Dubbed “Bohol’s Chocolate Princess”, Dalareich Polot has been named the recipient of the Most Powerful Women Global Award by investment bank Goldman Sachs and Fortune Magazine. The 34-year-old Ginto Fine Chocolates founder from Bohol became the first Filipina to have bagged the prestigious award.
Dalareich Polot is the same Filipina leader who co-founded the award-winning Dalareich Chocolate House, the very first chocolate factory in Tagbilaran, Bohol which has cemented its world reputation as a complementary stop upon visiting the Chocolate Hills of Bohol after it bagged the APEC Business Efficiency and Success Target Awards and the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London.
After co-founding Dalareich Food Products, she also started Ginto Chocolates, which has been recognized for producing artisanal chocolate products and helping local cacao farmers in Bohol produce high-quality raw ingredients.
Quick Note: What You Have to Know About Goldman Sachs/Fortune Most Powerful Women Global Awards
At the 15th Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit held in Laguna Niguel City, California, USA from October 10 to 12, 2022, Polot was chosen alongside Hend Osama from Egypt to receive the award.
The 2022 Summit, themed “Realizing Your Power”, convened prominent women leaders in the fields of business, government, philanthropy, education, sports, and the arts. Present during the gathering were US Representatives Liz Cheney and Katie Porter; Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO Roz Brewer; TIAA CEO Thasunda Brown Duckett; AMD CEO Lisa Su; New York Stock Exchange President Lynn Martin; TikTok COO Vanessa Pappas; and American philanthropist and former General Manager of Microsoft, Melinda French Gates.
Goldman Sachs and Fortune Magazine annually recognize women around the world by presenting awards to individuals who have participated in the Fortune-US Department of State Global Women’s Mentoring Partnership and the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative. Polot felt so grateful that, after 10 years, the Goldman Sachs Foundation reached out to her and presented her with such an opportunity. She penned, “I just did my best and God did the rest.”
Get To Know ‘Bohol’s Chocolate Princess’
Dalareich Polot never expected to be chosen among other graduates from the participating countries, knowing how effective and empowering their projects are as well. The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Program is an initiative to empower women entrepreneurs globally—wherein Polot is one of the 200 Filipinas to have benefited from the program as part of the 2011 alumni. The said program is handled in the Philippines by the University of Asia and the Pacific (UAP).
As per Polot in her Facebook post: “I am extremely honored to be the first Filipina to be conferred this prestigious award at Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in California. I am very ecstatic that it comes with a grant that I can utilize to pay it forward to my adopted communities.” She added, “This opportunity came in His perfect time. I can’t explain everything here but I know in my heart that I am only instrument of God and just following my mission. I’m very excited to speak in the world stage again and represent my beloved country, my province and city.”
As most of their cacao trees were destroyed last December when Typhoon Odette ravaged the Visayas area, affecting hundreds of families in Bohol, Polot believes that the grant would truly help her community.
“My parents even cried because they know I’m always outside the house since the typhoon doing many things in faraway towns. I can’t just watch the people without homes and having lost their livelihood.”
Polot established the first chocolate factory in Bohol after she went to Europe for a scholarship grant to study food engineering on chocolate processing at Gent University in Belgium. She then made use of her learning and experiences and empowered the cacao farmers in Bohol and other parts of the country through her chocolate-making business and other related projects. Aside from that, she also widened the scope of her advocacies by giving due emphasis to sustainable community development, community-based tourism, social entrepreneurship, cacao farming, and most importantly, women empowerment.