SINGAPORE -- Four years after quitting her banking job to become a full time businesswoman, Audrey Regis is turning to a social network for entrepreneurs to bring her salted caramel and chocolate coated dried mangoes to a global audience.
Cebu-based Regis said GlobalLinker could be what she needs to go beyond local shopping malls. The free platform from Unionbank allows small and medium enterprises to network, build e-commerce websites, find mentors and access a suite of payment and financing solutions.
"I want my product to be famous around the world. My dream is not small. I’m looking for a connection. When I was introduced to GlobalLinker, I was thinking this would connect me and make my plans to export easier," Regis, who owns Audrey’s Confectioneries told, ABS-CBN News.
GlobalLinker has affiliate SMEs in Singapore and India, said UnionBank vice president Dino Velasco. Signing up is free and is as easy as opening a Facebook account, he told ABS-CBN News.
"It’s really about learning from each other, really about learning from credible sources when they read articles and they do discussions among themselves. At the end of the day for business person learning is more important,” Velasco said.
GlobalLinker now has 30,000 unique businesses as members 8 months since its launch.
Like Regis, college professor and financial adviser Rhea Haguisan wants to re-launch her crowdfunding platform PhilFund with the help of GlobalLinker.
Haguisan was also among the first to popularize the 52-week challenge in 2015 through her blog Kuripot Pinay.
"One thing I really appreciate is that we are from the south, wala kaming masyadong access sa mga business people (we didn't have much access to business people)," Haguisan said.
UnionBank benefits from the platform by using it as a leads generator to find potential customers, Velasco said. The bank also has a revenue sharing agreement with partners that offer their services to members of GlobalLinkers.
"What’s important for us is we embed ourselves in the process of business owner. There will come a time that they will need our service and we are there to provide it. We are putting ourselves to the ecosystems of our customers," Velasco said.
UnionBank brought 25 Filipino SMEs to the Trade Connect event here to connect them with their counterparts from India and Singapore.