The participation of local government in the economic empowerment of women, particularly in developing their capacity to engage in livelihood activities, is an important factor in building sustainable and transformative communities.
Women have embraced the triple bottomline concept in nurturing their small business start-ups, at the local level, and linking up with other like-minded individuals to introduce their products to larger markets. These women form associations to improve their negotiating skills in dealing with financiers, buyers and suppliers.
In the training courses for women, WINNER has emphasized not just the financial benefits from business, but also their social and environmental responsibilities, which together characterize a transformative business venture.
WINNER-Philippines has conducted over fifty training sessions in various localities around the country, in partnership with selected local government units. These directly benefited thousands of women in rural and depressed urban communities.
The local government plays an important role in these training programs as they provide the logistical resources, physical venue and facilities and even resources for mobilizing, and sponsoring qualified women to participate in the capacity-building exercises on such subject as enterprise-creation, availing themselves of trade opportunities and reaching markets as well as e-commerce tools.
Some of the local government units that joined hands with WINNER along with local people’s organizations of women are: Meycauyan (Bulacan), Buhi ( Camarines Sur), La Trinidad (Benguet), Sta Barbara (Iloilo), Kabacan (N. Cotabato), Sorsogon City (Sorsogon), San Pablo (Laguna), Batangas City (Batangas), Las Pinas (National Capital Region) Tagbilaran (Bohol), Santiago (Isabela), among others.
From the start of WINNER in 2000 up to present, more than 12,000 women from Asian and African countries participating in the UN Women-sponsored program received technical assistance and guidance in developing their enterprises as well as in gaining access to trade opportunities. Some 10,000 women’s products are currently promoted through web portals.