ABOUT THE PROJECT
It is currently recognized that entrepreneurship, as one of the components of social protection, is one vehicle that can support the thrust of the government to reduce poverty towards sustainable inclusive growth. Inclusive growth can only be realized by equalizing access to development opportunities across geographical areas and across different income and social platform. It is however a fact that the informal sector workers in the rural areas, especially the women, are less empowered due to lack of skills and poor access to financial and business development services. The women have even lesser chances in accessing opportunities due to the multiple roles that they perform, they are oftentimes viewed as not as capable compared to mena nd are more exposed to many risks and uncertainties.
Despite the situation they are into, women of the day are now evolving as entrepreneurs who can create new jobs for themselves and for others. Because of this, it has become imperative that more intensive promotion of entrepreneurship through training and business development assistance is needed. Thus this project about entrepreneurship development practices for rural women to build the capacities of women entrepreneurs and consultants, trainers, and extension officers who provide business advisory services to women and to exchange ideas, information and experiences among the participants.
OBJECTIVES OF THE TRAINING
1. To enhance the participants’ knowledge and understanding of the concepts and principles of entrepreneurship; and
2. To develop consultancy, advisory, and managerial skills of participants providing knowledge of tools and techniques for enterprises planning and management;
OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION
My involvement in developing policies and procedures related to the implementation of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program (DILP) towards Community Enterprise Development, including, among others, the identification and provision of technical assistance to the program implementers and beneficiaries require relevant stock of knowledge, appropriate models, and relevant experiences from similar interventions beyond the Philippine experience. While we have recognized gender issues and needs, relevant interventions addressing such issues and needs under our livelihood programs are still inadequate. I participated in the training program to acquire new concepts, methods, approaches and tools which may serve as significant inputs in developing interventions with gender concerns.
PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS
The training was participated in by twenty six (26) participants representing 10 countries, 20 of whom are overseas and 6 were local participants Indonesia. I was the lone participant from the Philippines. Other overseas participants come from Cambodia (2), Republic of China (3), Iran (3), Nepal (2), Pakistan (3), Vietnam (3), Lao PDR (1) and Thailand (2).
I am currently holding the position of Sr. Labor and Employment Officer in the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns, Department of Labor and Employment. As such, I assist the Head of the Division in the formulation and advocacy of policies for the protection, development and empowerment of workers in the informal economy; provides technical support for the effective management and supervision of the DOLE Integrated Livelihood Program towards Community Enterprise Development (DILP Towards CED); develops schemes to recognize the best performing DOLE-assisted livelihood projects; acts as trainer/resource person on entrepreneurship and DOLE livelihood program; assists in programming, planning, target setting, and in budgeting; and networks with relevant agencies/institutions relative to DOLE livelihood program and related commitments.
SCOPE, CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY
The methodologies of the course were lectures, case studies, group exercises, and site visits on two (2) projects of successful women entrepreneurs. The topics and contents that were covered by the resource person were as follows:
1. Asian business situation and outlook for rural enterprise development: a new normal;
2. Opportunities and challenges for rural women entrepreneurs: experience of women entrepreneurs in Indonesia;
3. Overview of government programs supporting women entrepreneurs and enterprise development;
4. Best practices in addressing gender biases and successful inclusion of women in the management of agribusiness enterprises;
5. A systems approach to rural enterprise development organization, design and operations management;
6. Capacity building for entrepreneurs and would be entrepreneurs: basic concepts, principles and tools;
7. Guidelines for writing a teaching case for enterprise development and facilitating a case discussion;
8. Approaches and techniques for undertaking capacity-building needs assessment of women in rural enterprise;
9. Basic management tools and techniques for rural enterprise managers: marketing basics and designing marketing strategies;
10. Basic management tools and techniques for rural enterprise managers: product development and product design;
11. Basic management tools and techniques for rural enterprise managers: simple methods of investment planning and financial management (preparing business plan; calculating costs; price; profit and break-even point; record keeping);
12. Basic management tools and techniques for rural enterprise managers: operations and organizational management for rural enterprise;
13. Basic management tools and techniques for rural enterprise managers: reading financial statements;
14. Case discussion: Island Agro-the case of the dying partner;
OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION
A. The training provided me with the following significant learning:
1. Awareness that the new normal in business environment is from being merely RISKY to being UNCERTAIN brought about by factors such as: volatile prices; volatile climate; business complexity;
2. Amidst gender and entrepreneurial challenges that women is confronted, emerging solutions were identified as: capacity building among rural women and communities; forming women’s support groups; paradigm shifting regarding domestic responsibilities in the family; developing usual home and care services into enterprises; identifying and promoting women entrepreneur role models;
3. Placing an economic value on reproductive work (housework, taking care of women, etc.) would enhance or improve status of women;
4. The key to enterprise success is to manage it as a SYSTEM utilizing input, throughput and output model. In drawing value proposition, start with the output, identifying market and the competition value first;
5. The 1-page business model canvass – depicts how an organization intends to create its unique value and how tomake money and/or to maximize profit;
6. Models for rural enterprise development: Focused Interventions; Holistic Interventions;
7. The secrets of a successful enterprise are: knowing the market gap, consistent delivery of the promised product, and the passion for the business. According to research, the only thing that an enterprise should have in order to succeed is PASSION of the entrepreneur. This is not enough to drive the enterprise to success and nothing else is needed;
8. The secrets on how to grow a business are: invest in right people and right systems and continuous product innovation and development. “Dream big but start small”.
9. The NBA (New Business Application) approach in making a product (product idea generation) and business development;
10. Use of alliteration KQVXZ in generating a brand name for ease in remembering the brand name of a product;
11. Marketing is not just selling of products. The marketing Mix of 4Ps of Marketing will determine the marketability of the product. FOCUS on targeting a market can beat a giant;
12. Advantages of contract growing as a social enterprise (Manok Mabuhay Model) where 80% of production cost will be shouldered by the contractor, it is easy to learn, and the farmers are shielded from market price fluctuation;
13. The Net Present Value is the best measure to determine the attractiveness of an investment;
14. Finance-based decision making using break-even analysis, cash flows and time value of money. Just comparing the amount of net profit is not enough to make a conclusion that a business is successful or doing well;
15. The FSReader template makes reading financial statements a totally non-intimidating experience and unleashes the powers of the numbers in determining the health of the business. It allows managers and entrepreneurs to know the critical information provided by the financial statements such as the income statement and the balance sheet;
B. The resource persons, especially Mr. Virtucio and Ms. Dy Tiapco, are very competent and very effective. Mr. Bernardo was excellent as “steward” of the project and the Secretariat were also very effective and supportive.
RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS
Efforts such as this project of the APO are laudable since its ultimate effect is towards poverty reduction by providing enabling mechanism to enhance the capability of the rural women to engage into entrepreneurship in order to raise their socioeconomic condition. I recommend that programs on workers’ safety and health and advocacy for social security and micro-insurance will be considered by APO to further decrease the vulnerability of rural women, and the informal sector workers in general. They should be taught on how to bounce back in case their businesses will be affected by disasters and natural calamities.
The DOLE may advocate for the adoption of contract growing (the Manok Mabuhay model) since most of its clients are in the rural areas and most of them are already engaged in livestock raising. The new concepts, approaches and tools that i have acquired may serve as significant inputs in developing interventions with gender concerns. Further, the FSReader template will be very useful in the evaluation of project proposals. The knowledge i have acquired from the training may serve as significant inputs in the formulation of policies and programs and in crafting appropriate interventions for the development of the workers in the informal sector, especially the women in the rural areas.
JULIETA A. BOQUIA
Senior Labor and Employment Officer
Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns
Department of Labor and Employment