The Omicron wave of COVID-19 has made staying connected to loved ones and community tough for many and even tougher on Filipinos trying to make ends meet.
Despite this, customers are finding creative ways to keep their families entertained and afloat during these trying times. In particular, three families have shown their entrepreneurial spirit and managed their own businesses, learning how to manage stock and engage with customers during the pandemic.
Last year, WorldRemit, a leading global payments company, teamed up with Grainsmart to give its Filipino customers the chance to win a home business that in some cases, could lift them and their families out of poverty.
Since then, how have their ventures fared?
Innovation leads the way
Grainsmart Pangkabuhayan package winner, Cleofe Kreutzmann, a Filipina living in Canada, offered her sister, Monneth, the opportunity to run the home business she had just won, in their hometown of Paranaque City.
A dream come true, the franchise business was a way for the Kreutzmann family to realize their dreams of a brighter future. The emergence of COVID caused a slight cause for concern as over the past year, the Kreutzmann family navigated strict government lockdown guidelines and community quarantines. In addition, the Philippines faced country-wide stock shortages, late shipments, and unexpected competition from government ayuda.However, these challenges were no match for the family’s ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit.
Monneth Kruetzmann invented new and unconventional ways to secure new customers and maintain the business’ growth and momentum, such as offering ‘rice loans’ which allowed coworkers and neighbors to purchase rice on a payment schedule. In addition to offerings that directly impacted the customer experience, Cleofe regularly sent money from Canada to help keep the business afloat.
As the Kruetzmann’s look to the future, they hope to continue growing the store’s customer base and are considering strategic expansion in their region. This forward-thinking has been made possible by smart planning, family support and a remarkable ability to continuously pivot throughout the pandemic.
To any aspiring entrepreneurs, Cleofe advises, “See the glimmer of hope in any situation. The most important investment that you can put towards your future is faith and courage. If you have loved ones abroad, advise them to use WorldRemit in their remittances as pleasant surprises may come out of it!”
Helping families realize their dreams
Additional winners include Rosa Mae Mabale, a student and youth worker from Norway, and Analou Sua, a caregiver from Australia whose families are both planning on expanding the business further in farming and opening a minimart. Beyond providing a source of income, the families’ franchises have given new meaning to their lives and helped them realize their dreams of a brighter future.
“Our users go abroad to find better opportunities for their families. In understanding the sacrifices OFWs make, WorldRemit remains committed in supporting their journey towards an improved quality of life brought by financial stability,” said WorldRemit Country Director, Earl Melivo.
Next month marks the second year navigating uncertain times in the Philippines, a period marked with loss and disruption. If one thing has been made clear, it is the strength of family and community that will help customers and loved ones get through the pandemic.
We’re a leading global payments company and, along with Sendwave, part of Zepz, a group powering two global payments brands.
We disrupted an industry previously dominated by offline legacy players by taking international money transfers online – making them safer, faster and lower-cost. We currently send from 50 countries to recipients in 130 countries, operate in more than 5,000 money transfer corridors worldwide and employ over 1,200 people globally.
On the sending side, WorldRemit is 100% digital (cashless), increasing convenience and enhancing security. For those receiving money, the company offers a wide range of options including bank deposit, cash collection, mobile airtime top-up and mobile money.
Backed by Accel, TCV and Leapfrog—WorldRemit’s headquarters are in London, United Kingdom with regional offices in the United States, Poland, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, South Africa, Somaliland, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Belgium.