Entretien avec Jo Bautista, fondatrice de Send to Give, artiste, entrepreneuse et étudiante à l’ESCP
Dernière mise à jour : 23 mars 2021
Jo Bautista is a Filipino artist and an ESCP student based in Berlin. She did a Bachelor in Psychology and is now following a Specialized Master in Entrepreneurship & Sustainable Innovation. In parallel with her studies, Jo founded a social enterprise called SendToGive. We had the opportunity to meet her and ask her some questions about herself as a female entrepreneur.
Want to know more about Jo and her initiative Send To Give ? Find below the links to her personal website and to Send To Give website
Why did you choose to found SendToGive ? What inspired you to start this adventure ?
When the pandemic hit, many people sunk deeper into poverty in the Philippines. The Philippines is my country, it is where my heart lies, and I couldn’t bear to see so many people suffering. Therefore, I thought of helping those in need by finding a way to give them sustainable solutions to their problems. And it came to me as “SendToGive”.
SendToGive is a startup that brings financial and material support to those in need. It raises funds by providing the service of mailing physical postcards through the convenience of a website or smartphone. All postcards are painted by me and all profits from each send go to supporting our beneficiaries in both the Philippines and Kenya. In the Philippines, we support local farmers who actually make up the poorest sector of the country. In Kenya, we provide young girls with reusable basic feminine products.
Ultimately, I chose to start this adventure because I was tired of crying about the problems of the world. I decided that the only way forward was to do something about it and with SendToGive, others can take part as well.
As a woman, have you been faced with specific difficulties related to your entrepreneurial adventure ?
I really felt support from the people around me, they cheered me on and advised me in a very helpful way. Nowadays, at least in the society that I live in, I think that being a woman in business is not a big challenge anymore. However, it is true, male-led and female-led businesses really differ. Women, in general, have a more intuitive way of leading their businesses, and they are able to reach out for help whenever they need to. That's a strength women should tap into and embrace. We have a different way of leading but it's at the very least, equal in value as to how men do it.
Have you felt at moments that people gave you less credit because you were a woman?
I don’t think so. If it happened, I think it has more to do with my physical appearance rather than being a woman - as I am quite small in height (laughs). If anything, I think it is harder for women to claim or assert credit when credit is due to them. I've never felt that a man did not give me credit when I deserved it. But I have felt that I didn't claim the credit enough, even if I knew I could have.
According to you, are women sufficiently represented in business ? What would you suggest to remedy this situation, if there is any ?
To me, women are pretty well-represented. Of course, there is still more work and development to be done but we are definitely at a point in history wherein it can actually be an advantage to be a woman in business. Here in Berlin for example, there are so many startup incubators, awards, and funds that are specifically reserved for female-led business. The time of the woman is now and we should use it!
What is your idea and your vision of feminism ?
To me, feminism is a fight for women to have the same rights and the same opportunities as men. That means we should get the same pay and the same type of job offers. We shouldn't be expected to act or look in any way other than how we want. In my personal view of feminism however, we girls get all those equal rights PLUS preferential treatment. Like having doors opened for us, helping us to carry heavy things, even being allowed more vacation days at work. By our physical nature, women are faced with more challenges than men so I think it makes sense that we get special perks that help us through those challenges - both in our personal and professional lives.
Do you think feminine hygienic products should be free for all women ? Should governments address this issue ?
Ideally, feminine hygienic products should be free because they are a basic necessity. However, being realistic, anything "free" still needs money to come from somewhere. I think a more realistic near-future possibility would be for feminine hygienic products to be subsidized in the same way that healthcare is. This solution wouldn’t make these products completely free, but it is an open door for more creative and innovative solutions that may someday get us there. For instance, such products could be charged at a higher price in more developed countries, allowing companies to provide the product at lower prices in developing countries.
What would be your best advice to empower women in business ? How can women empower women in business ?
I think many women already have the power and skills necessary to become successful entrepreneurs. However, they sometimes lack self-confidence which prevents them from going into business and taking the lead. If they could just shed their fear of failure, I believe a lot of women would have a lot to show in business. I believe women are born with many skills which make us great leaders - such as the ability to listen and be receptive, to be open-minded and ready for discussion, and to be able to handle multiple priorities at once. Women can also use their natural emotional intelligence as a tool to empower others and bring out the best in a team.
Who is the woman you admire the most ?
Sarah Blakely is one of the female leaders I admire the most. She is the CEO and founder of Spanx, a brand of undergarments for women. She started when she was about 27 and became one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of our time. What I admire most about her is the fact that she managed every challenge that was in front of her: she was not afraid to roll up her sleeves and just do the work. She contacted all her own suppliers, she would rally salesladies, she even wrote her own patent! Also, as you can note in her speeches, she is very light and funny. She is a beautiful model of a woman balancing her professional life while being herself and living life to the fullest.
In my close circle, the woman I admire the most is my mother. She is the strongest and most powerful woman I know (both within and outside a boardroom). She always pushes us to dream and strongly advises us to open as many doors as possible. She is a fierce "tiger mama" and is a source of my inspiration every day.