Startups Founded by Filipina Women
Written by Kelly Punzalan
Edited by Victoria Albitos
Many of our favorite brands and companies began as small startups that went on to become highly successful ventures‒ Amazon, Canva, Grab, Lazada, Angkas, just to name a few. In the past few years, local entrepreneurs of all ages have jumped on the startup train and have made waves across different industries. Filipina women make up a significant percentage of these entrepreneurs, empowering women and making a difference with worthy causes. These startups are manifestations of women’s grit and innovation, showing that business is definitely not just a man’s world.
1. StyleGenie Asia
One of the first styling and clothing subscription boxes in the country, StyleGenie provides its clients all over Asia with unique, curated, and environment-conscious pieces to add to their wardrobe.
In August 2016, StyleGenie was brought to life because the founders wanted to make sustainable fashion more convenient and personalized for people lacking time and resources to revamp their wardrobe themselves. StyleGenie clients create their own style profile and have their very own digital stylist handpick suitable items. They then have the option of keeping the items or returning them. Fortunately, returned items don’t just get thrown in landfills, but are resold or donated to Goodwill Philippines.
2. Fetch! Naturals
Fetch! Naturals is a pet care brand that advocates sustainable living and eco-friendly options for our furry friends. Founded by Georgianna Carlos in 2016, Fetch manufactures pet care products such as shampoo and cage cleaners, as well as treats that are not just good not just for pets’ bodies, but are good for the environment as well.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo founded Care.com in 2007 to help families find the right caregivers and housekeepers for their homes. Since its founding, Care.com is now one of, if not the largest, online marketplace for family care and home services. Millions of families and professionals have benefitted from this platform. The company was reportedly acquired for $500 million last December 2019 by IAC, an American company that owns Vimeo, Ask.com, and Expedia, to scale Care.com on a global level.
4. Ka Nami Pasador
With a truly empowering advocacy for women, Ka Nami Pasador began its #periodpositivity journey back in 2015. Ka Nami Pasador is a social enterprise based in Negros Occidental that sells reusable menstrual pads. Not only are they promoting women’s health through their products, but they also provide Filipina women with employment opportunities and inspire their customers to transition to sustainable, zero-waste lifestyles.
5. Tripkada (April Cuenca 2016)
Tripkada is a mobile travel app launched in 2016. April Cuenca and the team behind the app describes it as “Uberpool” for travel.” Users are able to organize trips and book slots on other users’ trips as well. Travelers have the chance to save money, pick and choose trips they’re truly interested in, and meet new friends along the way.
1Export, founded in 2016 by Mel Nava, is an online platform that helps MSMEs (micro, small and medium enterprises) export their products to international markets. The majority of the MSMEs that 1Export handles are suppliers of vegetables, fruits, and fruit products, as well as packaged consumer goods. The company now works with over 200 suppliers.