Micro and small businesses make up around 99 percent of all businesses and account for more than 50 percent of jobs in the Philippines. Around the world, small businesses contribute to job creation, drive economic opportunity and foster innovation and diversity.
In honor of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we sat down with some of the most inspiring small businesses we work with across the globe to hear how they got started, what obstacles they’ve had to overcome and what advice they have for other aspiring entrepreneurs.
For the third in our series celebrating entrepreneurs and small businesses, we spoke with Janine Pring, the Founder and CEO of Dreametry Digital Production Agency, a small business based Koronadal City, South Cotabato, Philippines, focused on graphic design, video creation, illustration, website development and social media management.
Bill Ready: What did you do before you founded Dreametry?
Janine Pring: I taught myself web design and graphic art and started working as a freelancer when I was 13-years-old. By the time I was 21, I knew I wanted to run my own business and soon after, I founded Dreametry.
BR: How did you come to found your own business?
JP: When I was first starting out, I really didn’t think I would be able to make a living out of what I enjoyed doing, which was graphic design. At the time, I considered it a side hobby. But I was getting a lot of requests for freelance design work, and as I got more and more people reaching out to me to work on projects, I realized that I could potentially make a living off of this work. That’s when I decided I wanted to build a team of my own. I decided to start my own business because of my eagerness to share my passion with young, energetic, creative people. I also wanted to make a difference to our community by helping provide jobs to creative people.
Today, we’re a team of 27 people and our products have a global audience. Ninety percent of our sales are international and part of that is thanks to PayPal. In addition to being the most convenient and fastest way to send and receive money online, PayPal is trusted by people around the world. So even if people in the US, UK or Ireland, for example, don’t know me or my business, they know they can securely buy from me because my business accepts PayPal. I don't think Dreametry would have grown this fast without PayPal.
BR: What was the biggest challenge you faced when you were starting your own business?
JP: As a small business owner, you manage many aspects of the business. So you have to be good at everything from managing a team to running the actual business to creating your products. I’m naturally an introvert, I didn’t consider myself good at communicating with people and I had a huge fear of speaking in front of large groups. I also hated math and analytics, which is another skill you need to learn if you’re running your own business. So the biggest challenge I faced was turning all of these things I didn’t like and didn’t think I was good at into things that I really enjoyed doing.
BR: Did you have entrepreneurial ambitions from a young age?
Not at all! My dream job and goals have changed dramatically since I was younger. Those dreams changed as I discovered my passion for graphic design. But even when I found my passion, I initially just wanted to become a professional website and graphic designer -- I didn’t think I would ever end up owning my own business.
BR: What advice do you have for other people who are thinking about starting their own business?
JP: First, follow your passion, but also know what your strengths and weaknesses are. If you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, you'll be able to focus on the things you excel in and delegate other things. Second, always be hungry to learn. Read books, educate yourself and learn about how other successful people built their businesses. Third, find mentors, network with entrepreneurs and learn and gain from their skills and experiences. Finally, being an entrepreneur and owning your business is hard work. If you feel like quitting, always think back to why you started your business.
You can read more entrepreneur stories this Global Entrepreneurship Week from PayPal Stories here.