Teaching entrepreneurship has always been one of the passions of business coach Anna Marie Cruz.
But in 2013, she noticed that it wasn’t easy to invite entrepreneurs amongst the Filipino community, who could share their knowledge and experience in her events.
That’s when Anna Marie noticed that there was a need for organization that would push for Filipina entrepreneurship.
And after experiencing the power of entrepreneurship in women amongst poor communities in Vietnam, she felt it was time to form her own group she called Entrepinayship.
“So it was partly from, you know, the frustration that knowing that there are many Filipino entrepreneurs in our community, but the lack of visibility, and also the lack of sort of the reputation, you know, to lift the entrepreneurial community, we tend to look at entrepreneurship as a negative. And I saw how entrepreneurship could be a solution to solving extreme poverty… and could be a tool for empowerment, especially for women. So there were these two things that combined really became the inspiration for this platform.”
Anna Marie’s inspiration was her own mother who was a teacher who had various sidelines to generate extra income.
“As a teacher, she always had a sideline, right, she always had to selling real estate or insurance, or even things that she would cook. So I grew up with her as an example of entrepreneurship, whether it was, you know, part time, or, you know, more of a passion project.”
Right off the bat, Entrepinayship was a hit. Now, they’ve helped hundreds of Filipina women confidently launch their own businesses.
One of the many success stories is Ginger Lim-Dimapasok.
“Especially for me bagong dating sa states, and running a business here so different from running a business back home through Annamarie, we were exposed to the avenues that we didn’t even know we needed, and I would not have had access to these things if I had not met Anna Marie…. Talagang yung pagkakapatid yung Bayanihan spirit was really the main spirit of Entrepinayship.”
Anna Marie’s message to her fellow Pinays: don’t just look at starting a business as a sideline.
“We look at entrepreneurship as a last resort, because you don’t have a job. Therefore, now you’re going to look into entrepreneurship, rather than No, this is actually the course I want to pursue.”
Anna Marie hopes that many more Filipino women take the lead in sharing their knowledge and expertise to others who need the boost.
“If we’re helping each other, we see that there’s that thing, you know, instead of having a share of the pie, you can bake more pies, We can create more opportunities. And I think at the root of it, this really is about the kapwa and the bayanihan spirit.”