Training women entrepreneurs

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Monday, May 5, 2014


A FOUR-YEAR-OLD livelihood organization is helping change the economic landscape of Lapu-Lapu City by empowering women and creating self-sufficient communities through entrepreneurship.

From an initial 7,000 members in July 2010, the federation doubled its membership to 14,000. It now has consolidated assets of over P5 million.

“The Kababayen an/Women sa Opon nga nagkahiusa Alang sa Kalamboan (Konka) Inc. has become one of the city’s economic boosters,” said Jaime L. Glomar, officer-in-charge of the Lapu-Lapu City Cooperative and Livelihood Resource Center (LCLRC) in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.

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“It has made the women in Lapu-Lapu empowered, confident and entrepreneurial.”

According to Glomar, since the City cannot provide jobs to all Oponganons, its leaders chose to promote entrepreneurship, especially among women, as way to help them augment family income and improve their way of life.

With the support of the local government unit (LGU), Konka members were provided with various forms of livelihood skills training, opportunities for catering and production of senior citizens’ birthday cakes, as well as trade and food fairs and financial assistance.

No more idle time

The information, Glomar said, spread “like wildfire” such that almost all the women in most barangays applied for Konka membership and opened their schedules for various training events. Graduates of the training programs were also generous enough to share the skills their learbed with their own barangays.

“Women who had nothing to do at home but play tong-its (a card game) and make tsismis (gossip) their daily business have now something relevant to do,” Glomar said.

The LCLRC initially conducted trainings on detergent powder and dishwashing liquid-making, puto cheese, binangkal, fresh lumpia, empanada and instant salabat-making.

But over the years, Glomar said they have offered more training events.

For 2014, Glomar said, they plan to conduct a total of 1,315 training events for various Konka member-barangays. LCLRC has outlined 93 types of skills training to choose from this year.

Vilma Silva, 44, of Gun-ob, Lapu-Lapu City had lost her job in Mactan Export Zone (MEZ) at the height of the global financial crisis in 2010. She turned to Gun-ob Kababayen-an to learn about entrepreneurship.

In their group, Silva assists in the making of birthday cakes, empanadas and chocolate cupcakes. Because of her previous job experience in MEZ, she was tasked to handle the daily records of purchases, expenses and sales of the carenderia and baking business.

She earns P4,500 to P5,000 a month.

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Arsenia Dakay, 53, learned to diversify her family’s business by joining the Pajo Kababayen-an.

Dakay, whose family’s source of income is selling hotcakes, banana cue and homemade ice cream, spent two days attending trainings in making detergent powder, dishwashing liquid, fabric conditioner, pastillas, puto cheese and pastries, hoping that her new skills would help augment the family’s income.

Dakay earns P10,000 a month.

Glomar said they are making livelihood opportunities available to every woman in Lapu-Lapu City.

They have also tapped the various resources of the LGU and government agencies like the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) to strengthen the livelihood program they have started.

He said the LGU has provided them with a budget of P2.2 million this year and in 2015 for the purchase of raw materials and training supplies, among others.

Strong interest

Dole, on the other hand, is extending over P1.1 million for the purchase of equipment, ingredients and raw materials for some identified barangays in shell craft and life vest production, culinary arts, production of native delicacies.

On top of the skills trainings, the LCLRC also conducts training on business management, food management, bookkeeping and auditing, as well as leadership and team management.

“Ours is just a small organization that aims to at least reduce poverty incidence in our city. But we are optimistic to grow, not only because of the government support but because of the strong interest of the women; because they want to participate and contribute to the economic development of this city,” Glomar said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on May 06, 2014.

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