There’s no stopping Vice President Leni Robredo from doing work that matters, barely two weeks after she was fired by President Rodrigo Duterte as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs.
As part of her advocacy to empower girls and women all over the country, the Office of the Vice President held the Angat Buhay Women’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (AB WEB) last December 4 to 6 to further capacitate budding Filipina entrepreneurs and support their businesses’ growth.
During her closing remarks at Sequoia Hotel in Quezon City, VP Leni on underscored the importance of harnessing women’s economic potential in order to improve their quality of life and empower them to make meaningful change in the lives of other people in their respective communities.
“Nasa stage na sila na tinutulungan namin silang sumali sa mga trade fairs, kinakabit namin sila sa mga institutional buyers. Since last Christmas, marami sa kanila iyong nag-handle na talaga ng mga bulk orders na tingin namin, ito iyong susi para mas maging sustainable iyong community,” the Vice President said of the 40 AB WEB participants.
“Itong bootcamp, dinala namin sila dito sa Manila para maikot nila iyong mga negosyong nag-uumpisa na kagaya din nila. So iba’t ibang mga negosyo iyong pinuntahan nila at mga negosyong tingin namin, puwedeng mag-source ng raw materials from them,” she added.
In partnership with SPARK! Philippines, AB WEB is a follow through event of the Angat Buhay Workshop for Aspiring Entrepreneurs (AB WAWE), which was previously held in Zamboanga del Sur and Bohol last September 2018 and July 2019, respectively.
AB WEB aims to build on the skills and knowledge gained by the women *entrepreneurs* during AB WAWE, and impart new skills such as the use of technology and online platforms for their businesses. The three-day bootcamp consists of capacity-building lectures and consultation sessions that aim to scale-up their businesses and improve their products to make them more competitive in the market.
Emphasizing the sustainability of the program, VP Leni added that it is not enough to conduct trainings for women entrepreneurs, but to make sure that these trainings actually translate to a more stable source of livelihood and a better and more comfortable life for them.
“Kailangan iyong handholding, matagal until ramdam namin na puwede na silang mag-umpisa. Ayaw namin na after the training, nakapag-negosyo nang kaunti tapos wala na kasi wala nang market. Ang gusto namin, na mabigyan sila ng pagkakataon maka-break sa market para iyong asenso, hindi lang sa pamilya nila pero pati sa community,” she said.
“Mayroon silang commitment: kapag okay na sila, ite-train din nila iyong mga members of the community, mga kababaihan… at maituro din nila iyong mga nalalaman nila dito,” VP Leni added.
Women empowerment is one of the modes of engagement of Angat Buhay, the OVP’s flagship anti-poverty program.