Many women in the Philippines face limited economic opportunities because they lack the confidence and financial resources required to start their own businesses, according to the Global Progress for Women Report by Avon.

“Over half (52%) of the [Filipino] women surveyed admitted to the lack of confidence being a barrier to starting a business, while a staggering 79% believe inadequate financial resources are a setback to becoming entrepreneurs,” Avon said in an e-mailed statement on Wednesday. 

The beauty brand cited the study conducted by global research company Censuswide with 7,145 women in the United Kingdom, Italy, Romania, Poland, the Philippines, Turkey, and South Africa between Jan. 18 to Jan. 23 this year.

“These statistics are alarming, as a deeper dive into the report reveals that 90% of Filipino women want to earn more money. However, the barriers that keep them from greater economic opportunities spotlight larger Philippine social and cultural issues that need to be addressed,” Avon noted.

Societal stereotypes and conventional expectations in the Philippines continue to pose challenges for women, affecting their career and financial prospects, it also said.

Globally, the most prevalent challenges faced by women in starting their own businesses were financial constraints (61%), fear of failure (44%), uncertainty about where to begin (36%), inadequate knowledge of the market (34%), and low confidence (33%). At the same time, the report noted that 77% of women globally aspire to increase their earnings, either by exploring alternative income sources or by progressing in their current employment.

More than a third (35%) of women feel that men have an advantage in terms of opportunities for entrepreneurship, Avon said.

Citing the World Economic Forum, the beauty brand said that female entrepreneurship is growing around the world. “Despite this, men still outnumber women… when it comes to business ownership.”

According to Avon, over 20% of its sales proceeds are dedicated to supporting women entrepreneurs. 

“Every time you buy a lipstick, you are helping to support a female entrepreneur,” Avon Chief Executive Officer CEO Angela Cretu said.

“Removing the barriers to economic participation that women face is crucial to helping drive progress for women. On International Women’s Day, there is no better time to shine a light on this and open up the conversation.” — Patricia B. Mirasol