TESDA, Coca-Cola, NWTF converge to empower micro entrepreneurs in Negros Occidental

BACOLOD CITY, May 9 (PNA) — Coca-Cola Philippines, in partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Negros Women for Tomorrow Foundation (NWTF), is helping micro entrepreneurs in Negros Occidental succeed in their line of business through proper training.

Dubbed as the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (S3TAR) Program, the 12-week training focuses on gender sensitivity, entrepreneurial leadership skills, micro-business management, records keeping, marketing, merchandising and accessing resources.

Of more than 27,000 retailers serviced by Coca-Cola in the province, 1,000 of which graduated from the program Thursday. The beneficiaries were mostly from the cities of Bacolod, Bago and Talisay.

Coca-Cola vice president for Public Affairs and Communications Atty. Adel Tamano explained that S3TAR is a program that empowers women and not a form of dole-out.

“We want our partners to succeed by giving them the expertise and access to resources,” Tamano said.

Tamano said that if they will simply give their beneficiaries donations in kind, it will only create as sense of dependency.

“The pursuit to success requires hard-work,” he stressed adding that the program has post-interventions like peer counseling and monitoring to ensure sustainability.

As to why they choose to target women, Tamano explained that 80-90 percent of retail owners nationwide are female.

There are also researches showing that most women are investing their money in business and their children’s education than men, he said.

On his part, Coca-Cola’s Director for Visayas Milton Lalisan told the program’s graduates that the training they get is a form of investment for their future.

“You have made a major decision in your life to take the next step to insuring that your business will become successful,” Lalisan said.

He also emphasized that “one cannot go into business unless you are trained to do so. Otherwise, you are just setting yourself up for failure”.

Meanwhile, NWTF Deputy Director for Operations Corazon Henares said they will be giving the graduates access to credit ranging from P1,000 to P300,000 depending on their needs.

Henares said the loan service has no collateral and has interest rate of 30 percent per annum.

On the other hand, TESDA Provincial Director Lorena Yunque said S3TAR Program will last until 2020 and they are inclined to empower 100,000 women micro entrepreneurs by then. (PNA)



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