June 24, 2024

The country is adopting the International Finance Corporation’s definition of women-owned or -led businesses which can be used to determine who can qualify for financial products and services, grants or benefits available to them as it solidifies support to women entrepreneurship.

The Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (MSMED) Council Resolution 1 s. 2022 signed by Trade Sec. and MSMEDC chairman Alfredo Pascual cited IFC’s definition that women-owned businesses are businesses where at least 51 percent of the company is owned by a woman or women.

On the other hand, women-led businesses are businesses where at least 20 percent is owned by a woman or women, and at least one woman acts as chief executive officer or chief operating officer or president or vice president; and at least 30 percent of the board of directors, where a board exists, is composed of women.

The resolution said lack of financing is one of the most important challenges to the growth of MSMEs and is particularly evident among women-owned/led businesses as compared to men-owned/led MSMEs.

“Whereas, defining women-owned or -led businesses may help address the persisting gender finance gap in access and use of financial services,” it said.

The resolution said the definition of women-owned and women-led businesses will be used in formulating policies; developing and monitoring programs, projects, and activities; and providing benefits or incentives for women’s entrepreneurship in the Philippines.

It will be also used in collecting sex-disaggregated data by the Department of Trade and Industry, the Philippine Statistics Authority, financial regulators, and other government agencies or government-owned and controlled corporations to support interventions for women’s economic and financial inclusion, it added.

The resolution further said the availability of sex-disaggregated data on women’s entrepreneurship will provide evidenced-based policy measures and private sector initiatives regarding women’s access to finance, including markets and technology.

“The definition of women-owned and women-led businesses can be expanded to include all kinds of commercial modes used by women to engage in business, such as but not limited to sole proprietorships, cooperatives, partnerships, and corporations,” it said. – Press release