From online freelancer to digital entrepreneur

by: Katlene O. Cacho-Laurejas

Source: Sunstar article

THERE is an opportunity for online freelancers to become digital entrepreneurs by participating in the nine–week session of the Digital Services Entrepreneurs Advancement Mentorship (Dream) program.

Developed by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and Department of Information and Communications Technology, the Dream program aims to develop a new breed of entrepreneurs and businesses that are viable, digital and resilient business resilient ventures.

With Dream, online freelancers will be mentored on how to transition to become digital entrepreneurs so they could handle more digital tasks from clients across the globe and contribute to the country’s job generation efforts.

Thirty online freelancers from Central Visayas will undergo an intensive nine-week business mentorship session from August to October 2021.

The free program covers nine modules—Entrepreneurial Mind-setting and Values Formation, Overview of the Market, Developing the Business, Finance and Operations Management, People Management, Contract Management, Client Management, Legalizing your Business, Business Model Canvas and One on One mentoring.

“We aim to help these online freelancers develop their entrepreneurial capacity and expand their job opportunities,” said DTI 7 Director Ma. Elena Arbon, adding that this mentorship intervention will pave the way for a gentler learning curve, more success stories and more jobs to bolster the economy.


According to entrepreneur Mike Cubos, CCCI vice president for Cebu business mobilization, the launching of the Dream program came timely in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, work-from-home setup and people looking for jobs.

Cubos, who owns call center firm Performance360 Global Services, said online freelancers stand to benefit from this new environment as 45 percent of global corporations are eyeing to outsource more of their work and processes this year.

“This speaks of more opportunities for our information technology and business process management sector and online freelancing community,” he said.

Currently, there are about three million online freelancers in the Philippines, a combination of part-time and full-time workers.

An online freelancer earns about P30,000 per month.

But according to Cubos, the income potential in online freelancing is unlimited if these freelancers become entrepreneurs.


Cubos, who initially started as an online freelancer, said there are immense opportunities in this field if online freelancers can duplicate themselves, which means they look for equally skilled talents and form a team so they could bid for more projects or accommodate more tasks.

“This makes the Dream project a godsend because this will save aspiring digital entrepreneurs of at least two to three years of birth pains in the business,” he said.

The potential earnings of an online entrepreneur would be at least P200,000 per month.

“Just imagine the jobs and revenues this will create if we are to help our online freelancers become business owners,” he said.

According to a study by the University of the Philippines School of Labor and Industrial Relations, the Philippines ranked third in online freelancing in the world, after the United States and India.

The number of Filipino freelancers is expected to balloon in the next few years, especially with the employment landscape brought by the pandemic. (KOC)


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