One of the best ways people can show their support is to put their money where their mouth is. This Women’s Month, and even whole year-round, let me appeal to you to #BreakTheBias by helping women-owned businesses.
It’s not easy to start your own business, and it’s even tougher to stay open. The pandemic has made it especially challenging and many businesses decided to close temporarily until things get better, while others completely bowed out as their losses became too much to bear.
In 2021 alone, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported over 250,000 establishments permanently closed and another 56,971 temporarily shut their doors. Considering the total number of registered businesses was 1.08 million last year, that’s nearly 1/3 crippled.
What’s even more alarming is that of the over 1 million businesses, the Department of Trade Industry reports over 99 percent are actually micro, small or medium-sized businesses. Most of women-owned businesses fall in these 3 categories.
Last year, I decided to celebrate International Women’s Day and National Women’s Month by consciously supporting women-owned brands. As a result, I discovered a community of hard working women committed not just to feed their families, or make profit, but just as importantly to make a difference no matter how small in the communities where they live and work.
I admit they are not always the cheapest option, and if you are focused on getting good bargains, you may decide to buy elsewhere. But living through this pandemic, my personal definition of what a bargain is has changed. It’s not just how much less I paid for something, but how much further my money goes as these female entrepreneurs pay it forward.
I’m growing my go-to list for everyday essentials and behind every brand is an amazing story whether they are fighting back gender biases, or blazing a new trail in the way they do business, or creating jobs for their community, or offering a hand up instead of a hand out to the less fortunate. Let me cap this piece by putting on spotlight one of my most trusted brands and how they are literally cleaning up the mess, in our homes and in our offices, as well as in our communities and our planet.
Messy Bessy on changing homes and changing lives
In 2006, Kristine Reyes-Lopez visited Delancey Street Foundation in the United States and discovered the unique business model of how to empower disadvantaged youth through business. Adapting that model here, Lopez put up Messy Bessy Cleaners with the intent to help sexually abused girls.
Messy Bessy produces a line of sustainable, green, biodegradable, and non-toxic home and personal care products. With the growth of the company, it put up the H.O.U.S.E. (Helping Ourselves Through Sustainable Enterprises) Foundation to expand its outreach.
“We have a deep-rooted mission to rehabilitate at-risk and disadvantaged young adults ages 18-30 years old through a working student program. We have worked with more than 400 at-risk young individuals, equipping them to make opportunities for themselves and break out of the poverty cycle,” the company announced in its website.
Messy Bessy now has over 20 products, available in over 10 kiosks around Metro Manila. You can also find them in over 40 retail partners, or shop online from their MessyBessy.com website.
One more plus for me is their upcycling program that transforms returned bottles into products for those in need. “Each month, we have an initiative where we encourage customers and business partners to return their used bottles and jugs. All these are then transformed into eco-planks for building emergency shelters and other products for
Messy Bessy is one of only seven Filipino companies granted a membership to the United Nations’ Business Call to Action, recognized for their leadership in inclusive business and commitment to achieving the United Nation’s Development Programme’s (UNDP) 12 Sustainable Development Goals.
With every Messy Bessy product you buy, you are making an environmentally-responsible choice for home or industrial cleaning products plus taking part in providing a better future for impoverished youth. Doesn’t that sound like a real bargain?
Going back to my earlier statement, starting a business is hard enough. To grow it and sustain it through an unprecedented health crisis that’s two years on and counting, and continue giving hope to the marginalized youth, well, that to me is heroic. Now, let’s get cleaning!
Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.