How Is Entrepreneurship Viewed In The Philippines

The Philippines ranks 1st in the Ease of Doing Business, 3rd in Paying Taxes and 4th in Dealing with Construction Permits according to World Bank. The rapid growth of entrepreneurship in the Philippines in recent years has been phenomenal.

There were 8,238 start-ups launched in 2015, an increase of 765 percent from 4,369 in 2007. In 2015, the technology-enabled start-up density was 6.4 companies per 1,000 persons, compared with 8.5 in 2014 and 12.3 in 2005.

The Philippines also ranked 15th in the world in terms of number of online stores, with 26.6 million merchants, which is equivalent to 35% of the total number of online stores. Overall, almost 70% of all physical stores in the Philippines can be categorized as "online only" or "online-to-offline."

The proliferation of e-commerce businesses in the Philippines

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This has strengthened the entrepreneurial environment. Indeed, there are now more and more entrepreneurs selling their products and services to customers through the internet.

There are more than 1.5 million registered small business enterprises (SBOs) in the Philippines with over 694,000 having between 100-499 employees, and over 108,000 between 50-99 employees.

The average turnover of SBOs is around $11,000. The wide variety of sectors in the country provides sufficient opportunities for new entrepreneurs.

E-commerce allows existing small businesses to get to their customers from anywhere in the Philippines. According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are over 700,000 more Filipinos owning a smartphone in 2017 compared to 2012.

During the same period, more Filipinos have access to the internet. As a result of the growing digital economy, more and more Filipino entrepreneurs have come to realize that the sale of their goods and services can be much easier and effective through online platforms.

Recent research conducted by Akamai Technologies shows that the Philippines saw a 20% jump in mobile internet traffic in 2017, which is the highest growth among all Asian nations. During the same year, the country saw the fastest growth in mobile web traffic among Southeast Asian countries.

Of the 10 countries with the fastest growing mobile web traffic, the Philippines was number 5. Moreover, the growth of mobile web traffic in the Philippines outpaced the growth of desktop web traffic, and there were also faster increases in mobile web traffic among lower income groups compared to higher income groups.

The e-commerce Local Service Category also had a 32.7% increase in mobile web traffic. Based on a new research study by Zion Market Research, Philippines had the highest number of shopping carts in Southeast Asia in 2017, which was 20.3 million carts and 12.1 million mobile carts.

The country's online population has also increased by 16.9% in 2016

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This is expected to continue to grow as technology develops. The Philippines is also the fastest-growing digital economy in Southeast Asia, with more than 72 million Filipinos with access to the internet.

If the current trend is anything to go by, the Philippines is going to be the leading e-commerce market in Southeast Asia.

The Philippines is a key contributor to the growth of the digital economy in Southeast Asia.

The country has the most number of SMEs in the region, and of all SMEs in the country, 50% are trading online and over 60% are trading offline. If SMEs are not accessible to their customers, how can they compete with online entrepreneurs?

In this regard, the Department of Trade and Industry-National Trade Cooperative Development Authority (DTI-NTCDA) has launched a program to help micro and small enterprises (MSEs) learn to sell online.

DTI-NTCDA's online trade program, the E-Commerce Readiness and Advancement for Ecosystem Stakeholders (EARS), focuses on improving E-Commerce entrepreneurs' digital and non-digital readiness.

The e-commerce readiness for ecosystem stakeholders (EARS) program has two segments.

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The digital readiness segment is meant for newly-started, active, and already-active e-commerce business owners. This segment assists SMEs to enhance their digital readiness skills, business practices, business growth strategies, and organizational structure and function.

The non-digital readiness segment is targeted to current businesses that have been selling online, but have not invested in online sales and capabilities. This segment educates and trains SMEs to be aware of new trends and developments in the E-Commerce sector and have access to competitive edge and increased market share.

The E-Commerce Readiness for Ecosystem Stakeholders (EARS) Program provides these businesses with the essential knowledge and skills needed to promote, develop, and increase their online sales.

SMEs may apply for the E-Commerce Readiness for Ecosystem Stakeholders (EARS) Program for business owners under the following categories: apparel, electronics, cosmetics and toiletries, gourmet products, fast-moving consumer goods, health and beauty products, furniture and home decor, durable goods, lifestyle products, music and entertainment products, toys and games, personal and household products, sports and leisure goods, services, and utilities products.

However, businesses in the furniture, music and entertainment products, leisure and health and beauty products, and property development and maintenance categories are not eligible for the E-Commerce Readiness for Ecosystem Stakeholders (EARS) Program.

The program is a first of its kind in the region, with the Philippines setting an example of how a government agency in a developing economy can prepare SMEs to grow and compete in the digital economy.

The EDGE Foundation welcomes inquiries from SMEs interested in learning more about their eligibility to apply for the E-Commerce Readiness for Ecosystem Stakeholders (EARS) Program.

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