Manila, September 18, 2020 — The U.S. government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has forged a new partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Confederation of Cooperatives (NATCCO), and the Philippine private sector to empower Filipina entrepreneurs.
Together with Facebook, Shopee, and Lazada, USAID’s “Connecting Women Entrepreneurs to the Digital Economy” initiative will enhance Filipina entrepreneurs’ access to markets by equipping them with knowledge and tools to become effective online sellers. The initiative is implemented under USAID’s E-PESO project, which supports the Philippine government’s transition from cash and checks to electronic payments for broader-based economic growth and financial inclusion.
“Advancing women’s digital connectivity is key to increasing their economic empowerment as business owners in an ever-expanding digital world,” USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II said. “USAID is pleased to support and collaborate with women entrepreneurs, the private sector, government, and other stakeholders in this initiative that will promote robust, inclusive growth and economic resilience.”
This partnership, as part of the U.S. government’s Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative, will increase women entrepreneurs’ access to financing, market opportunities, and training to establish and grow their businesses.
DTI Secretary Ramon Lopez said the partnership “presents a great opportunity that can be harnessed in building back Filipino communities during the pandemic.” He emphasized that “women entrepreneurs, who are agents of innovation and change, will help bring the country towards digital connectivity, and contribute to rebuilding livelihoods, as the Philippines re-opens the economy and prepares for a better normal.”
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesswomen face struggles in their entrepreneurial journey as they balance their roles managing the household and caring for their families. Despite these barriers, global data underscores that supporting women-owned businesses advances prosperity. In 2019, DTI reported that 64 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises assisted by the Philippine government were owned by women.
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