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TESDA, Coke scale effort to reach Mandaluyong women
by eTESDA PMU - Monday, 1 December 2014, 07:04 PM
An enriching training can go a long way for aspiring women entrepreneurs, and the sari-sari store and carinderia owners of Mandaluyong City are just about to get this.

On December 1, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Coca-Cola Philippines, Inc. and the local government of Mandaluyong City inked a Memorandum of Agreement to help the city's women entrepreneurs push forward their businesses.

The skills training will be under the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources or STAR Program, which targets to provide economic empowerment to 200,000 women traditional retailer store owners, operators and carinderia owners by 2020.

This gender-sensitive entrepreneurship program in the country is part of the Coca-Cola Company’s global initiative to economically empower five (5) million women by the year 2020, dubbed globally at the 5by20 program.

"Part of scaling nationally is embedding the STAR Program to the local government units," TESDA Director General Joel Villanueva said.

"Mandaluyong is among TESDA's active partners in promoting technical vocational education, and we are glad that along with Coca-Cola, another endeavor is in the works that will improve the condition of our women," Villanueva added.

With Coca-Cola Philippines and TESDA as the national level partners, the local partnerships were forged with local government agencies, civil society groups, non-government organization and micro-finance institutions.

“At Coca-Cola, we recognize the significant role of women as potential engines of economic and social development of a community. Together with equally-passionate program partners, we are providing that enabling environment to women micro-entrepreneurs through the STAR Program,” said Adel Tamano, Coca-Cola Philippines Vice President for Public Affairs and Communications.

Economic empowerment of women sari-sari store and carinderia owners is the main goal the program by giving women business and life skills training; access to financing and assets; and access to peer mentoring support.

Apart from gender-sensitive entrepreneurship training, another important component of the STAR Program is the provision of access to business resources. For the whole of Metro Manila, the STAR Program is in partnership with ASA Philippines Foundation, which is providing the opportunity for women to apply for the much needed additional business capital so they can grow their sari-sari stores and carinderia.

“It is when the woman decides to achieve a better life that makes all the difference, organizations like ours can only open opportunities that can be life changing," Kamrul H. Tefarder, President and CEO of ASA Philippines.

"We are thankful that Coca-Cola Philippines, TESDA and Mandaluyong City chose us to be their partner on this program. We hope that we can inspire more women to make that important decision to dream and achieve economic empowerment,” Tefarder added.

Since the implementation of the STAR Program in 2012 until October 2014, a total of 26,576 have been trained under the program. Aside from Metro Manila, other regions of the country are covered by the program.

The STAR Program with Mandaluyong City will be managed through the Local Convergence Teams (LCT) of the TESDA Women's Center STAR Program Center for Excellence, which will have designated representatives from TESDA, Coca-Cola and the City Government of Mandaluyong through the leadership of Mayor Benjamin Abalos. TESDA Women’s Center will act as the lead convener of the LCT and will oversee and ensure the implementation of the program at the community level. END