LGBTQIA+-owned MSMEs find growth partner in GCash for Business

Michin Saja’s story is a testament to how GCash is committed to being the growth partner of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), whether through digital payments or loans.

For Pride Month, GCash—the Philippines’ leading finance super app and largest cashless ecosystem—celebrated its partnerships with businesses owned by members of the LGBTQIA+ community, further pursuing its vision of digital financial inclusion and economic growth for all Filipinos.

One such business is Michin Saja, a coffee shop owned by entrepreneur Alexis Carlos. Alexis maintains Michin Saja, which she inherited from her mother, as a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community, resulting in a café that values customer comfort and employee empowerment. Thanks to this commitment, Michin Saja has expanded, opening its second branch in Marikina last March, years after launching in San Mateo, Rizal.

GCash for Business has been integral to Michin Saja’s day-to-day operations, its expansion, and support during economically demanding times. Like many small businesses, the café needed to overcome challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, including lower sales that could not cover daily expenses and the need for a widely accessible cashless transaction system.

With the help of financial solutions offered by GCash for Business—including GLoan, the cash loan service run by GCash’s official lending arm, Fuse—Michin Saja found enough stability to thrive. Alexis said, “To overcome the difficulties of the pandemic, we had to develop new strategies or new products. My mother used GLoan for the research and development of our products and the marketing.”

The QueeR Market website lets queer-owned businesses sign up and be featured year-round, broadening their reach to potential customers and allowing them to register for payment solutions.

Michin Saja also relied heavily on GCash payments during stringent quarantine lockdowns. Alexis shared, “During the pandemic, one of the most common problems was that we had to be contactless with customers. Using GCash helps us be more efficient in delivering, and it benefits not just us but also the customers, who have various ways to pay for their orders.”

Michin Saja’s story is a testament to GCash’s commitment to being the growth partner of micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), whether through digital payments or loans.

“LGBTQIA+ businesses are known for their creativity, vibrance, and warmth. It is important that they flourish because communities around them flourish too,” said GCash Sustainability Head CJ Alegre. “We want to be there every step of the way for these businesses, enabling them to freely access financial services and loans so they can thrive in this digital economy.”

Scan To Pay, WebPay, and Funds Disbursement are among the offline payment options available to MSMEs from GCash for Business. With the GCash QR, businesses can access secure QR transactions, digital wallets, and real-time payments to their suppliers, along with more options for customers to pay with GCredit and GGives. Merchants also enjoy no wallet limits with their GCash QR and real-time viewing of their transactions through the merchant portal.

GCash for Business also offers a variety of loan services through Fuse, such as GCredit, GGives, GLoan, and GLoan Sakto, allowing users to borrow between PHP 100 to PHP 125,000 to fund their business needs. These cash loans are easy to access via the GCash app, ensuring a hassle-free borrowing experience.

Applications are assessed not on credit history and collateral but on past transactions on the app, making it easy for individuals and businesses to secure loans without facing discrimination. This feature counters the global trend where LGBTQIA+ entrepreneurs are less likely to secure loans due to unconscious bias. Women, small business owners, sari-sari store owners, farmers, public market vendors, and underbanked Filipinos also use GLoan due to its easy, accessible, and non-discriminatory processes.

In addition to digital financial services, GCash for Business launched The QueeR Market, where users can explore a directory of LGBTQIA+ businesses. Each listing includes a description of how it supports LGBTQIA+ employees and customers, along with personal stories of the business owners. The QueeR Market website lets queer-owned businesses sign up and be featured year-round, broadening their reach to potential customers and allowing them to register for payment solutions.

“When you belong to the LGBTQIA+ community, it is crucial to find businesses and organizations that welcome and celebrate you. To achieve that, LGBTQIA+ businesses and organizations need to be supported and empowered,” said Alegre. “GCash is committed to being the growth partner of these businesses, for the good of the broader LGBTQIA+ community and the country’s goal for financial inclusion.”

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