Many small businesses like sari-sari stores are constantly at risk of encountering financial challenges.
According to the World Bank, at least 81 percent of informal retailers like sari-sari stores suffered job losses at the height of the pandemic in 2020. With a relatively small capital, which they use to sustain daily operations, these micro enterprises are badly affected when the owner gets sick or hospitalized, especially when this is their main source of income.
To help sari-sari store owners and their families during health emergencies, AXA Philippines, one of the country’s leading insurance providers, recently partnered with GrowSari, a tech-enabled B2B platform that supports MSMEs in the Philippines, including sari-sari stores, carinderias, pharmacies, and other roadside and market shops, to provide protection during emergency situations by offering free insurance coverage to member sari-sari store owners. The coverage includes a death benefit as well as a Daily Hospital Income (DHI) benefit in case of hospitalization.
“Our partnership with GrowSari is in line with our advocacy of providing better protection and financial literacy among micro, small, and medium enterprise owners. Through this partnership, we hope we can better the lives of Filipino entrepreneurs amid this pandemic and beyond,” said Alok Rungta, AXA Philippines Chief of Retail Proposition.
Attesting to this was Mai Mai Punzalan, GrowSari Chief Marketing Officer, who said, “It’s important, in terms of financial inclusion to drive awareness and education among MSMEs such as sari-sari store owners, to let them know that there are a lot of financial products that can help them during health emergencies. We are happy to have this partnership with AXA Philippines because their mission of promoting health and protection is aligned with the more secure future we envision for sari-sari store owners.”
The free insurance coverage is part of GrowSari’s Loyalty Program that is available to its Gold members who opt to be part of the program. It offers life insurance worth P35,000, as well as a DHI benefit amounting to P1,500 for 3 days of confinement. The DHI helps alleviate the burden of income loss should the beneficiary need to be confined in the hospital.
From only 1,000 members in 2018, GrowSari’s members grew to 50,000 at the height of the pandemic in 2020, and doubled in number in 2021 to 100,000 active stores in 220 municipalities. The partnership with AXA has so far protected over a thousand GrowSari members, as more sari-sari store owners embrace the importance of insurance in ensuring a more secure and safer future for their families.