By Apipa Bagumbaran
LANAO DEL SUR–One hundred households headed by resilient women will soon start their own choices of business as they are about to receive livelihood assistance from the Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW)-Philippines through the Sustaining Women Economic Empowerment Project (SWEEP).
The one-year project was funded by the Islamic Relief-USA targets women-headed households from Marawi City and the municipalities of Marantao and Tugaya all in the province of Lanao del Sur.
Islamic Relief Worldwide-Philippines Area Program Manager Sittie-Jamairah Disomimba said the beneficiaries were chosen through target selection as they partnered with Raheemah Peace Weavers along with the Save the Children to cover its members, and through MCSWDO to identify the sige and pandemic-affected business owners.
“This is a scale-up project. These people are already into business, small businesses. The scale-up will give them the chance to make their businesses bigger. Others also have started but with the COVID, it went down. This is another opportunity for them to revive their fallen businesses,” she said.
Disomimba said after the launching of the project, a training needs assessment (TNA) was held to discuss their beneficiaries’ business interests and help them choose what kind of business they would go into. Such assessment included business plan processing, business plan formulation, marketing plan and other more business processes such as cash flow, and pricing and costing.
Following this, a three-day capacity building was also organized to follow up the result of the TNA.
As the IRW’s free-selected beneficiaries participate in the requisite processes conducted through close coordination with the Task Force Bagon Marawi (TFBM) and the Bangsamoro Autonomous in Muslim Mindanao’s (BARMM’s) Ministry of Trade, Investments and Tourism (MTIT), a capitalization will be given to start their businesses depending on the type of business they will have.
Retailing businesses will be allocated a capital amounting to P50,000 while manufacturing businesses will undergo product and market development before they will be provided with necessary equipment and have their own share of capital of the same amount. They will also be linked to alike industries to bolster their businesses.
The IRW assured support for the whole year run of the progressing project.
“We will constantly monitor what is happening to them and we are also engaging MTIT with this one. There will be consultants from MTIT who will guide them for the next three to four months,” said Disomimba.
The IRW further encouraged the beneficiaries to take advantage of the offered project to establish their own long-term businesses.
“I hope our approach will make them realize that it is better to think about a sustainable business rather than a one-hit business. I want them to make use of this project because hindi lang naman ito one-time na pagbigay ng capital. There will be market and product development. Utilize it na magamit nila na maging sustainable ang kanilang business,” said Disomimba. Philippine Information Agency