There is a positive shift in women-owned business in the world right now. According to the World Bank Group’s Enterprise Survey on the Philippines, around 69.2 percent of firms have female participation in ownership. Likewise, the World Economic Forum named the Philippines as the “8th best in gender equality” worldwide, noting that the country nearly closed 80 percent of its overall gender gap.
However, it doesn’t mean that the gap isn’t real and that women aren’t underrepresented in the Philippines. The Global Gender Gap Index, as cited by Business Insider, found that there’s still a 68 percent overall gap around the world.
Those numbers shouldn’t discourage you. Take them as motivation for you to make the first move in starting your own business, or jumping into an industry you’re interested in.
There are several ways us Filipinas can do that. One way is through an app to help us build our professional network. Enter Bumble Bizz, a platform where women can find career opportunities and connect with professionals in the industry they want to work in. It recently launched in the Philippines, along with its sisters Bumble Date and BFF, and—as always—it’s empowering every woman to make the first move.
Bizz is basically like a resumé where you put in your professional skills, accomplishments, and your photo, of course. Then, you start swiping right on potential business partners you’d want to connect and possibly work with. It’s an easy way to find people who have the same career goals as you, TBH.
Making the first move in business is important because it shows confidence in getting things done, a good trait to have when you’re venturing out in various fields of expertise. Also, it doesn’t just apply to relationships. You should have this mindset in the workplace too.
At Preen.ph’s #KuboParty, PIOPIO creative director Paloma Zobel talked about leaving her comfort zone to start the fashion brand, and eventually opening Kubo by PIOPIO. “[I moved back to the Philippines because] I wanted to give back. The Philippines has given so much to my family, and I wanted to do something, even if it’s just small,” she said.
Paloma also emphasized the importance of connecting with the right people “who share the same values as me.” She adds that she constantly learns from them.
For Happy Skin founder Rissa Mananquil-Trillo, it was about creating a cosmetics brand catering to Filipina skin tones and the humid climate. She also wanted it to be “masstige,” meaning the price is suited for the masses, but the quality is prestige. “You don’t succeed by killing competition, you succeed by creating value. I think that will make your company or your brand very timeless. Give what your consumers need,” she said.
Rissa added that she took an extra step by getting her master’s degree in business. “I took a big leap and I was hungry to learn more. So, I decided to get my MBA,” she said. “It opened up my world in so many ways, and I learned more about how to run a business.”
Both women started local brands that are now known well-known in the country. If you want to start your own business, Rissa’s tip is to follow your passion and start NOW. “It’s become social currency to wear and use local brands like PIOPIO. Aside from well- known ones, a lot are going for brands that people might not know about,” she explained.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that passion doesn’t always pay the bills, and there’s nothing wrong with pursuing another career first. That’s why it’s important to build experience and connections so you can pursue your dream job later
How about you? Are you ready to take that next step to finally start your business or pursue your dream job?
Photos by James Saluta and JP Talapian
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