoming a successful entrepreneur and be on the list of the country’s most empowering women. See how you can jumpstart your investment career with Camella Properties.

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