Imagine 107 million people living in Victoria and Tasmania. Now imagine their land mass divided up into more than 7,000 islands. Finally, imagine those islands being on the ring of fire, prone to typhoons and earthquakes. Well, there’s no need to use your imagination at all as that country really exists. It’s called The Philippines.
While it is one of the most diverse landscapes in Southeast Asia, the country benefits from infrastructure but is limited in the quality, when compared to its ASEAN neighbors like Singapore and Thailand. According to one study, the density of the population and the nature of the terrain creates traffic hazards resulting in the capital, Manila, being labelled the 3rd worst city in Asia for drivers. On average, commuters in this city spend over an hour per day in traffic jams along poorly managed transportation fairways. Additionally, those who can afford personal vehicles spend 24 minutes a day looking for a parking space.
With all this time wasting being part of daily life, many of them must be thinking, “I just want to work from home.” And that’s exactly what one entrepreneurial woman is trying to facilitate.
Meet Martine De Luna
A working mum for the past 8 years, she is the new Branch Director for Business in Heels in The Philippines. As travel is impeded by islands and traffic, she has reworked the Business in Heels model to suit her country’s needs and limitations. She is working to grow her many business connections and establish virtual contact between them across the archipelago. A former blogger and influencer on social media, she now runs networking events, training workshops and mentoring sessions online, with firm belief that the results will trickle into a better quality of life for her members and their families by the power of community activity.
And she has her own experience to back it up…
For a number of years, The Philippines has been an outpost for outsourcing administrative work from Australia. With many skilled virtual assistants there on a similar time zone the benefits to each economy are substantial. Business in Heels uses the services of The Away Team with Wap Martinez as the Creative Director. Via that connection, we both met Martine. Though we’ve never sat in the same room, we’ve shared enough virtual time together to be confident of each other’s abilities and have formed the strong bonds that result in business.
By working within the outsourced market, Martine is now enabling her connections to form a community and use the same methods to build the relationships that lead to business opportunities. Her “hands-on-thru-connectivity” approach and genuine interest in seeing her compatriots do well is a strong motivator for her. On average, 3,000 Filipino women leave the country and their families every day to seek work overseas. This disrupts families and relationships and is a drain the local society cannot sustain. As a stay at home mum and entrepreneur her passion for the welfare of fellow Filipinos drives her on and she is working hard to bring about a better outcome for them via online education, networking events and training.
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Women Love Tech would like to thank Lisa Sweeney – the co-owner of Business In Heels for this article.