According to new research released by Facebook, the Philippines could benefit greatly from simply addressing the challenges faced by women who want to start a business. Encouraging women to become entrepreneurs could potentially create millions of jobs and contribute to a lift in the economy, the survey said..
The study, conducted by Development Economics and YouGov on behalf of Facebook, revealed that one in 87% of Filipinas surveyed would like to set up their own business.
If 60% percent of these women were empowered to start a business today, it would not only boost economic growth, but also help build 1.349 million new businesses and create 3.933 million additional jobs — all by the end of 2021.
Despite the fact that entrepreneurship is the engine of growth for people in the Philippines, Filipino women still admit to facing many barriers to starting and growing their own business.
Filipino women identified poor access to finance (53%) — perhaps not having viable access to loans — as the main barrier to starting their own business.
Financial insecurity (40%), and not actually knowing where to begin (38%) are the other key barriers holding back women aged 18 and 24 from taking the leap, according to Facebook’s research.
Interestingly, small businesses on Facebook tell a different story – 40% of Pages on Facebook are women-owned, and women-owned Pages have grown more than 60% year-on-year.
In the Philippines, the number of women-owned SMB Pages on Facebook has increased more than 8 times in the last five years, with a 121% increase in the last year alone.
The Philippines is an ideal place for women-owned businesses to thrive and is an exceptional example to Asia of the great contribution women bring to the economic growth of a nation, the poll noted.
Clair Deevy, head of economic growth initiatives for Asia Pacific at Facebook, said: “Research shows that by encouraging women entrepreneurship and harnessing the potential of Filipino women entrepreneurs by providing them with the right support contributes to significant economic growth and a more representative business community. ”
Encouraging women entrepreneurs to take the next step is possible by offering the right digital tools and support (92%). They also shared that the following would help get their business off the ground:
• Financial support and advice (74%)
• Network/community of support and advice (57%)
• Practical support including business and digital skills workshops (45%)