Today, Nanay Coring – the preferred nickname of Socorro Ramos – is one of the most successful women in the Philippines.
She and her husband Jose Ramos founded National Book Store in 1940, and have watched a single bookshop grow into their country’s largest bookstore chain. But success was never guaranteed for Coring – just the opposite, in fact.
She was born into a family of shopkeepers, who were thrown into poverty after losing the family business. At 18, she began working for her brother-in-law’s family and met Jose Ramos while serving as a shopkeeper in a bookstore. Coring fell in love with both the business and Jose, and defied her family by eloping with him and starting a family (they thought she was too young) as well as founding the original National Book Store shop.
But disaster struck National Book Store during World War II.
The Japanese soldiers occupying the Philippines objected to many of the titles sold by National Book Store. To avoid having their valuable merchandise destroyed, Coring and her husband switched to selling goods and sundries while hiding their book stock. They later sold these salvaged books after the war ended and the Japanese departed.
The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme
In India, there is no shortage of talented female social entrepreneurs. Women like Ela Bhatt, who in 1972 founded SEWA, the world’s first and largest trade union for undocumented women workers, as well as Women’s World Banking in 1979 - have been inspiring and leading women for generations.
Hina Shah, founder of The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), has worked for over 25 years on scaling micro, small, and medium size businesses across 21 states of India.
A new breed of entrepreneurs is emerging.
Akosua Dardaine Edwards, founder of the Enabling Enterprise Project, examines some of the recent trends within entrepreneurship, considering the rise in female entrepreneurs, the increasing and more innovative financing methods available, and the rise of social entrepreneurship.
Over the last decade, entrepreneurship has come to the fore, not simply as a means of job creation and reviving the economy, but also as a means of introducing new ways of thinking and problem solving. Some experts have also suggested that entrepreneurship ought to be a way of life.
Study from UK's leading online resource Startups.co.uk reveals hottest start-up prospects with input from entrepreneurs and industry experts.
Personalisation and Customisation of fashion items has become big business. iCreate-Shoes is seeking to do for the 'brown shoes' market what NIKEiD has done offline for trainers and Spread Shirt for the humble T-shirt. Here, Raquel Dobson, pitch-preneur at our recent Darwinian Business Event and founder of iCreate-Shoes talks to The NextWomen about gaining business 'common sense', her initial steps on the road to funding and her top 10 points of advice for any woman starting her own business.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
I have been in the Digital and Broadcast Media industry for over 17 years, having started my career in LA as a Casting Assistant in the Motion Picture industry. Great experience that gave me the essential skills to work with creative personalities.
When I returned to the UK, I was bitten by the digital media bug, and joined a pioneering technology company who launched Video-on-Demand and IPTV. That was an exciting time also as the web was just coming into its own.
Those years were totally different to the years before, and they started me on the path of gaining business ‘common sense’.
Since those early days, I have worked in start-ups, as well as in global brands, Sony Pictures & Disney-ABC-ESPN TV to name a few. I now have a career that runs the spectrum of business disciplines, with good and bad experiences had along the way. All of which has led me to where I am today – Founder and C.E.O. of iCreate-Shoes.
What is iCreate-Shoes and why did you decide to start it?
iCreate-Shoes is a platform where the consumer can ‘customise’ shoes online, and ‘personalise’ their shoes to express their own identity. At iCreate-Shoes the ‘individual’ becomes the ‘designer’.
Our ‘interactive user-design interface software’ enables customisation by mixing and matching a variety of styles, materials, heels, trimmings and accessories. Our software also enables many ‘personalisation’ USPs, taking the proposition further.
iCreate-Shoes is the first product line to launch on the iCreate-Style platform. The ‘iCreate-Style’ brand is about providing a platform for personal expression, through designing something unique to you – for you, for your family, for your friends, you name it!
I am kicking off iCreate-Shoes now, because of how social network sites have changed the way we interact with the world around us – it’s all about connecting, showing who you are and expressing yourself to the world – and what better way to ‘express yourself’ than through shoes that make you feel your best every time you strut down the street in them.
It is also just about time that women get access to ‘comfortable’ sexy fashion shoes that don’t kill their feet or crush their toes – finally comfort/support and gorgeous shoes can happily co-exist!
How will you be different from the likes of NIKEiD?
Kathy Savitt is a former Amazon and American Eagle Outfitters executive and is currently the founder and CEO of social commerce company Lockerz.
Created from Kathy’s vision to create the homepage for Generation Z, Lockerz has grown from 50 members to nearly 18 million members in less than one year.
Kathy believes that the power of Gen Z as cultural disrupters will significantly impact both prior and future generations.
Lockerz is funded by Liberty Media, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures and Live Nation Entertainment. A major source of her inspiration is her two teenage daughters.
We spoke to Kathy about how she raised nearly $70m in vc funding in two years; the lessons she learned launching 100 startups; and her top tips for female entrepreneurs.
NEXT11 is one of the top three web and technology events in Europe, with some of the best international speakers. The NextWomen have partnered with NEXT11 to offer a 20% discount to our readers. To get your discounted tickets, visit the site and use the discount code: Thenextwomandiscount (be quick and get the last early bird tickets).
Astia, the official sponsor of TheNextWomen funding and pitching event, has launched its successful 'Doing it Right programme' now also in the UK: a program designed for exceptional women entrepreneurs who want to increase their ability to attract and to understand funding. Application for the program is possible until Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009. Extended deadline: May 1, 2009
Entrepreneurs that are selected will gain important skills and insights through the program: such as developing an effective fundraising strategy, negotiating term sheets, navigating the due diligence process, and leading a successful company. They will also receive insights from local investors and seasoned entrepreneurs so as to increase their understanding of the current state of venture capital and angel investment.
Every week we publish an interview with one of our female internet heroes. MEET interesting women, READ about their WORK, THINK about how they PLAY the internet industry and see how you MATCH them. Be inspired!Thenextwomen is very pleased to share with you this week's interview with Gisel Hiscock (married name: Kordestani)
When you google Gisel Hiscock, you get 25,800 hits. (Update 2012: Gisel Hiscock is now named Gisel Kordestani, From those you find out that for a 34 year old, she has an impressive record in business, having worked for google for five years as its Finance Director, Global Compliance, and previously for companies such as Sony Pictures, start-up Brandfever.com, and financial consultancy Mitchell Madison Group. This year, the year that she has lived 17 years in Europe and 17 years in the US, she became Google's Director of New Business Development for Europe, Middle East & Africa.
She told thenextwomen about that work, where her interest and experience with those countries lies and what the future holds for her.
- Can you tell me a little about yourself?
Every week we publish an interview with one of our female internet heroes. This is an opportunity for you to MEET interesting women, READ about their WORK, THINK about how they PLAY the internet industry and see how you MATCH them. Be inspired!This monday: Sian Sutherland.
A female entrepreneur and a mother, Sian Sutherland has combined the two to create the fast-growing skincare company Mama Mio. "The majority of the consumers in the world are women and they know how they need to present it to other women, intuitively, because they sell it to themselves," she says. Busy moms are her prime target and these are using the internet to buy what they need. With 30% of turnover created on the web, being online is very important to Mama Mio. Sutherland tells the nextwomen about her experiences with the company," Money comes cheap but experience is invaluable".
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I started in advertising, but after five years I left to set-up my business, a restaurant in Soho. I did the finance for it, found the staff, the chef. We won one Michelin star in the first year and the newcomer of the year award. It was an extremely useful experience for the rest of my life. The restaurant business is a very tough business. Margins are tight, emotions run high. Crazy critics, crazy margins and crazy chefs.