The winners of the annual APEC Business Efficiency and Success Target (BEST) Award are a diverse group of effective entrepreneurs and innovators from around the APEC region.
Varangtip Satchatippavarn from Thailand won the grand prize with her organic, biodegradable feminine hygiene products. Her company, Ira Concept, offers a more sustainable option for consumers, while aiming to reduce social disparity and break the stigma about female hygiene care in Thailand through charity initiatives and education programs.
“I believe that everyone has the right to basic hygiene,” explained Varangtip. “Our company aims to provide this basic need and we want to do it the right way; by being transparent about what we put in our products, as well as using only organic and biodegradable materials that will result in zero waste.”
Earlier this year, Thailand’s Ministry of Social Development and Human Security recognized Varangtip as a female entrepreneur who is helping drive the economy forward with the bio-circular-green economy model, which is one of the priorities for APEC 2022.
Meanwhile, Yuliana Nikolaeva from Russia, founder and chief executive officer of organic peanut butter company Natty’s, was awarded the Best Top Manager. Her company manufactures peanut butter and nut pastes with all natural and organic ingredients, providing healthier choices for consumers.
“In a year where recovery remains fragile and uncertain, we need to focus on ensuring that our policies support economic inclusion and well-being,” said Renee Graham, Chair of the APEC Policy Partnership on Women and the Economy. “Small businesses, especially women-led and women-owned businesses, have the potential to bring palpable benefits to the community as well as advance sustainability and more inclusion in the region.”
This year’s contest under the theme of “Women’s Business: Open Opportunities Today for a Sustainable Tomorrow” featured representatives from eight APEC economies.
Besides the 2022 APEC BEST Award grand prize and the award in the Best Top Managers category, the contest also recognized six winners in the following categories:
- Connecting People: Haejin Kwon, CEO of All Language, Inc,from Korea
- Indigenous Culture Saving Project: Jenny Widjaja, Co-founder of Sagolicious, from Indonesia
- Bio-circular-green Economy: Marina Kudryashova, CEO of Centre of Complex Rehabilitation for Children and Adults, from Russia
- Fourth Industrial Revolution Project: Sukkyung Song, CEO of the Dawootech Co. Ltd, from Korea
- Best Family Business Support: Vidi Astuti Damayanti, Mamaibu Chicken Wings and Sauce, from Indonesia
- Social Impact: Anita Dona Asri, CEO of Dolas Songket, from Indonesia
“With this award, we are committed to advance women’s entrepreneurship in the region, promote best practices and success stories, develop cooperation between APEC economies’ entrepreneurs and experts, as well as open new opportunities for participants so that they can internationalize their businesses,” concluded Irina Saltykova, who leads the APEC BEST Award project.
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