By Nate C. Barretto
Women entrepreneurship studies in the country are aiming to create a comprehensive database of applied strategies for women in business and feedback from their customers in order to better adapt to the changing times.
This was the focus of the presentation of Pacita “Chit” Juan, trustee and former co-chair of the Philippine Coffee Board and owner of EchoStore, at the “Women’s Business and Leadership Summit 2019” held recently at the Dusit Thani Hotel, Makati City.
“As mentioned, WomenBizPH has conducted research on women entrepreneurship in the Philippines. Our objective was to prepare a comprehensive inventory of studies on women entrepreneurship that policymakers, government agencies, non-government organizations, and other research institutions could tap as a source for their decision-making and the implementation of their activities,” said Juan.
The studies, based on online and print sources gathered from 1970 to April, 2015, showed that predominant thematic concerns for women entrepreneurs were competence and empowerment.
By these findings, it meant that women entrepreneurs who had achieved significant success must have the skill and ability to run a business enterprise and the opportunity to control the management process.
However, while competence and empowerment have been found to fuel the rise of women entrepreneurs in the course of the last five decades, researchers have little or no data on their innovation, succession, and sustainability.
“There’s a need for more empirical quantitative analyses about factors that can explain the outcome of women entrepreneurs’ competence and empowerment. There wasn’t as much studies that focused on innovation, succession, and sustainability,” Juan said of the findings.
She noted that most of the case studies on women entrepreneurs were based on those who made it big in Manila and other urban areas in the country. Filling this void in information, thus, requires more regional studies that would organize women entrepreneurs’ best practices in economic, political, and sociocultural engagements.
While this is only the first step to achieving more comprehensive data, Juan said the studies suggest that more work should be done, such as expanding the Women Entrepreneurs Network for mentoring and coaching; the conduct of the Women Entrepreneurship and Innovation Survey (WEIS); and the creation of a database for women entrepreneurs.
Having a Women Entrepreneurs Network to mentor and coach women entrepreneurs facilitates capacity building, research and development, market opportunities, and financing.
Likewise, conducting the WEIS would keep track of the status of women-led enterprises, with special attention on their innovative practices.
Last, but not least, is the need to create an actual database for women entrepreneurs. “Just like how we need a proper database to keep track of the status of women entrepreneurs and their enterprises, women innovators also need data to understand customer needs, wants, and expectations in whatever their business may need,” said Juan.
All these diligent steps to gain information are important as women entrepreneurs face the great challenge of a global market and keeping up with digital transformation.
In the presentation of Juan, these studies were relevant as women entrepreneurs tackled the customer experience-led digital transformation.