Internet heroes in The Philippines
The Filipinos seem to be more offline than online. Out of their population of 88 million, there are 14 million internet users. Web initiatives are therefore few and far between, and web startups and companies by women are even fewer. And this while female entrepreneurship is high in the Philippines: early-stage entrepreneurial activity is at 22.5%, as bnet reports. This may be because, as that same bnet reports, about half of the women entrepreneurs are in manufacturing and retail, businesses for which the internet is not essential. Yet, there are some exciting initiatives involving women in the internet world:
First, Pigmata media, of which female entrepreneur Marie Casas is the CFO and marketing director. Pigmata media is a web startup company, focused on creating well-designed, easy-to-use, websites. It is also linked to the Pinoy Web Startup, an online hub for Philippine-founded web startups. The site profiles and tracks web products and services, highlighting those produced by Philippine web companies in the early stages. Marie Casas also has her own blog on which she writes about personal finance and tech entrepreneurship.
A second female-driven initiative is Pinoy Expats, by female entrepreneur Anp (her real name is impossible to find). It is an e-zine providing practical information, news features and visuals for Philippine expatriates and immigrants all over the world.
A third e-business is DigitalFilipino.com, founded by Janette Toral, dubbed the mother of e-commerce law because of her two books on Philippine e-commerce. It is an e-commerce research site, also covering outsourcing and wireless technologies. In 2003 Toral launched the DigitalFilipino.com Club: an Internet community for students, researchers, entrepreneurs, and professionals in the internet industry. They recently held an event entitled digital women in the ICT and introduced a web award 2008 for an outstanding internet and e-commerce business.
Other remarkable Philippine women are: Kimberly Ting, Co-Founder, and Marketing director of Global Trade Philippines , a web portal that helps Philippine businesses reach new markets and sell their products globally. She started that business when her and her partner realised that Philippine products lacked adequate product information online. Furthermore, worth mentionig is Arianne Delos Santos, co-founder and responsible for Web Design, Testing, Support, Marketing, Paper works and Organization of online marketplace phulit.com.ph.
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