GREAT Women Project impacts growing women’s enterprise

Women ceramics makers of Magarao, Camarines Sur, are sustainably growing their enterprise with capacity development and linkaging with national and local government. Speaking at the GREAT Women Project Regional Partners’ Forum in Davao, President of Magarao Ceramics Makers Producers Association (MACEPRA) Cyril Tamon traced the growth of MACEPRA to GREAT Women Project interventions.

“Before the GREAT Women Project, only our LGU was getting in touch with MACEPRA, but with the Project, the enterprise was drawn closer to national government agencies and accessed a variety of interventions to accelerate business growth,” Cyril Tamon said.

As an enterprising band of ceramics makers, MACEPRA has been manufacturing ceramics from red clay deposited in the two barangays of Santa Lucia and Carandang, Camarines Sur since 1996. MACEPRA’s growth in its early years led to a diversification of products such as ceramic pots, jars, souvenirs and other novelty items. The enterprise was able to convince the local government of Magarao to push ceramics making as the secondary product to be developed under the One-Town-One-Product (OTOP) program, next to “hilot” or traditional massage. MACEPRA has about twenty women microentrepreneurs in a circle of 25 entrepreneurs.

With GREAT Women Project, the local government unit began focusing on barangay enterprises, including MACEPRA in 2007. The year after, the local planning office helped in the registration and accreditation of MACEPRA. In 2009, Magarao LGU included MACEPRA in the project team in business planning for a common service facility. MACEPRA members gained extensive training on gender sensitivity, occupational safety and health, team building, gender and entrepreneurship, and enterprise development, and became actively exposed to trade fairs.

As a result of trainings, Cyril Tamon learned a lot in growing a business, while her husband and family even encourage her to participate in activities on women’s empowerment.