Unemployment continues to be one of the Philippines’ biggest challenges to date. Millions of Filipinos either remain on the loose for a job opportunity to earn their keep or are employed but are dissatisfied with their current pay, role or job fit, categorizing them in the “underemployed” segment.
In the year 2000, unemployment rate was at a record high of 13.9. While unemployment rate steadily decreased over the years at a record low of 5.4 in the third quarter of 2016, it remains a major roadblock in seeing the country’s full potential.
Micro-, small- and medium- enterprises (MSMEs) have contributed largely to this increase in employment. In ASEAN countries, majority of enterprises are MSMEs, reaching up to 99% in some. In the Philippines, there are currently close to a million MSMEs. From 1995 to 2011, the number of people employed by MSMEs has increased from 2.7 million to 3.9 million, and the number only continues to grow, allowing people to slowly rise over the poverty line.
MSMEs encounter difficulty when it comes to funding due to having mostly personal assets. Without acceptable collateral such as real property and with a limited track record, MSMEs, especially the smallest ones, are put at a disadvantage in loaning capital as they cannot meet bank requirements.
With its renewed purpose of seeing a country where businesses flourish, Globe Telecom constantly looks at forging partnerships to grow employment opportunities. In partnership with global crowd-funding source Kiva, the company has revolutionized an avenue to help Filipinos, empower local businesses, and promote economic growth. Globe customers can now help Filipino start-up entrepreneurs realize their dreams by donating or lending funds.
Leveraging on its online facility and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva provides loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. The micro-finance institutions, which are called Field Partners, administer the loans in the field, giving people in need a safe and affordable access to fresh capital to further their lives and that of their families. Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), Alalay sa Kaunlaran, Inc. (ASKI), Center for Community Transformation Credit Cooperative, Gata Daku Multi-purpose Cooperative, Paglaum Multi-purpose Cooperative, Community Economic Ventures, Inc., MILAMDEC Foundation, SEED Center Philippines, Inc. and Bagosphere Ph. Inc. are Kiva’s partner Microfinance Institutions (MFI) in the Philippines. To-date, Kiva has over 1.5 million individual lenders from every country in the world. These lenders have funded loans amounting to over US$890 million to 2.1 million beneficiaries.
As part of its month-long celebration for its loyal and tenured customers in September, Globe enabled its prepaid and postpaid customers to support 917 micro-enterprises through a Kiva gift card worth US$25. The beneficiaries in the agriculture, farming, retail and food industries can, in turn, use the amount to scale their businesses.
To welcome the month-long Yuletide season, Globe customers can still continue making a difference in the lives of others by making a donation via Kiva. There are 3 ways: (1) converting Globe Reward Points into Kiva donations, (2) donating via GCash, or (3) by texting Kiva to 2158-Kiva to avail a Kiva Card, a gift card that can be used to choose a beneficiary.
“The best gift that anyone can give this Christmas is a gift that keeps on giving, and we at Globe are encouraging our customers to create a Globe of good by harnessing our partnership with Kiva. Through their donations, they can empower and boost livelihood and employment opportunities which can have a positive impact to many today and in the future,” says Yoly Crisanto, Chief Sustainability Officer at Globe.
The company’s partnership with Kiva follows its commitment to 9 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, specifically SDG 17: Partnership for the Goals—knowing that sustainability is possible only through collaboration with relevant organizations. Ultimately, this allows Globe to enable Filipino entrepreneurship and instigate job creation, contributing towards SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.