Concepcion: Women entreps can lead PH rebound

March 10, 2022 People's Tonight 230 views

WOMEN entrepreneurs have the potential to drive the country’s economic rebound.

Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said that with women making up nearly 90 percent of micro and small enterprises in the country, empowering this segment of the population will be a substantial step as the Philippines begins its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to inspire and motivate our women entrepreneurs,” said the Go Negosyo founder, as he prepared to welcome women leaders and entrepreneurs at Go Negosyo’s Women 2022 Entrepreneurship Summit to be held online today, March 11 at 9 a.m. The event already has nearly 15,000 confirmed attendees, and more are expected as the event will be streamed live over Go Negosyo’s and its partners’ Facebook pages.

“The Women 2022 Entrepreneurship Summit is timely because we have seen in the past how women entrepreneurs can be such a driving force in powering our economy,” he said. “Many of them faced challenges during the pandemic, especially in recapitalizing their businesses. But they have shown much resilience,” he said. While Filipina entrepreneurs were already active participants in e-commerce prior to the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the crisis exposed gaps in their access to credit as well as sufficient training in digital technology.

Concepcion hopes that through the Women’s Summit, more Filipina entrepreneurs can be inspired by female mentors and leaders, as well as be introduced to successful business models which he hopes more women entrepreneurs can explore.

With the theme “Thriving in a Changed World: Women Leading the Way” the summit comprises three events, each designed to inspire the next generation of women entrepreneurs to start their own businesses.

First is a virtual conference to discuss opportunities for women’s economic empowerment; followed by the Inspiring Filipina Entrepreneurs Awards which will recognize the achievement of 17 women entrepreneurs. The summit will be capped by the Women Enterprise Enablers Virtual Expo, an exhibit of women-led businesses and partner organizations and a venue for linking partner institutions and women entrepreneurs.

The Women 2022 Entrepreneurship Summit hopes to inspire innovators and entrepreneurs to start resilient ventures that aim for positive social impact using inclusive, innovative, and sustainable business models.

Concepcion said that empowering women entrepreneurs today becomes more urgent as the Philippines faces several threats to its recovery. Rising commodity prices brought on by the Russia-Ukraine crisis has put a damper on consumer spending, while the continued fear of Covid is still slowing the return to normal activities.

Meanwhile, small businesses are relying on the reopening of the economy to be able to repay the loans they incurred during the lockdowns and restrictions of the past two years. Government is also facing Php12 trillion in national debt.

It is hoped that with the reopening of the economy, the country will be able to mitigate the effects of the crises and be able to earn enough revenue to pay back its loans.

“We have to remember that MSMEs account for more than half of the jobs generated in the Philippines. Their recovery is our recovery,” said Concepcion.