Filipina entrepreneurs will now have the chance to expand their business reach through a series of digital marketing training on online storefronts and digital promotions and payments through the project “Connecting Women Entrepreneurs to the Digital Economy.”

A recent Digital Readiness Study shows that digital women entrepreneurs want to grow their business, but majority started their ventures via Facebook—which is why necessary training needs to be done to optimize digital platforms and convert engagement to sales. 

This project was launched by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Facebook Philippines, Shopee and Lazada.

According to DTI, 64 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) assisted by Negosyo Centers are managed by women while 64 percent of NATCOO’s 5.8 million individual members are also women. 

The DTI conducted a survey on 2,000 MSME respondents last June 4-17 and found that during community quarantine, 26 percent of these MSMEs ceased operations, 52 percent went on partial operations and only 22 percent remained in full operation. Ninety-one and 74 percent also reported a decline in sales and workforce, respectively.

“This presents the biggest opportunity we can harness in building back our communities during this period of COVID-19. Women entrepreneurs—as agents of innovation and change—will help our country towards digital connectivity as we reopen the economy. We want to see not only a new normal, but a better normal. This will create more jobs and employment for our people,” says DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez.

“Through this project, 400 women entrepreneurs nationwide with online-ready products are nominated to undergo a tailor-fit and intensive capacity building program on digital marketing and promotions, online selling on popular e-commerce sites and digital payments aimed to expand market reach and grow revenues within six months,” according to the DTI official website.

Facebook Philippines head of policy Clare Amador notes that Filipina entrepreneurs have always possessed the immense potential to succeed and innovate. To sustain the program, 150 DTI and NATCOO personnel will undergo a mentorship program to guide the trainees and ensure immediate troubleshooting measures. Aside from gaining the necessary skills and knowledge for online business, Filipina entrepreneurs will build a digital community and contribute to economic stability.

“We are ready to take this event and drumbeat the MSME week to transform our women entrepreneurs from brick-to-mortar marketers to effective online sellers,” says Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantoyana.

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