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The second most populous country in Southeast Asia after Indonesia, the Philippines consistently has one of the fastest economic growth in the region and the world. With a high level of proficiency in English and a population eager to work abroad or with foreigners, the Philippines’ economy is also rapidly advancing in global services and trade.
After decades of political difficulties and isolation, the Philippines has taken a turn for the better and undertaken a complete transformation of its politics and economy. Having capitalized on its population’s proficiency with English language and overseas workers, and led by its largest companies, the Philippines has now become one of the world’s most dynamic emerging market.
As an entrepreneur and investor, it is very important you understand the economic condition of the environment you are going to do business in. When it comes to doing business in the Philippines, there are important facts you need to know. So without wasting your time, below are some reasons why you should start a business in Philippines.
Reasons Why You Should Start a Business in Philippines
- The government of the Philippines seeks foreign investment to promote their economic development, and has worked to establish investment landscape has such as free trade zones, through the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEAZ).
- The Philippines is the shopping paradise of South East Asia as it houses some of the world’s largest shopping malls.
- Philippines is strategically located in the heart of Asia, one of the fastest growing regions. Over 500 million people market and gateway of international shipping and air planes suited for Europeans and American business.
- The workforce in Philippines is one of the most compelling advantages the Philippines have over any other Asia country with high educational priority. They are the world’s third largest English speaking country.
- Philippines is blessed with diverse natural resources, from land to marine to mineral resources. They also have the biggest in copper production in Southeast Asia and among the top ten producers of gold in the world.
- The cost of doing business in the Philippines is low, as wages are typically lower than fifth of that of the United States. The electricity, local communication, and housing cost are 50% lower compared to the US rates. That is why foreign companies are now outsourcing, programming and business processes to the Philippines.
15 Best Small Business Investment Opportunities in the Philippines in 2019
It is a fact that Filipinos admit themselves; they love to eat. If you ask even the locals about their opinion of the business to start, a lot of them will tell you it should be a restaurant. If you choose a cuisine with dishes that the people can’t cook at home, then you can attract a following of loyal customers. The regular patrons will usually be some of the most discerning locals.
There will be some who come by out of curiosity but a good number will come because of great tasting food. Take note that not all of your would-be horde of loving patrons will be Filipinos. The country has a lot of expatriates and visitors from across the globe that also more than willing to sample your creations.
Food Cart Business
The food cart industry started out as an off shoot business option in the country. It actually came from the restaurant sector. Entrepreneurs can still showcase their cooking skills without having to spend a good amount of money. However, do take note that there are two approaches to selling in the food cart industry.
The first option is to peddle the food products yourself (or perhaps hire someone to do it for you). Food carts can be designed to accommodate a wheel so that the entire set up can be moved from one location to the other. This is the more cost saving option in case you don’t want to pay for or lease a small business space.
The second option is to lease some space at one of the high traffic areas in the country. A good example of a high traffic location or destination is a mall. Yes, the nation’s capital of Manila is dotted with malls. Malls are popular destinations wherever you go in the countryside. The amount you pay for the leased space will vary depending on the rate established by mall owners. Larger malls will usually charge a bigger rate since they can usually draw in more foot traffic.
This is actually a good business option for people who are looking for something that is a little less stressful. The costs for this option may be a bit too high though, since you have to buy a lot of laundry equipment. Filipinos are very busy.
To make ends meet, they engage in multiple jobs and work long hours daily. This deprives them of the time to do laundry. So, they are ready to pay to hire anyone who offers to do this for them. This opens a door of opportunities for those who have been thinking of businesses to start in Philippines.
Purified Drinking Water Supplier
Ask some small business owners and they will usually mention a purified drinking water supplier. Set up is expensive and there are a lot of permits and other requirements to deal with.
This is a business that you can easily do at your backyard. It’s all about buying chicks and raising them till they are old enough to yield profit. However, this business may not be practicable if you reside in a highly urbanized place like in the middle of a city.
Business Facilitation Service
You can also start a business facilitation service. If you have a good background in marketing and business development, you can help many growing businesses in Philippines connect with customers and achieve their respective business goals. And you will get paid for doing just that.
Your duty in this business is to connect business owners and entrepreneurs with investors, help foreign companies and expatriates do business in the Philippines, help companies recruit qualified employees and enlightening them about their industry. This business opportunity requires in-depth knowledge of the various industries in Philippines. If you have this knowledge, the you are good to go.
Set up an outsourcing company / Freelance Services
It is no longer news that jobs in the U.S, Canada and Europe are now being shipped overseas to countries such as India, China, Philippines, Pakistan, Malaysia, etc as big corporations and small businesses alike are trying to cut operational and administration costs by hiring freelance contractors.
As an entrepreneur in Philippines, you can take advantage of this trend and setup a business process outsourcing firm or a call center agency in Philippines and serve clients in other countries.
Examples of jobs that you can source for include writing jobs, accounting, administrative tasks, virtual assistance, software development, web development and design, etc. So, if you hone your skills and set up a credible and professional portfolio, you can make lots of cash by offering your services on contract.
Start manufacturing handicraft products
You can also try manufacturing hand crafted products and sell them to international buyers. You can start by buying a variety of handicrafts from all over the Philippines and selling them in a souvenir or gift shop directed at foreign residents or tourists areas.
Start an auto rental service business
An auto rental business is another profitable business you can start in the Philippines. Many Filipinos prefer to hire automobiles whenever they need them rather than buy and maintain them. And for this reason, the auto rental business is very lucrative. The more options an auto rental business offers customers, the more profit such a business would make in the long term.
So, if you’d like to venture into this business, you can offer a wide range of options — salon cars, trucks, bikes, bicycles, and so on. A smart way to approach this business is make it a little bit diversified; so as to cater to all class of people. You can also include the whole options depending on your capital.
Because of the dearth of government jobs in their country, many Philippinos are turning to online business. One of the most lucrative online businesses is website flipping. This involves setting up a new website from scratch, loading it with quality content, and optimizing it for search engines — all in a bid to increase its traffic and, ultimately, its profit.
Once the website starts to generate some decent income consistently, the owner sells it at a high price, and then starts building another website from scratch for the same purpose.
So if you have the knowledge on how to develop a website and how to market it, then a web flipping business is for you. It is all about the development of websites for sale. All you need is skills in website design, content creation, and some search engine optimization (SEO) skill.
Wire and Nail manufacturing
Most nails and barbed wire used in the Philippines are imported from China. In the provinces, there are often shortages of these items. Once you purchase the equipment, you should be able to manufacture locally at a competitive price. So, there are huge opportunities for investors who can start businesses that manufacture or import these building materials since Philippines is undergoing rapid development and new buildings and structures are erected daily.
Web host reselling
This involves the buying and selling of a web hosting package. When you buy a web hosting account, you resell it to different customers. All you need to do is to setup a reseller account and market your web hosting services, while including your profit margin.
In Philippines, there has always been a high demand for agricultural products; from fruits, vegetables and food crops to animal products such as pork, beef, dairy, eggs, and fish. There is a wide expanse of arable land that can be used for agricultural purposes.
So, investors have all they need to break into the country’s agricultural sector. In addition, there’s an increasing demand for organic agricultural products in Philippines and neighboring countries. So, new investors have both local and foreign markets to serve, which means huge profits.
Philippines has several hundreds to thousands of shopping malls. But they’re still not enough to meet the huge demands of the millions of consumers in that country. So, if you are looking to start a profitable business in Philippines, open a retail store that offers a wide variety of products.
Many college graduates in Philippines are unemployed. And many companies are seeking competent employees. So, there’s a huge business opportunity for recruiters who link companies with competent employees based on the skills and qualifications required by the companies.