Cynthia Villar, Managing Director of the Villar Foundation, receives another recognition for her tireless efforts in creating livelihood opportunities, empowering women, and promoting entrepreneurship as a way out of poverty.
The former Las Pinas Representative is selected by Go Negosyo among the ‘The Women Entrepreneur Icons and Filipina Entrepreneurs of 2013’ and will be awarded during the 5th Filipina Entrepreneurship Summit at the World Trade Center on Friday (March 1)—in time for the celebration of March as International Women’s Month.
Villar thanks Go Negosyo for the recognition and said it serves as an inspiration for her to carry on with her advocacies as well as a validation of her continued efforts to help her fellow Filipinos.
“The award is really a bonus. It feels good to be recognized. But it feels even better to know that you are making a difference in people’s lives through your advocacies and actions as well as programs and projects,” Villar said.
According to Go Negosyo, Villar and the other awardees were chosen “to recognize their valuable contributions in their respective fields and to promote their stories to inspire aspiring entrepreneurs that they can also make it in life”.
The success of Villar’s green social enterprises that have provided livelihood to over 500 families in Las Pinas, where it started 10 years ago, has earned for her the moniker ‘Misis Hanep Buhay’.
The Villar Foundation’s livelihood enterprises: water hyacinth basket weaving, coconet weaving, plastic pulverizing, organic composting, handloom blanket weaving, and recently citronella oil-making have been duplicated nationwide. So far, pilot centers have been built in 111 towns all over the country.
“There are 1,600 municipalities and cities in the
, so we still have a lot of tasks ahead of us. I will continue promoting these livelihood programs because the benefits they provide to the people, especially the poor, are direct and fast. They do not need capital also because the raw materials are from wastes and our foundation provides the training and technology,” said Villar.
According to Villar, her livelihood programs create jobs and help ease the unemployment problems in the country. Villar, as a congresswoman from 2001 to 2010, also authored legislation that promotes entrepreneurship. Among which is the Republic Act 9178 or the Barangay Micro Business Enterprises (BMBEs) Act of 2002.
“I support entrepreneurship as the key to creating jobs. Even my livelihood programs are geared towards helping people gain the skills to start their own small businesses, even micro-enterprises can help boost our economy and provide livelihood or jobs to our countrymen. I will continue advocating those,” said Villar, who is a senatorial candidate in the May 13 national elections.
Go Negosyo cited in a statement: “From being a college professor and an entrepreneur, Cynthia Villar diverted her focus to social entrepreneurship through the Villar Foundation in 1992. The organization has helped thousands of families—from the OFWs to the mothers living in the poor communities, by teaching them an alternative and sustainable means of livelihood.”
It adds, “We have been partners with her for quite sometime now, teaching the advocacy to the OFWs to help them invest their hard-earned money wisely.” The Villar Foundation and Go Negosyo are co-organizers of the yearly OFW & Family Summit.
by Eccentric Yet Happy