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AHG Lab: Empowering Women in Entrepreneurship

AHG Lab reaffirms its dedication to creating an inclusive environment where female entrepreneurs are recognized, supported, and empowered.

One of the Philippines’ largest independent venture builders, AHG Lab proudly directs the spotlight toward the ongoing strides for gender equality within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, while acknowledging that the journey’s end is not yet in sight. For the company, Women’s Month is a time for reflection, not just on the collective efforts to uplift female founders but also on the critical role diversity plays in fostering innovation and leadership within our community.

A myriad of challenges

Female entrepreneurs face a myriad of challenges in most industries that remain largely male-centric. According to the Jan. 10, 2024 report of Statista, a global data and business intelligence platform, while there has been a surge in female-founded and female-led startups, they make up just a fraction of the total number of startups worldwide.

Other recent studies corroborate this, such as the one from January Capital that showed that in Southeast Asia, for example, only 21.4% of all tech companies in the Philippines are female-founded. In Vietnam, it’s just 4.8% while in Thailand it’s only 1.4%.

“Historically, women have usually suffered from underrepresentation in leadership and decision-making positions. This has resulted in the lack of mentorship and role models for the new generation of female founders,” says Patricia Reposo, Co-Founder and CEO of Weremote. “Typically, women leaders struggle to assert authority and negotiate effectively in business dealings. Fortunately, this trend has started to change over the years, with AHG Lab being a prime example of a company that supports gender diversity in leadership.”

By the numbers

Statista data reveals that every year since 2011, the share of venture capital funding invested in startups with at least one female founder hovered at just 12%. A more recent study from DealStreetAsia with a focus on Southeast Asian startups confirmed that the total share of funding secured by female-founded startups in 2023 was at 18.4%. Stated simply, male founders still raised significantly more capital than their female counterparts.

Another worthwhile take from the DealStreetAsia document concerns the relative durability of funding for female-founded startups. While the financial news company's 2023 figure for total private funding for Southeast Asia’s startups declined by over 51% in 2023, the same figure for female-founded startups in the region saw a milder 29.5% correction.

AHG Lab’s commitment

AHG Lab recognizes the funding gap and applauds any strides toward a more equitable distribution of capital. It's an organizational goal of the company to nurture a supportive environment where women leaders can thrive. 

Rene Cuartero, the Co-Founder and CEO of AHG Lab, articulates this commitment: "The challenges faced by female founders are complex, encompassing financial barriers as well as affecting self-belief and confidence. At AHG Lab, we value the multifaceted contributions of women and we're committed to the intersectionality of challenges and solutions. We strive to provide a platform that uplifts and empowers women with access to resources and support."

Reposo comments on the role AHG Lab played in the development of her company: “AHG Lab provided invaluable mentorship and financial backing, accelerating our venture's growth significantly.”

Spotlight on EmpowerHer: Voices of AHG Lab

In line with its commitment to empowering women in entrepreneurship, AHG Lab launched the EmpowerHer: Voices of AHG Lab feature series for Women's Month 2024. Through intimate interviews and profiles, we celebrated the journeys of five remarkable women leaders within our ecosystem:

  • Patricia Reposo, Co-Founder and CEO of Weremote, champions gender diversity in leadership and credits AHG Lab for significant growth acceleration.

  • Mica Martirez, Co-Founder & COO of Rezbin, is revolutionizing the environmental sector with innovative waste management solutions.

  • Alyssa Casandra Wee, Co-Founder & COO of Dormy, brings fresh perspectives to the hospitality industry with her leadership.

  • Yza Acuña, General Manager of Havitat Boutique Hotel, exemplifies the drive and innovation fueling our ventures.

  • Revianne Sesante, Co-Founder & CMO of AHG Lab, leads with a vision for inclusion and innovation, advocating for a more diverse tech industry.

Their stories are a testament to the power of allyship and the impact it has on empowering women leaders and entrepreneurs within and beyond AHG Lab.

A future of equal opportunity

Women's Month serves as a poignant reminder of the continued efforts needed to support female entrepreneurs and harness their potential within a supportive ecosystem. AHG Lab's focus on collective support and community underscores its commitment to empowering female entrepreneurs and enriching the entire community with innovation and leadership.

Currently, 40% of AHG Lab’s incubator ventures have female-led management teams, and that figure is expected to rise further in the foreseeable future.

"Female business leaders bring unique perspectives and innovative solutions to the table. Companies such as AHG Lab that foster inclusivity, diversity, and equal opportunities within the startup ecosystem unlock that untapped potential and drive sustainable growth for all," says Revianne Sesante, CMO and Co-Founder of AHG Lab.

In the months and years ahead, AHG Lab will remain steadfast in its support of female founders and leaders, championing their aspirations and working toward a future where gender equality in entrepreneurship has become a given.

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Join us in celebrating the achievements of incredible women in our startup ecosystem. Follow us on social media or subscribe to our newsletter for monthly updates and stories of empowerment from AHG Lab and the Philippine startup scene.


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