Philippines and Canada Hold Bilateral Ministers’ Meeting on Women’s Economic Empowerment

Last September 7, Canada-Philippines bilateral ministers’ meeting, where PCW Chairperson Remedios Rikken presented the Philippine Experience in Empowering Women Small and Medium Enterprises with the GREAT Women Project being the banner program. They were joined by GREAT Women Project Manager Luvy Villanueva, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Undersecretary Nora Terrado, DTI Director Lydia Guevarra, and ECHOSI Foundation founder Jeannie Javelosa, who discussed the Great Women Brand and plans to promote the GREAT Women platform to other communities.

The Philippine delegation specially delved on the success of a public-private sector partnership that evolved the Great Women brand, and expanded business inputs for women microentrepreneurs (WMEs). GREAT Women Project and private sector inputs to women microentrepreneurs include access to capital, access to markets, capacity and skills building and inputs to women’s microbusiness leadership.

Cited in the discussion, GREAT Women Project enabled design intervention, mentoring process, financial capacity building, product development planning and packaging for women microentrepreneurs (WMEs) through the convergence of national agencies such as Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Agriculture (DA) and specific local governments. Project partnership with ECHOSI Foundation allowed WME products to get introduced, tested and eventually retailed to niche and specialty markets serviced by Tesoro’s and ECHOStore retail chain, and the Milky Way restaurant line.