OFW’s Guide to Being an Entrepreneur

There is a growing trend for entrepreneurship among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). A lot of OFWs are seeing the merit of investing their savings on a business venture or two. Some successful OFW inventors find themselves well-off enough that they can live comfortably without having to work abroad again. The idea of not having to leave the country for work again is the main reason why a lot of OFWs are drawn into entrepreneurship.

The OFW’s Role in the Philippine Economy

The OFW plays a very integral role in the Philippine economy. The remittances sent by OFWs is important in fueling the Philippine economy – even more than the earnings of Philippine based workers. In fact, the Philippines is the second largest source of migrant workers in the world. OFWs either go out of the country to work as professionals or as blue-collared workers. But, it doesn’t matter what their profession is, they still contribute big.

Exploring OFW Entrepreneurship

Before jumping head on into anything, it is important to test the water first. The same goes for OFW entrepreneurs. Before deciding to invest their whole life’s savings into a business venture, they must first find out if the business is indeed worth it. A good way to figure this out is to interview other OFWs who have ventured into the same business themselves.

Seed Money 

Seed money, also known as the capital is important when starting a business. This factor will dictate how big and how far the OFW can go in his/her business venture will be. Going into business without enough seed-money is unwise. You could end up digging into your savings – it could even lead to bankruptcy.

Slow and Steady It Goes

The main reason why some OFW entrepreneurs fail in their business venture is that they start with a big bang – without any plans of where they will go after that. Some entrepreneurs (OFW or not) find that starting slow is Key. A slow and steady start usually ensures a brighter business future. In example, an OFW who wants to venture into banana or rice farming could start out by becoming a stockholder or an associate. They could also learn the tricks of the trade by attaching themselves to plantation owners. They could also work as intermediaries between the farmer and customers.

As the OFW gains more much needed skills. He/she could later on venture into owning his/her own banana plantation. This time the OFW already knows the tricks of trade. He/she will have established important business relationships that can help the business grow. And he/she will be able to handle problems easier –something an amateur will have problems with.

But, it is also important to keep in mind that starting slow is not for everybody. It may be considered a wise move that ensures market success. But, there are a lot entrepreneurs who started big, remained big and got even bigger. It all depends on the situation and on the courage of the OFW involved.


Any entrepreneur will tell you that one of their biggest aims (aside from profit) is growth. Futile is the business that remains the same what for years and years with no signs of growth anywhere. Even the lowliest bakery or sari-sari store has the opportunity for growth – no matter how little. The important thing is that the business is handled well and the entrepreneurs involved do aim for growth.

But, how is growth represented? How do you know that your business has grown? It’s fairly simple. If you find your profits growing more and more each quarter or each year, then you have achieved success and growth. However, that growth should be effectively channeled into something worthwhile. It may be tempting to use it to improve lifestyle practices (there’s nothing wrong with that) but growth should always be in the background. Expanding the business, buying more land or creating satellite establishments are examples of how growth is materialized.

Growth and Trend

Growth and trend go hand in hand. In order to achieve success, an OFW entrepreneur must know what sells. If you are in the clothing business, you know that classic and trendy styles are what sell the most. The same goes for other types of businesses. A preschool for example, if school heads notice that a ‘Montessori’ type of education is growing – he/she should then consider opening their own Montessori program.

Determining what are ‘classics’ is important too. Classics are the products or services that customers constantly go to – no matter the trend. In fashion for example, the color black is considered a classic – it never goes out of style. As opposed to chartreuse or hot pink – those colors are considered trendy and customer preference for them comes and goes.

(Source: OFWGuide.com)

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