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Fifty women-entrepreneurs in the Northern Mindanao region were chosen to be recipients of a “digital transformation” upskill project organized by a state university and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) training arm of the United Nations (UN).

During its launch on Monday, Dr. Ambrosio Cultura II, president of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), said the school’s partnership with the UN Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development (APCICT) resulted in the training program for digital transformation skills development.

“This is the first in the Philippines, and we are optimistic that there will be more (batches of trainees) to follow,” Cultura said.

Cultura said the women participants came from the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the region and recommended by USTP’s partner agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and regional business organizations.

The program is based on APCICT’s Women ICT Frontier Initiative, a flagship capacity-building training for women entrepreneurs to use digital tools and platforms in their businesses. APCICT has its headquarters in South Korea.

APCICT Director Kiyoung Ko said its courses were taught by its panel of experts in various industries throughout Asia, and this time-shared with participants in the city.

“We want to give them (participants) real help, not just theories, and build technologies to promote their businesses,” he said.

Ko said the training program also dealt with “hot issues” in safeguarding entrepreneurs from cyber threats and using AI-operated digital tools.

Meanwhile, Dr. Romela Ratilla, the DOST-10 director, noted that the program participants were also part of the agency’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, which has seen an uptick in the number of MSME owners who are women.

The training program on women entrepreneurs will run from Feb. 5 to 8 in this city. (PNA)