Filipino Women: Drivers of Change

Written By: Isabelle Antaran

In the 21st century, we move forward towards growth, in all aspects of the word, creating a prosperous and innovative society. A few different facets of change to take note of are the movement in technological advancement, economy, and gender equality. These evolutions have paved the way for progress in economic and social structures, and they are also a tool to bring a culture of creativity and change, while promising to move towards a community that is more inclusive of women in these fields. Here, we celebrate Filipino women who have become leaders and drivers of change.

QBO Innovation Hub

Natasha Bautista is the current Operations Head of QBO Innovation Hub. Together with the community, she believes that with the intelligence and skills of Filipinos, there is great potential for a future of successful entrepreneurs. In line with this vision, QBO is a platform for the startup community to develop expertise in their fields. This innovation hub assists entrepreneurs with several things like lack of funding, they provide mentorship, support, and other resources. The QBO innovation hub works with the goal to achieve nation building, sustainable development, and inclusive growth.


April Cuenca is the co-founder of FlipTrip, an online booking platform that provides immediate access to detailed information on destinations. Cuenca translated her hobby of traveling as a backpacker, tour guide, tour coordinator, and logistics personnel of a travel show. After having difficulties with finding information about destinations, she aimed to provide a smart and sustainable solution. Thus, FlipTrip was born.

Cuenca claims that the goal of FlipTrip is to directly connect travelers to the locals in the chosen destination. This social enterprise provides convenience for travelers to pick tour activities, accommodations, transportation, and to explore. When looking at the bigger picture, Cuenca has also helped the growth in the tourism industry.


Maria Ressa is the founder of Rappler, an independent social news organization. Beforehand, she had worked at CNN for almost two decades, and she was the Head of the News and Current Affairs division in the Philippines’ biggest media conglomerate ABS-CBN. Her vision in journalism involves technology as a platform to provide investigative reports and civic engagement to the social media audience. Today, Rappler is recognized as a startup that involves news, civic engagement, and ideals with a business model.


Catherine Tan, together with her husband Kevin Lepsoe, founded Notey. This platform is for blog search and discovery that aims to bring users non-mainstream content and blogs. It features 500,000 topics and chooses relevant information among all the user-generated content present in the Internet. The idea of the startup was inspired when the Tan and Lepsoe were unable to find helpful travel blogs as they were researching for a trip. Through Notey, they aim to address this issue to its users.


Ace Gapuz is a startup entrepreneur and the founder of Blogapalooza. This is a platform that serves as an influencer marketing company. It aims to connect companies to bloggers, social media influencers, and content creators that have the ability to promote businesses and campaigns online. Currently, the platform provides a network of more than 5,000 influencers based around the country. By bridging brands to relevant influences, Blogapalooza Inc. successfully transforms the way businesses and influencers connect.

These five Filipino women have created their own startups with the goal of addressing a problem or providing convenience to the people. As more women join in creating and innovating with technology, we see more inclusivity, progress, and drivers of change.  

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