Press Release
March 10, 2009

Number of Women Entrepreneurs Increasing
Economic crisis not slowing women down, says Villar

Nacionalista Party President Senator Manny Villar says that there is a silver lining for women in the global economic slowdown, which have spilled over to the country. For one, the number of women entrepreneurs has grown rapidly.

"I heard that seven out of 10 businesses that are being set up in the country now are by women. This is really a proof to the enterprising spirit of Filipino women. We need more entrepreneurs to prop up our economy and women are leading the way," says Villar.

According to Villar, he witnessed first-hand the entrepreneurial spirit of Filipino women from his mother--Nanay Curing. The young Villar used to help his mother sell shrimps in a public market. "Until now, at the age of 85, my mother still insists on running a small store in her house. She instilled in me not just values such as hard work and perseverance (sipag at tiyaga), but also being entrepreneurial."

Villar cites a survey conducted by non-government organization Women Entrepreneurship (WE) Program, the results of which show that entrepreneurship transcends age, social class, financial capability, educational background and other factors that many think would limit their chances or opportunities. Some of the key results of the WE survey include:

  • Majority or 55% of women entrepreneurs are 30 to 39 years old;

  • Majority of 52% are single;

  • Majority or 42% belong to the 'broad middle' class;

  • Majority or 64% were employed prior to starting their own business;

As an advocate of entrepreneurship, Villar also notes that like in other countries, recession would spur more business start-ups. He says, "The rising unemployment and increasing number of layoffs is forcing people to put up their own business. Many, including retrenched overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are using their redundancy pay as capital for small businesses."

He says however that it is a good time for government to introduce more accessible support mechanisms for entrepreneurs. "There should be more programs to help women establish businesses or other income-generating livelihood projects. This can be a source of empowerment also. Women can support themselves and their children by contributing to the family's income. For women OFWs, having their own business would mean not needing to be away from their family anymore."

Villar adds that small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need as much support as the big companies. He notes that these SMEs that are started by entrepreneurs can contribute significantly in pulling the country out of an economic slowdown.

News Latest News Feed