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More Filipinos encouraged to become entrepreneurs

MORE FILIPINOS should become entrepreneurs to allow economic and technological progress amid the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Vince Dominic Yamat, managing director of corporate venture builder 917Ventures, said during the second day of the BusinessWorld Virtual Economic Forum on Thursday that Filipinos should be supportive of entrepreneurs.

“I strongly believe that we should encourage more Filipinos to be entrepreneurs,” Mr. Yamat said.

“Entrepreneurship is very important because that is what changes everything. The hardcore entrepreneurs focus on solving complex problems out there,” he added.

Further, Mr. Yamat said the Philippines is “fairly new” in the startup space, but contains many opportunities for those interested to become entrepreneurs.

“I think there are a lot of opportunities and problems in the Philippines. Smaller startups can partner with 917Ventures and we have been open to that,” Mr. Yamat said.

Meanwhile, PayMaya Philippines Chief Strategy Officer Paolo Azzola said the Philippines is well placed in terms of regulations for financial services amid the country’s ongoing economic recovery.

“I am extremely bullish that this country is well placed both from a regulatory standpoint and from a financial services standpoint. But we need to come out of this pandemic flying and that is something that will be defined over the next few months,” Mr. Azzola said.

However, Mr. Azzola noted that there is sense of conservatism in the country regarding the easing of restrictions as a result of the deaths caused by the pandemic.

“But the reality is, we need to look around the world and see if are we being a little too stringent compared to other countries we are competing with for foreign direct investments and other types of industries like tourism,” Mr. Azzola said.

Further, Mr. Azzola said the digitization of the “know your customer” (KYC) onboarding process on the consumer side has been one of the huge developments in the financial services industry in recent years.

He added that the country’s national ID system will help in the issue of identification (ID) for the financial services industry.

“The national ID system will help with the identification issue. [There is] too much fragmentation in the identification of Filipinos. Some rely on postal IDs or voter’s IDs. The proliferation of the national ID is a massive development for the financial services industry and even for the provision of credit,” Mr. Azzola said.

Angeline Tham, chief executive officer of motorcycle ride-hailing app Angkas, said the company is hopeful that it will be able to pass the pilot study being conducted on motorcycle taxis.

“On the political front, I think we’ve been able to show that not only are we able to run a very safe platform, but also provide livelihood to thousands of bikers,” Ms. Tham said.

“We are in an unregulated space. I don’t think the laws have caught up with what is going in the fast-paced market that we are in right now. This is a unique situation that we are in because we are able to help craft a regulation for this case,” Ms. Tham said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave