Manila, Philippines – Leading recommerce group in Greater Southeast Asia, Carousell, recently held its Caroupreneur Awards in the Philippines. The Caroupreneur Awards recognises a wide variety of outstanding achievements of ‘Carousellers’ over the past year, ranging from entrepreneurs who started or scaled their businesses online, to brick-and-mortar retailers who digitalised their businesses, and everyday casual sellers who wanted to find valuable use for their pre-loved items and supplement their income.

This is the second iteration of the Caroupreneur Awards where the pioneer awards was held in its home country, Singapore, last year. The regional awards event, which now includes the Philippines and Hong Kong, will be recognising a total of 182 users on the platform’s wide array of product categories for their outstanding achievements throughout 2021.

A physical awards show for the Philippines was held in Manila on 1 September. Winners of the awards were determined through a judging panel made up of Marcus Tan, co-founder of Carousell; Djon Nacario, GM of Carousell Philippines, and Vishal Salunkhe, VP of Seller Success Operations at Carousell.

On the importance of the recognition exercise, Djon Nacario, GM of Carousell Philippines, shared with MARKETECH APAC, “We wanted to recognise the best of the best in Carousell because we recognise that Carousell is not simply a platform in order for sellers to sell, but it’s actually a platform of ‘possibilities’. We’ve seen throughout the years, even during the pandemic, that a lot of our sellers actually resorted to a lot of creativity, and really translated to passion in order to get, I would say, sources of revenue or sources of funds, especially during the difficult time.”

He added, “And we just really wanted to celebrate that type of ingenuity, and also at the same time, recognise the best practices that our top sellers have been doing on our platform in order to inspire more people to start selling and learn from them.”

The Carousell Group lauded the winners and finalists in the categories of Autos, Property for Sale, Property for Rent, Home Services, Men’s Fashion, Women’s Fashion, Electronics, Furniture and Home Living, Toys and Games, and K-Wave. Meanwhile, the Group also named the seller for its top award – Caroupreneur of the Year 2021 – as well as a special award for the Most Meaningful User Story of the Year. The shortlisted sellers were identified through a mix of qualitative and quantitative criteria, such as quality of listings, reviews, creativity, and brand story.

Seller Katherine Mae A. Cipriano, who sold electronics and gadgets through her Carousell page, @TekiCashGadgetsph, was the one who won the Caroupreneur Award of the Year for Best in Carousell: Electronics.

Cipriano shared with MARKETECH APAC her tips for aspiring sellers, and said that it’s all about just making the jump and carving out your first step in selling.

“Actually, I can’t believe that I won, I even thought that it was a dummy account who was chatting with me [about the win], because ever since I started selling gadgets, it’s really my first time receiving an award like this and to add to that – 2 awards,” she said.

Cipriano, whose main source of funds is through the platform, added, “Carousell is really a big help, especially if you just start selling because you will learn to like what you’re doing especially when you’re already earning.”

Full list of winners can be found on Carousell’s website.

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam – To highlight the success stories of the growing number of female entrepreneurs in Vietnam, global finance company Mastercard and humanitarian organisation CARE Vietnam has unveiled its initiative to spotlight the stories of these female entrepreneurs: all through umbrellas.

The initiative, known as ‘Umbrellas of Pride’, has each umbrella telling the story of the woman behind the business, and informing readers of the support, tools, and training that the CARE Ignite program can provide for them thanks to their women’s economic empowerment partnership with the Mastercard Centre for Inclusive Growth.

For Le Kim Dung, country director for CARE in Vietnam, the ‘Umbrellas of Pride’ are an ingenious way to lift fellow women up.

“Fear of failure is the number one barrier among female entrepreneurs in Vietnam – by celebrating and displaying success stories that women can identify with so clearly in the open, we hope to inspire a whole new wave of female entrepreneurship,” Dung said.

The umbrellas are gifted to the female business owners already enrolled in the CARE Ignite program. Each business owner becomes an Ignite ambassador, helping build a network of support and mentorship.

Furthermore, the initiative also highlights access to resources and support provided by the CARE Ignite Program for women in Vietnam, namely providing financial support, skills training, education, and a vast network of experienced entrepreneurs and mentors, made possible through the partnership with Mastercard.

For Winnie Wong, country manager for Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and Mastercard, their company is honoured to be part of the campaign that acknowledges the strength, perseverance and success of women entrepreneurs – a vital initiative in creating an equal world post-COVID.

“The pandemic has set back recent gains made towards women empowerment, and there is a high risk of women getting left behind. Mastercard is committed to creating an inclusive world that works for everyone, especially women. Women-owned businesses are the heartbeat of every economy and are critical to boosting recovery efforts in Vietnam,” Wong said.

Manila, Philippines – TikTok in the Philippines is moving to support would-be entrepreneurs through the launch of its new campaign, ‘’Negosyo Mo Na Yan’. Negosyo is a Tagalog term for business, and the campaign is aimed at helping Filipinos cope financially in these trying times by empowering them to launch their own businesses.

Through this campaign, TikTok hopes to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the tools and basic knowledge they need to jumpstart their business ventures. During the pandemic, a lot of beginning and closeted entrepreneurs came out of their shells with online marketplaces seeing an unprecedented surge during the period. With this, content platforms and e-commerce platforms themselves have been launching online initiatives to teach budding business owners to navigate and foray into online selling.

‘Negosyo Mo Na Yan’ will focus solely on food-related businesses, largely because, according to the short video platform, most of the thriving local businesses born during the pandemic are centered around food.

The campaign will kick off with ‘Negosyo Week’ from 27 September to 3 October 2021. During this period, a series of masterclasses will be hosted by different TikTok partners via TikTok Live. Each session will last for 2 hours where viewers will gain insights and information relevant to a food entrepreneur’s journey. Partner speakers include GCash, Puregold, Abenson, Canva, and When In Manila Food as well as Globe.

This will be followed by a #NegosyoRecipe challenge from 4 October to 21 October 2021, where participants can win amazing prizes, including appliances and tools that can help them start their businesses. In order to join, users need to upload their best negosyo recipe videos on TikTok using the hashtag #NegosyoRecipe. TikTok will then select 10 creators from among all the participants who will move on to the next round.

Shortlisted creators will be given the exclusive chance to develop their negosyo ideas, and improve their business models through one-on-one mentoring sessions. The challenge will culminate with a business pitch, where the final 10 creators will present their ideas to a panel of judges composed of respected entrepreneurs and experts from the food industry such as RJ Ledesma of Mercato Group, celebrity chef Marvin Agustin, and Mark del Rosario of Let’s Eat Pare.

After the pitch, the three creators with the most promising business ideas will be awarded as winners. Along with the business-building tools, one grand winner will also be entitled to a six-month mentorship with Marvin Agustin, which includes a spot in his cloud kitchen, The Secret Kitchen.

As the leading short video platform, TikTok has been ramping up its content strategy in order to include conversations relevant to society. Its Singaporean counterpart has recently launched a livestream series dedicated to anchoring the discussion on mental health awareness.

Singapore – E-commerce platform Lazada hosted today its inaugural ‘Lazada Forward Women Awards’ 2021 in Singapore, to honor six outstanding women across the Southeast Asia region, who were thought to have formed new paths through the e-commerce space and have showcased resilience and innovation in their journeys as entrepreneurs. 

The event was live-streamed to viewers in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam on the Lazada LazLive channel. It featured guest performers like Malaysia’s rap darling, Zamaera, and Singapore’s very own funny woman, Sharul Channa in celebration of International Women’s Month.

The inaugural Lazada Forward Women Awards 2021 comprise three award categories, namely the Creative Seller Award, Enterprising Seller Award, and Inspiring Seller Award. 

Among the first-six award recipients are Singapore’s Anne Ong of Anne’s Secret Recipes and Vietnam’s Pham Thi Xuan Hong of PinkShopGiayDep, where both took the ;’Creative Seller Award’.

Meanwhile, Philippines’ Georgianna Carlos of Fetch and Thailand’s Lalilla Thamnita of AggieHome earned the ‘Enterprising Seller Award’.

And lastly, for the ‘Inspiring Seller Award’, Indonesia’s Hanna Suhardi of Shopping Shoes and Malaysia’s Annie Chia of NLWK Florist won.

During the awards ceremony, Chun Li, the chief executive officer of Lazada Group, commented that he is honored to be around inspirational women today. 

“You found interesting and unique ways to leverage the Lazada platform to not only establish your online business but also to engage customers and build a niche following while uplifting the lives around you. Lazada is proud to be your partner and have the opportunity to be part of your successful journey,” said Chun Li.

As part of the Awards presentation ceremony, he also joined in a lively discussion moderated by Virginia Tan, the founding partner of Teja Ventures and co-founder of She Loves Tech, with panelist Ayesha Khanna, the CEO of, on the topic of ‘Growing Women Entrepreneurship in Southeast Asia: Current Challenges and Opportunities’.

Singapore – As International Women’s Day (IWD) draws near, the Singapore arm of e-commerce giant Amazon has launched a dedicated storefront which will feature local products from women-owned SMEs.

The storefront will showcase stories and products offered by 12 women-owned businesses over the next 4 weeks – from craft supplies to baby and maternity essentials. Starting today, customers can read more about the journey and motivations of the featured entrepreneurs, shop their offerings on, and enjoy promotions on selected products as part of the IWD celebration.

Some of the featured owners include Yvon Bock, founder of baby and maternity lifestyle brand Hegen; Beth Candice Wu, founder of local gift company and social enterprise HoneySpree; Pauline Ng, founder of cult-premium skincare brand Porcelain, and Suzanne Vetillart, CEO of sustainable handcrafted jewelry brand Boma Jewelry. 

For Bernard Tay, country leader at for seller services, and head of Amazon Global Selling for Southeast Asia, women are a critical force for Singapore’s economic progress, and the growth of their businesses fuels its collective success.

“At Amazon, we are committed to offering equal opportunities for all sellers to help them unleash their entrepreneurial potential, regardless of their gender and background. Amazon is proud to mark this year’s International Women’s Day by celebrating the resilience of women entrepreneurs and showcasing their success stories,” Tay said.

He added, “We hope that their experiences will resonate with other entrepreneurs, encouraging them to #ChooseToChallenge gender conventions and grow their businesses globally with us.”

Amazon Singapore is also teaming up with Enterprise Singapore to help local retailers, including women-run businesses, sell online and scale globally. Through the  Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) scheme by Enterprise Singapore, entrepreneurs can avail of a maximum S$100k grant per new country they expand to, for up to 70% of eligible costs for overseas promotion, overseas business development, and overseas country set up. 

This then allows female entrepreneurs to avail tools and resources to sell online with, expand their business across Amazon’s 20 stores worldwide, and reach more customers anywhere.

Singapore – Aon, a global professional services firm which provides a broad range of risk, retirement, and health solutions, and Singapore-headquartered Doerscircle, an all-in-one services platform dedicated for startups, have entered into a collaboration to provide insurance solutions to the often underserved workforce of entrepreneurs, startuppers, and freelancers. The partnership will initially target Asia, and solutions will be offered through Doerscircle’s platform.

According to the information by the companies, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore account for two-thirds of all employment and contribute to close to S$200 billion to the Singaporean economy. 

Meanwhile, on a global scale, despite the World Bank’s recent findings that almost 50% of the global workforce is self-employed, access and affordability continue to be a challenge as traditional insurance plans are not usually designed to fit the needs of the self-employed.

Aon and Doerscircle aim to address these pain points and at the same time, leverage the economical contribution of this demographic of workers. The collaboration will see the development of commercial, risk, and health insurance solutions to answer the needs of smaller enterprises and independent workers, enabling them to focus on growing their business instead of spending time and energy on understanding and managing insurance issues.

Members of Doerscircle will be able to have access to tailored insurance solutions through a streamlined online process on the Doerscircle platform.

Over time, Doerscircle aims to extend these offerings to include more products and countries, leveraging Aon’s broad network, risk management expertise, and global capabilities.

“The current business and economic environment are changing the way people work. We are excited to collaborate with Doerscircle to address the specific insurance needs of this key segment of independent workers,” said Tobias Schneider, head of financial institutions and SME of Affinity Asia unit at Aon.

Meanwhile, Doerscircle founder Helle Priess said, “Doerscircle aims to challenge the status quo and reshape the world for independent doers – entrepreneurs, startuppers and freelancers. We strongly believe that insurance solutions should be accessible, relevant, easy to understand, and transparent. We’re thrilled that Aon has the same vision. We’re confident that together, we will set new standards in insurance offerings for independent doers.”