The Rise of Filipino Entrepreneurship: A Look at 5 Successful Business Owners

The Rise of Filipino Entrepreneurship: A Look at 5 Successful Business Owners

The Philippines has a long history of entrepreneurship, with many successful business owners making a significant impact on the country’s economy. Over the last decade, the country has seen a surge in the number of entrepreneurs, with many starting businesses in various industries. Here, we take a closer look at five of the most successful Filipino entrepreneurs and explore their stories of success.

Tony Tan Caktiong: The Man Behind Jollibee

Tony Tan Caktiong is the founder and chairman of Jollibee Foods Corporation, the largest fast-food restaurant chain in the Philippines. He started his business with just two ice cream parlors in 1975, which eventually grew to become the Jollibee we know today. Caktiong is known for his strong work ethic and dedication to his business, which has enabled him to create a successful brand that has spread across Asia and beyond.

Socorro “Nanay Coring” Ramos: The Bookstore Queen

Socorro “Nanay Coring” Ramos is the founder of National Bookstore, one of the largest bookstore chains in the Philippines. She started her business with just a small stall selling supplies and stationery, but her passion for books led her to expand her business into a full-fledged bookstore. Today, National Bookstore has over 230 branches across the country, making it the go-to destination for books, office supplies, and more.

Henry Sy: The Mall Tycoon

Henry Sy is one of the richest men in the Philippines, thanks to his successful retail business, SM. He started his first venture in the 1950s with a shoe store, which eventually grew to become a network of department stores, supermarkets, and malls. SM is now the largest retail empire in the Philippines, with over 70 shopping malls nationwide and a presence in China and Indonesia.

Dado Banatao: The Tech Innovator

Dado Banatao is a computer engineer and entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the tech industry. He co-founded Mostron, a computer components company, which later became Chips and Technologies, a leading manufacturer of graphics chips. Banatao also played a key role in the development of various technologies, including the first single-chip 16-bit microprocessor-based calculator and the first 10-Megabit Ethernet controller chip.

Tessie Sy-Coson: The Retail Heir

Tessie Sy-Coson is the daughter of Henry Sy and the Vice Chair of SM Investments Corporation, the holding company for SM’s various businesses. She has been instrumental in the growth of SM’s retail business, particularly in expanding its footprint in other countries. Under her leadership, SM has diversified its offerings, expanding into areas such as banking, hotels, and real estate.


The success stories of these Filipino entrepreneurs showcase the spirit of creativity, hard work, and determination that characterizes the Philippine business landscape. Through their innovation and unwavering commitment to their businesses, they have enabled the growth of the country’s economy and inspired a new generation of entrepreneurs to follow in their footsteps. The rise of Filipino entrepreneurship is a testament to the boundless potential of the country’s business community.

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