A major turning point in her life was when she was named Young Laureate for the Environment at the prestigious Rolex Awards for Enterprise in 2010.
Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, Rags2Riches president and founding partner
Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, an entrepreneur. The award brought international recognition to her efforts to help impoverished women in the Payatas dumpsite in Quezon City through the social enterprise Rags2Riches, a fashion and design house that empowers underprivileged community artisans.
Using a business model based on collaboration and inclusivity, Fernandez-Ruiz sought to break down barriers between the underprivileged community and the market. She adopted a marketing strategy that took cottage industry to the next level.
More important, her efforts transformed the lives of the women in Payatas, who provide Rags2Riches its merchandise. From living lives of abject poverty, the women now live with pride and dignity, equipped with entrepreneurial and life skills to achieve their ambitions.
Rags2Riches enabled Fernandez-Ruiz to achieve two goals: Create sustainable and eco-ethical products by upcycling waste like rags, scraps of fabrics, etc. into bags and other fashion accessories, designed for the high-end market; and empower women entrepreneurs in Payatas by eliminating the middleman so they can sell directly to retailers. By partnering with top designers like Rajo Laurel and Amina Aranaz, the Payatas women were able to level up their creations to world-class standards.
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ABOUT THE AXA GROUP
The AXA Group is a worldwide leader in insurance and asset management, with 166,000 employees serving 107 million clients in 64 countries. In 2016, IFRS revenues amounted to Euro 100.2 billion and IFRS underlying earnings to Euro 5.7 billion. AXA had Euro 1,429 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016.
The AXA ordinary share is listed on compartment A of Euronext Paris under the ticker symbol CS (ISN FR 0000120628 – Bloomberg: CS FP – Reuters: AXAF.PA). AXA’s American Depository Share is also quoted on the OTC QX platform under the ticker symbol AXAHY.
The AXA Group is included in the main international SRI indexes, such as Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and FTSE4GOOD.
It is a founding member of the UN Environment Programme’s Finance Initiative (UNEP FI) Principles for Sustainable Insurance and a signatory of the UN Principles for Responsible Investment.
ABOUT AXA PHILIPPINES
AXA Philippines is a joint venture between the AXA Group and the Metrobank Group, one of the country’s largest financial conglomerates. AXA Philippines is 2nd leading life insurance company in the country, with P21.6 billion in gross premium income reported in 2016, and over 811,000 customers protected under various individual and group life insurance products.
Most recently, AXA Philippines announced its entry into the non-life insurance business with the acquisition of Charter Ping-An, the 5th largest non-life insurance company in the Philippines.