Enterprising women | Inquirer Business

Enterprising women

Filipino women embrace challenges of entrepreneurship
By: - Reporter / @neltayao
/ 05:03 AM July 17, 2020

When it comes to entrepreneurship, the sisterhood is strong among Filipino women.

That’s one of the findings of the Herbalife Nutrition Global Entrepreneurship Survey 2020, which show that women in the Philippines will start a business in order to: offer opportunities for career advancement of women (60 percent), give women more positive female role models (57 percent) and follow their passion (55 percent).


The survey also reveals that almost 70 percent of Filipino women aspire to run their own enterprises, and believe they will be able to do so if they had these three key factors: sufficient financial knowledge (73 percent), a business mentor (70 percent) and a supportive family (66 percent).

What also motivates them the most to run their own businesses—or, for existing entrepreneurs, to open another one—is to provide for family (67 percent), follow their passion (53 percent) and be their own boss (51 percent).


The Philippines’ survey results closely resemble the study’s general findings on Southeast Asian women, which also show that their top reasons for opening a business is the need to support their family (56 percent) and the desire to become their own boss (54 percent).

Conducted by OnePoll in March and April this year, the Herbalife Nutrition Global Entrepreneurship Survey 2020 polled 9,000 women, including 2,000 respondents from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines, on their attitudes toward entrepreneurship.

The region stands out for the fact that 81 percent of respondents from these four countries said that they aspired to be entrepreneurs—higher than the global average of 72 percent. This aspiration, the study further reveals, is more apparent among women ages 18 to 39, or the Gen Zs and millennials.

“With more women in the region having a desire to start their own business compared to the global average, we see opportunities for countries to actively encourage women entrepreneurship,” said Stephen Conchie, senior vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific of Herbalife Nutrition.

Despite the strong desire among Southeast Asian women to be entrepreneurs (among Filipinos alone, 68 percent said they wanted to open their own businesses), only three in five women (59 percent) in the region have taken actual steps to start their own venture, shows the study. Key barriers that prevent them from doing so include the initial cost to open a business (58 percent) and the lack of financing and market knowledge support (46 percent).

And as with Filipinos, a vast majority of Southeast Asian women said that what drove them toward entrepreneurship was their desire to become a role model for younger women (84 percent).

So what do women want when it comes to setting up their own business?


The study reveals that Southeast Asian women highlighted the following as the “key building blocks” for their entrepreneurship journey:

• Sufficient business and financial knowledge (73 percent)

• Sufficient savings or financial stability (71 percent)

• A supportive family (64 percent)

• The ability to operate a home-based business (64 percent)

• A mentor to guide them in their entrepreneurship journey (61 percent)

• The ability to work on their business part-time until they are ready to go full-time (51 percent)

Conchie also makes note of the importance of collaboration between private and public sector.

“Bringing together public and private sectors to provide the opportunities, resources, education and training to support women entrepreneurs will empower them to break out of social and cultural norms and lay the foundation for more inclusive economic growth,” Conchie says.

HB-workforce-Women Entrepreneur Infographics

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