Beth Lee raised some eyebrows when she left her position as COO of Nissan to become a social entrepreneur. Having been with the car company for 12 years and head of the Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) for 7 years, she has made a name for herself in the Philippine automotive industry. Today, she is a social entrepreneur building zero-emission electric vehicles aimed at creating livelihood, local employment, while helping clean our air.
It was during her stint at Nissan that sparked the inspiration to start E-Motors, Inc. “During my stint with Nissan, my mom and I came up with an innovative and pioneering program, a first in the auto industry to directly tie vehicle sales to poverty alleviation. We created a paradigm shift using a vehicle as a self-liquidating business venture to help supplement one’s income. And, for each vehicle sold, we donated a percentage to a Christian foundation’s micro-finance arm to provide seed money to help underprivileged micro-entrepreneurs, the poor, start their own businesses. “
Expected success came at an unexpected degree. With God’s grace, her “Ur Van, Ur Business program” helped more than 7,400 families and made entrepreneurs out of janitors, street dwellers, and underprivileged entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
“Imagine, we could actually help thousands of families within a short amount of time, selling a vehicle that’s worth more than a million. How many more families could we actually help with our current electric vehicles with a cost of about P 300,000 or below?”
With a full resolve and a drive to pay it forward, Beth ventured into the social enterprise despite the many that discouraged her to do so. With the mission of environmental responsibility, poverty alleviation, and job creation, EMotors was established as a 100% Filipino-owned social enterprise whose goal is to meet needs, serve others, and to glorify God. But there’s more to it than that. Ultimately, Beth wants to change people’s lives for the better.
“The purpose of this social enterprise is to educate people and to say that one can make a difference. Because many ones, become many.”
Tenacious, inspiring, and one who will not take no for an answer, Beth is the kind of person we could only aspire to be. Honed by years working in a male-dominated industry, she is precisely what it means to be #likeaboss.
Hard-working as she is, she likes to be casual when it comes to her clothing.
“I’m most comfortable in jeans and a shirt. Something quick but cool. But in my business, I will often have to be in a suit.”
Transcending business stereotypes, Beth Lee has found success in both the corporate world and in social entrepreneurship. On top of this, she remains incredibly down-to-earth and giving—precisely the mark of a business leader that’s made in the Philippines.
Watch out for the rest of these stories and join Bayo as we celebrate 25 years of culture, fashion and all things “Made in the Philippines.”
For more information visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb2d-HPj6X4