International Women’s Month celebrates women’s contributions and recognizes their value in every aspect of society. Over the years, many notable Filipino women have established successful businesses, fueling the entrepreneurial ambitions of women all over the country.
With the theme ‘Women’s Empowerment: Make Change Work for Women’, this year’s commemoration of International Women’s Month in the Philippines becomes more relevant for Filipinas who are blazing a trail in e-commerce.
Technology is boosting business for female-owned SMEs in Asia
According to recent study conducted by Dentsu Aegis Network’s Consumer Connection System(CCS), an average of 35 percent of women surveyed in five countries across Southeast Asia are thriving as entrepreneurs, and are currently selling goods and services as their primary source of income. The survey indicates that as entrepreneurs, these women are generating significantly more income than the national average salary.
In the Philippines, female entrepreneurs claim to earn close to double as independent business owners than what they had previously earned as salaried workers. Their income mainly comes from selling consumer goods such as apparel, personal care items and household products. Ninety-three percent of women surveyed in Southeast Asia claimed that mass market technology had positively impacted their business, with 12 percent of Filipino female entrepreneurs selling exclusively online and using digital payment methods such as PayPal (33%).
“The boom in e-commerce has made online selling a profitable career,” said Rahul Shinghal, General Manager for PayPal Southeast Asia. “PayPal is thrilled to be considered an enabler of this emerging business opportunity and will continue to empower entrepreneurs with the innovative and secure payment solutions we offer.”
Social media is also being leveraged to support their business, with 85 percent of Filipina entrepreneurs promoting or selling their goods on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Thirty-one percent of women have also expressed that their mobile phones are essential to running their business, allowing them to conduct transactions anywhere and anytime.
Empowering Female Entrepreneurs
An estimated half of the women surveyed in Southeast Asia are using their own savings to fulfill their entrepreneurial ambition. But these enterprising women are not alone in their aspirations to see their business flourish. PayPal, a global leader in digital payments, supports entrepreneurs by providing an easy, cost-effective and secure method of receiving payments in real-time.
One such example of females conquering the world of online freelancing is 24-year-old Janine Pring. She is currently the founder of creative design studio, Dreametry, leading a team of more than 15 designers, programmers and artists.
“I began earning online when I was just 13 years old, mainly because I wanted to purchase online gaming cards. I started out with simple freelancing work such as forum posting and data entry, and over the years, I established myself in graphic design,” says Janine. “PayPal has been my payments partner ever since I started my career. From setting up accounts, generating invoices and fulfilling payment requests, PayPal offered me the utmost convenience and also provided assurance that my clients’ payments will be secure in each transaction.”
Janine affirms that freelancing has been her dream job since high school. Passionate about her work and her growing company, she believes there is nothing she would trade for the flourishing career she has now.
“For 11 years, freelancing online has been my only source of income, enabling me to fulfill my role as my family’s sole breadwinner,” Janine adds.
As a partner in MSME’s success, PayPal also helps freelancers gain immediate access and control of their PayPal account funds which are critical to keep their business moving.
“By collaborating with leading telco providers in the Philippines, we give small business owners easy access to their hard-earned cash through PayMaya and G-Cash,” said Rahul. “With PayPal as a partner, these businesses are able to utilize the platforms and devices that are most convenient to their customers –including social media and mobile devices.”
In mid-2016, PayPal also launched PayPal.Me, a simple, fast, and personal way for freelancers, casual and social sellers, and B2B sellers to request money from anyone across the globe and get paid through their PayPal accounts with the click of a personalized link. Payment is quick and works on any device – on text message, email, instant messenger, social media post, blog, or on the web*.
Women are aggressively making their mark as movers of the business landscape and shapers of the economy. With PayPal as a valuable partner, Filipinas with a passion for e-commerce can truly capitalize on their opportunity to achieve business success.
 “Hear Her Voice”, an annual consumer panel conducted across markets in the Asia Pacific by Dentsu Aegis Network’s Consumer Connection System (CCS). The survey was conducted amongst women from across Asia Pacific – Australia (14,364), China (61,526), Hong Kong (3,785), Indonesia (7,585), India (12,679), Japan (6,624), Malaysia (4,077), New Zealand (2,300), Philippines (3,000), Singapore (2,103), South Korea (5,000), Taiwan (1,595), Thailand (3,028) and Vietnam (3,000),