Local women leaders build capacities in entrepreneurship through women-to-women mentoring conference and exposure trip
GREAT Women Project-supported women microentrepreneurs (WMEs) learn about packaging technologies at the Department of Science and Technology-Industrial Technology Development Institute last November 8. In photo are WMEs Gemma Padillo (Leyte), Mariebel Bucog (Bohol), Erlinda Flores (PPALMA Alliance), Ofelia Ballarbare (Quezon) Nemia Lachica (Iloilo) and Fe Carranza (MNDC).
The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) sponsored seven women microentrepreneur-leaders to the Women to Women (W2W) Mentoring Conference. The W2W Conference, sponsored by the Women’s Business Council of the Philippines (WBCP), was held at the Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC) last November 8.
Participants to the W2W Conference heard best practices and lessons in growing and sustaining business to spur their capabilities toward leadership and empowerment. Through the Conference, women entrepreneurs drew lessons on business strategy, entrepreneurship and innovation, choosing business partners, collaboration versus competition, production, international trading, branding, spiritual and life strategies from leading Filipino business leaders.
Learning from Women Business Leaders
From W2W Speakers, WMEs learned lessons from business from top women business leaders. W2W Speakers include Ms. Fe Perez-Agudo, President of Hyundai Philippines; Maria Mercedes Mingaracal-Corrales who was the former
Regional President of Starbucks Asia-Pacific Division; Mary Ann Sayoc, General Manager of East West Seeds; Myla Villanueva, the Chief Executive Officer of Novare Technologies; Helen Perez-Macasaet, the President Pentathlon Systems Resources, Inc.; Ann Tiukinhoy-Pamintuan, President and Designer of the Gilded Expressions (Davao); Atty. Ipat Luna, the Senior Legal Specialist at Health Justice Philippines; Marie Concepcion-Young, Director and General Manager of White King Division of RFM Corporation; and Emily Abrera, President of the Foundation of Communication Initiativess
WMEs learned the importance of building and sharing business legacies, challenging conventional wisdom and rewriting game rules, innovation as a distinguishing factor of leadership, the value of continuously updating technologies and studying legalities of proposals. According to speakers, producing world-class quality products will need WMEs to devote 80% of effort analyzing what is important to the market, the practicality of design, studying trends and planning ideas into action.
Product Packaging and Market Linkaging
On November 9, PCW-GREAT Women Project also sponsored a site tour of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Taguig, where women entrepreneurs were oriented on packaging and design technologies for food and craft enterprises. WME capacities are being built in this area, because product packaging enhances product viability and competitiveness, extends shelf life and makes product handling/transport easy.
With the tour at the DOST-Industrial Technology Development Institute (ITDI), WMEs found potential solutions to package and label their products. WME sought to package such products as soy milk, paper products, processed food and mat-woven craft. ITDI showed varieties of packaging, and presented machines necessary for processing and packaging different goods and how packaging machines can be acquired.
DOST-ITDI also directs micro-, small, and medium entrepreneurs to appropriate technologies available for entrepreneurs, such as food processing, sugarcane processing, agar-agar extraction, virgin coconut oil/essential oil production, formulation of detergent and personal care products.
WMEs may access ITDI services on developing appropriate packaging designs and labels, and providing training services related to packaging technology, design and labelling and services on nutrition labelling. ITDI can also provide entrepreneurs with packaging-related testing services such as shelf-life testing, packaging material-product compatibility, and testing of package-related contaminants. ITDI also offers toll and contract packaging, where it rents out packaging facilities and machines for test-packaging of products.
Testimonies of Women Entrepreneurs
“This year, GWP and partner DOST training helped UPWARD members to upgrade our dyeing and bleaching technologies, which enabled us to have newer colors (such as neon green and violet) and produce new designs for our products,” WME Gemma Padillo from Baybay, Leyte explained. She is the President of Uplifted Plaridel Women Association for Rural Development (UPWARD), which produces handcrafted beach bags made from pandan leaves and cloth. Through an upgrade in design technology, UPWARD has a design line of eight to ten bags mainly marketed in trade fairs. Women microentrepreneurs also toured EchoStore (Environment & Community Hope Organization Store), a retail chain that gives market access to small or marginalized groups, by buying products from women producers/communities and distributing them. WMEs also toured Market! Market! Mall in Taguig and Tiendesitas Shopping Complex in Greenhills, to learn about products in the market, tenancy, and participation in trade fairs and events. The Exposure Trip sought to encourage women microentrepreneurs to upscale the quality of their products, and to allow WMEs to build market linkages with the private sector.
WME participants in the W2W Conference and the Exposure Trip were Hardin ng Kalikasan Project Manager Ofelia Ballarbare (Quezon), Jane Fortich (Ifugao), Fe Carranza (MNDC), Mariebel Bucog (Bohol), Nemia Lachica (Iloilo), Gemma Padillo (Leyte) and Erlinda Flores (PPALMA Alliance).