Monique Morales, Klaseko

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“I launched my first business right after college. It was a beef patty kiosk catering to students. The second was a beauty pageant called Miss Teen Philippines. The third, which I am still part of, is swim.ph, a platform to connect swimming schools with swimmers or learners because this is an archipelago and every Filipino should be able to swim. Swim.ph led to my 4th business, Klaseko, a platform that connects learning and learners for any kind of discipline through online enrolling. 90% of schools in the Philippines don’t have online enrolling. You ride a bus, drive a car just to ask ‘how much is your tuition? What courses do you offer?’ and then you have to leave again, complete your requirements and go back to submit. Now you can do everything online with us.”  
woman entrepreneur
  “One of the mistakes I have made was not to validate my business ideas well enough. There were times when I really thought I had a good idea and I was sold on it. But was everyone else sold on? Was there a problem that needed solving? Did people need that? But what I have learned is that there are no failures if you learn from it. You can fail and be done or you can fail and learn from it and get better. It takes a lot of courage to get up and try again.”  
woman entrepreneur
“It’s been 2 years since we founded Klaseko. The first year was the most challenging. People don’t trust you until you have enough transactions and testimonials from early adopters. We got lots of rejections but this has changed in the second year. In the past 4 months alone we got more schools on board than in the whole of 2015.   I see a big movement in consumer behavior. If we buy planet tickets, clothes, and food online, we will also be consuming education in the same manner. Time is becoming even more precious than before so I think not having to go through manila traffic is definitely worth the 50-peso transaction fee for online enrollment.”
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  • “It took us 4-6 months to raise seed funding for Klaseko. We joined pitch events and approached angel investors. Pitching at these events takes about 5 minutes but the real work starts after, once you get meetings with investors and you have to pitch privately and answer all their questions. The most difficult part is getting investors that are both interested and share the same vision with you. My unspoken requirement is that they are either parents so they understand the difficulties of school enrolment or they own a school. Truth be told, most investors are men while school enrolment is typically done by women.”
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“To young women thinking of becoming entrepreneurs, I would say ‘Be courageous.’ Sometimes you still get pressure to just focus on being a wife and you will hear that you cannot possibly manage a family, a household, and being an entrepreneur but you have to be courageous and do it. I used to be an athlete when I was young so I am used to working really hard, be very disciplined, and balancing that with my personal life. I also have co-founders and we help each other out. We are at different stages of our lives so I tell them, ‘When I am done raising my kids and you are starting, I will be the one doing most of the work’”  

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