The Project will be assisting 12,000 women micro entrepreneurs (WMEs) who meet the criteria for selection during the five-year project life. Using project resources, the identified WMEs will be given focused assistance to improve their business skills, comply with government prescribed certifications or registrations, enhance existing products, develop new products and bring these products to markets, to enable them to sustain and grow their business. The interventions will be provided by the partner agencies and business development service providers through a convergence arrangement based on a gender responsive value chain analysis (GRVCA) of each enterprise or groups of similar enterprises. The delivery of these interventions or assistance will guided by the regional convergence team composed of officers from the partner institutions.
Agency partners will assist as facilitators of the value chain development and will guide or ensure the provision of interventions for WMEs. Identified interventions will be included in the work plans of respective agencies for the WMEs that they facilitate.
The general category of project activities will be:
1. Provision of training and technical assistance by the Departments of Trade and Industry, Science and Technology, and Agriculture, Labour and Employment, private sector partners, as well as intermediary organizations to women’s micro-‐enterprises in strategic high-‐growth potential industries (based on the Philippine Development Plan and the DTI priority industry clusters) across the country’s 3 main island groups (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao) using the gender-‐sensitive value chain and enterprise competitiveness analysis. The assistance may fall under technology upgrading; environmentally sustainable production practices; product testing; product certification; market supply linkages with intermediary industries or establishing links to financing mechanisms.
2. Provision of technical assistance by the PCW to key national government agencies, local governments, and intermediary small and medium enterprises in: coordinating and strengthening ability to respond to women micro-‐entrepreneurs’ needs for scaling up; in policy advocacy for making competition and trade policies, certification procedures and standards more sensitive to the needs of women’s micro-‐enterprises; and in results- based monitoring to integrate women’s economic empowerment indicators in their program/project development processes.
These activities are expected to increase the productivity, competitiveness and sustainability of women’s micro-‐enterprises, help them move up the value chain, and strengthen the enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment. The interventions will be along the competency development framework to facilitate the growth of WMEs that correspond to the global competitiveness framework adopted by the project (please see attached competency and global competiveness frameworks)
While the project’s focus is on women’s micro enterprises at the intermediate and ultimate outcome levels, the broad category of women’s businesses, which includes small, medium or even large enterprises is used to refer to the project’s engagement with these business levels in consideration of the critical roles they play in the value or supply chains. These SMEs and large enterprises can be in different parts of the chain as raw material producers, processors or traders/distributors. They, too, play important roles in advocacy or negotiations that can shape policy to support WEE or be part of the goal of making markets work for women. The project will support technical assistance for SMEs including large corporations, as needed, particularly along efforts to adopt inclusive business models that could take on an added focus on women-‐owned small and microenterprise suppliers.