The Philippines is a key hub for business process outsourcing and services. But times are changing. The country is home to a growing startup ecosystem powered by a younger generation keen on developing their solutions for the global market. As of 2017, there are more than 300 startups in the country1.
Challenges to startup growth
However, there are challenges that local startups will need to navigate. 88% of founders cited capital requirements as the number one barrier they encountered when starting their businesses, 54% cited regulatory requirements, and 50% shared that general economics and business conditions are challenging2.
|As of 2017, there are more than 300 startups in the country.||88% of founders cited capital requirements as the number one barrier when starting their businesses.||50% shared that general economics and business conditions are challenging.|
Drivers of the Philippines’ startup ecosystem
Entrepreneurial youth and startup culture
Yet where there is a will, there is a way. The young generation of Filipinos are driven to chart a new path based on their passion, and to pursue entrepreneurship powered by technology.
Reinforcing this shift in mindset of the younger generation is the demographic reality. The Philippines boasts a relatively young workforce, a large English-language speaking population, and a ready pool of IT talent, many of whom have expertise in computer programming. Coupled with the accessibility of cloud computing and world-class IT infrastructure that significantly curb operational expenses, it is no surprise that more young professionals are also making the bold and decisive shift to entrepreneurship.
Forward-looking government and support for innovation
The Philippines government has acknowledged the need to nurture startups as part of the economy’s digital transformation. In 2015, it introduced the Youth Entrepreneurship Act to promote sustainable development of young Filipinos in the areas of finance and entrepreneurship3.
To cultivate a thriving startup ecosystem, and fast-track growth, the government is also facilitating access to funding, emerging technologies and world-class IT infrastructure for startups. These initiatives have seen the development of innovation centers, strategic and private-public partnerships that offer mentorship, funding and knowledge transfer.
Gateway to Asia
Being at the crossroads of the Southeast Asian, American and Latin culture, the Philippines is uniquely positioned as a testbed for new products and innovation – all without the need for translation into local languages. The country is therefore well-suited to be a launchpad for startups expanding across the region and beyond.
The road ahead is bright
The entrepreneurial spirit of Filipinos, as well as government support, is paving the way for a dynamic startup ecosystem which serves as a key economic enabler. “The Philippines is a country brimming with entrepreneurial potential. By supporting startups, we can unleash the potential of our fellow Filipinos, and the Philippines can take its place as a player in the new innovation-driven, tech-centric world economy. By combining the efforts of both the public and private sector, we can work towards creating startups and success stories,” shared Rene Meily, President, QBO Philippines, IdeaSpace Foundation Inc.
As the Philippines gears up for digital transformation, it is forging a new path for its people and economy. Startup success is indeed underway – driven by human creativity and technology.
Going big with a trusted partner
To scale securely and rapidly, startups need the tools and expertise relevant to business owners and founders. Established enterprises and startups alike have found that they can trust the Microsoft Cloud to scale their businesses and solutions. With Microsoft Azure, they have the flexibility to go open source, customize their IT infrastructure, and tap on AI capabilities while optimizing their investments. To discover how Microsoft Azure powers startup ambitions, click here.