UBX, the leading open finance platform in the Philippines, Women’s Business Council Philippines (WomenBizPH), the leading voice of women in Commerce, and mobile financing powerhouse SeedIn are intensifying their efforts to empower women-led enterprises and women entrepreneurs through democratized access to business financing.
UBX, WomenBizPH, and SeedIn have strengthened their partnership to reach more women entrepreneurs and women-led enterprises to provide them with financial tools that help them jumpstart or scale their businesses.
The three groups first entered into a partnership in 2022 to launch Women-to-Women (W2W) Investment and Lending Portfolio, a basket of financial assets that help empower Filipino women to become successful entrepreneurs. Beneficiaries are given access to financial tools such as investment products and credit lines for their business.
“Real financial inclusion means dismantling gender disparity in business. Women’s Month provides the perfect opportunity for UBX, WomenBiz, and SeedIn to improve the lives of women entrepreneurs through innovative Open Finance business tools,” UBX Chief Product Officer Anne Yosuico said.
The three organizations will soon hold a caravan on financial literacy and loan responsibility, targeting micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) that are led by women.
According to the Philippine Statistics Agency (PSA) 99.5 percent of all businesses in the Philippines are considered MSMEs, accounting for 40 percent of the local output.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) estimates that 66% of MSMEs are women-owned businesses, accounting for 58.1 percent of manufacturing-related enterprises, 56 percent of service-oriented businesses, and 44.4 percent of agriculture-related trade.
In a study titled Promoting Transformative Gender Equality Agenda in Asia and the Pacific, the ADB said “women face more challenges than men in starting, managing, and growing businesses as they can be more likely constrained by a lack of the necessary human and financial capital.”
They are also more disadvantaged than men due to social norms as well as the lack of access to networks that are crucial to business relations, knowledge exchange, and skills training.
Women also lack access to finance and capital because they are unaware of the full range of debt and equity alternatives, or they avoid finance due to a lack of confidence and fear of not being able to repay the loan.
Through the W2W Investment and Lending Portfolio, UBX, WomenBizPH, and SeedIn are aiming to reduce gender-based disparity in business ownership and entrepreneurship.
Powered by UBX’s SeekCap, an online lending marketplace, W2W Investment and Lending Portfolio allows beneficiaries to request a loan for as low as P300,000 or invest in the portfolio for as low as P1,000.
“Women hold up more than half of the MSMEs in the country. Given the major role that they play in the country’s microeconomy, they deserve greater access to financial solutions that will make it easier for them to manage their businesses,” SeedIn Executive Director Edison Tsai said.
As these three groups ramp up their efforts this year, women entrepreneurs from across the archipelago will have greater access to business financing and financial literacy this year.
“We are encouraging more organizations to join us in our struggle to promote women’s empowerment in the country. With this partnership as the first step and the caravan as the next, we hope to produce a ripple effect to make a big impact in improving the economic landscape in the Philippines,” said WomenBizPH Chairperson Mylene Abiva.