DAVAO CITY – The Department of Trade and Industry in Region 11 (DTI-11) has remained steadfast in supporting the economic empowerment of the women micro-enterprises enrolled under the Gender-Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women (GREAT Women) Project 2 (GWP2).
The initiative, according to the agency in a statement Wednesday, is being funded by the Government of Canada, which seeks to provide a timely opportunity to improve sustainability, productivity, and competitiveness of women micro-enterprises.
The program also aims to continue enhancing the enabling environment for the economic empowerment of women.
The GWP2 started in the region in 2019, and since then, at least 100 women entrepreneurs have already availed of its various interventions.
“The figure does not refer to the number of individuals, but the number of women-led micro-enterprises that have already accessed the project. Therefore, the number of beneficiaries could be triple the recorded data. We would like to emphasize that regardless of the type of business entity, whether sole proprietorship, cooperative or association, we just count one women-led business as one beneficiary,” DTI-11 regional director Maria Belenda Ambi said.
She said, unlike the other DTI programs and projects, the GWP2 project focuses on the intended beneficiaries alone, unlike the Negosyo Centers wherein DTI encourages the participation of more people.
“There is no limit to what they can avail of from the project’s menu of services. As long as they want to access any of the services or interventions that the GWP2 project offers, we will always be willing to provide them with what they need,” Ambi added.
As of December 2020, DTI-11 achieved 100-percent project reach despite the challenges brought by the coronavirus pandemic.
The women-led enterprises come from different industries or sectors, including cacao, coffee, processed fruits and nuts, and wearables and homestyle, which are some of DTI’s priorities.
“For this year, DTI-11 will continue to engage these women-led micro-enterprises by rolling out capacity building training online, conducting trade promotion initiatives, and facilitating product clinic sessions, among others. We know that the health crisis has put a toll on them; that is why we want to help them in whatever way we can. We do not want to see them closing their businesses,” Ambi said.
The GREAT Women Project will run until December 2021. It is spearheaded by Philippine Commission on Women together with DTI, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Agriculture. (PNA)