Any aspiring entrepreneur can start a passion-fueled business. Without the knowledge on the right tools and business processes, however, building and sustaining a business can be financially and emotionally frustrating.
Lei Ermitanio, a mother of three, wanted to help other mompreneurs to fast-track their business without the inconvenience and difficulties she had experienced while she was starting out. That’s why she formed the group MOMpreneurs Club PH, an online community where members can crowdsource ideas, give recommendations, and even promote their businesses.
Looking back, Lei wished she was able to count on such a group when was going through harsh experiences: the loss of her family’s business, an accident that injured her husband, a bout with depression, and a house burglary. These events pushed her to make a new beginning in the Metro, where she became a provider of personalized scents used as presents and event giveaways.
Three years after she started, the perfume business Belle Ame Essentials earned Lei a couple of prestigious awards. On its second anniversary, Lei received word that Belle Ame Essentials is the 2017 recipient of the Best Choice Award for Quality Customized Giveaways Provider. This year, the World Class Philippines Council hailed Lei’s company as a World Class Philippine Company.
Finding the right mix
For Lei, creating MOMpreneurs Club PH was her way of paying it forward. To date, MOMpreneurs Club PH has become a community of more than 4,000 who want to make profits out of their passions. The group’s members include foodpreneurs, craftpreneurs, resellers, and even professionals seeking or giving advice. From time to time, Lei herself conducts webinars to help her fellow mompreneurs gain expertise.
“What I share in the group are what I needed before, I needed motivation, I needed social media know-how. I also felt the need to introduce business opportunities given that they have no capital, they stay at home, and they can only go online to earn,” Lei said. “It’s rewarding to see an exchange of opinions in the group. Sometimes I would just read threads and I already learned a lot.”
Drawing from her own experiences, Lei understands that balancing work and family can be a challenge. A study published by global employment website Monster revealed that having a family interferes with a woman’s career, with almost a third of Filipino women saying that they feel that they have missed out on career opportunities because they chose to have a family.
By leveraging the accessibility of digital tools, Lei wants to inspire other women that they can be their own bosses while being a full-time mom. While Lei only runs a team of three and creates her products at home, she’s able to market her products and manage transactions online.
Sharing the formula
As a way of bringing her business to the next level, Lei is currently trying to tap other markets and expanding her pool of suppliers. To do these, she signed up on UnionBank GlobalLinker, a free digital platform where she gets linked to 23,000 entrepreneurs who could expand her network of potential suppliers and customers. UnionBank GlobalLinker also gives Lei access to exclusive deals on marketing and leadership courses, workshops, hotel bookings, and credit card deals, among others.
Aside from these benefits, UnionBank GlobalLinker gives Lei the tools to start her own ecommerce store or website. The platform also curates different articles, some of them written by the platform’s users, to help sharpen her expertise.
Not only is UnionBank GlobalLinker helping Lei unlock opportunities for her business. On October 20, the UnionBank GlobalLinker team and Lei are co-hosting The KickOff, a workshop for mompreneurs at The ARK by UnionBank in Makati. The objective is to give mompreneurs a comprehensive hands-on learning experience on building a business from the ground up. Lei added that she is putting up this event to link mompreneurs to role models who can inspire them.
“I think it’s high time that I mount this event that can help other moms build their own businesses. I thought this is also a perfect opportunity for mompreneurs given that they want to earn more for the holidays ” Lei said.
Aspiring participants to The KickOff can sign up using the registration link on the Facebook page @mommyventures. For more information on UnionBank GloballLinker, login to unionbank.globallinker.com. The UnionBank GlobalLinker app is also available for download on Google Play and App Store.