Women entrepreneurs urged to grow digitally

Women entrepreneurs are encouraged to adopt digital strategies to expand business especially this time of pandemic as they go global.

Mel Nava, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) of 1Export Philippines, said they need to determine first the needs of their customers, have access to finance, and serve markets beyond borders.

Nava said building cash flow to cover including payroll is crucial for growing sustainably as the pandemic has brought a lot of challenges to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

“Of course the pandemic also means that you don’t necessary have a funding whenever you want it so you have to make sure that you have cash flows, you have to make sure that operations are sustainable and even with the lockdowns, that everybody in your staff is safe from Covid (coronavirus disease 2019). So a lot of it is really about moving digitally but also making sure that we are able to grow but not sacrificing a lot of our margin,” she said in a webinar series.

Nava said growing digitally is not just about expanding within your local communities but worldwide.

“You have to understand that the customers are not just people in your locality like there will be other customers, say abroad, that will try and avail of your services or products and how are you able to take advantage of that and serve those customers,” she added.

1Export is the one-stop platform for cross border trade and fulfillment services. It works with distributors, retailers, and resellers abroad to deliver the highest quality Filipino products to the world.

Lishia Erza, CEO of ASYX, Indonesia, said access to technology and finance has increased during the pandemic.

“Financing beyond the pandemic has gone online as well so it is important to have all these activities moving online and having women entrepreneurs being confident to navigate these digital solutions. So its important factors –building capacity, building confidence, and building access to all these different digital tools for us to build (our) business,” she said.

Syanaz Winanto, founder of Rorokenes and member of eTrade for Women Community from Indonesia, underscored the importance of networking and collaboration in growing a business.

Winanto said access to information on what the market needs and entering digital marketing and e-commerce, among others, is also imperative.

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