The leading open finance platform arm of Union Bank of the Philippines headed by bankero Edwin Bautista cemented its role in empowering women in business by signing a groundbreaking partnership agreement with Women’s Business Council Philippines (WomenBizPH) and mobile financing powerhouse SeedIn.
Under the memorandum of agreement, UBX and its two partners committed to collaborate to build a Women-to-Women (W2W) investment and lending portfolio, a basket of financial assets that will help empower Filipino women to become successful entrepreneurs.
The W2W Investment and Lending Portfolio will provide beneficiaries with financial tools such as investment products and credit lines to empower them in their journey to become entrepreneurs.
“UBX recognizes the gender gaps that hinder women from reaching their maximum potential. Thus, our vision of finance for all means eliminating these obstacles by providing women with innovative digital business tools and credit options through open finance,” UBX chief product officer Anne Yosuico said.
Women in small and medium enterprise (SME) businesses will have the opportunity to borrow using AI credit scoring fintech platforms starting with Seedin Philippines Inc. Qualified borrowers can be chosen by women investors.
The network of top women business leaders and entrepreneurs of WomenbizPH will have priority to choose and act as investors for their chosen portfolio.
UBX’s SeekCap, an online lending marketplace, will facilitate the beneficiary onboarding, while disbursements and payments will be coursed through i2i, the banking-as-a-service venture of UBX, and BUx, the country’s leading payment gateway.
On the other hand, SeedIn will play the role of the primary lender. SeedIn will connect female investors to the portfolio both from WomenBizPH and its existing investor pool. Beneficiaries can request for a loan for as low as P300,000 or investment in a portfolio with just P1,000.
In the Philippines, women run 54 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). According to a study by the Asian Development Bank, women-led businesses are less likely to get bank loans and resort to reducing the number of employees. With the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, these businesses suffered even more, as the majority of them faced lack of funding and were forced to close down due to financial decline.