Two enterprises from the Cordillera are among the 20 women-led enterprises in the country that received P100,000 from the Department of Science and Technology.
Iloisa R. Diga of Northern Roots Session Groceries, Inc. received the prize from the DOST- Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology Research and Development (PCIEERD).
Northern Roots Session Groceries, Inc. provides a platform for farmers to sell their produce, as well as adding to the nation’s drive to secure a healthy, sustainable, and local food supply for generations to come.
Another awardee is Marivic B. Aguirre of Agguimangan of Agro-Eco Tourism Farm in Pudtol, Apayao whose mission is for the revival, revitalization, preservation, and promotion of Yapayao culture through fabrics and handicrafts.
The DOST-PCIEERD gave P100,000 each to the 20 women-led enterprises as part of its Women-Helping-Women: Innovating Social Enterprises (WHWise) program.
Launched in 2021, the WHWise program seeks to reduce gender biases by offering an exclusive program for women social entrepreneurs, so they will not compete with men for early-stage funding and assistance.
The program is not a yearly search, but the DOST announced this year’s search for women-led enterprises in the regions last March.
“These women entrepreneurs are a good example in strengthening the economy in the regions and the communities. They have established businesses that seek to help their communities and improve the quality and add value to their products,” PCIEERD Executive Director Enrico Paringit said.
He said the 20 were chosen based on the PCIEERD’s goal of helping them through technology.
“We see the prize as a seed fund to prepare (them in crafting) a proposal. They need some data, do the legwork and coordination to craft a substantial proposal,” Paringit added.
He said they think the WHWise applications they’ve been getting are not ready for huge grants like the funding they give to startups.
“We did a research on the candidates who could receive the grant. With enough training and guidance, they could be better prepared to receive larger grants,” he said.
Paringit said there are fewer women in the field of business.
“They could easily connect with their communities. They also need entrepreneurship skills, marketing and networking, and technology training.”
Paringit commended the women entrepreneurs for their unwavering commitment to making a difference during the awarding of prizes at a hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.
Recognizing them is a testament to their exceptional accomplishments and potential, he said, adding that their innovative ideas and visionary leadership have the power to transform lives, uplift communities, and shape a more inclusive and sustainable future.
The WHWise program will help in breaking down barriers and creating a more inclusive and thriving startup ecosystem, Paringit said.
“By addressing the challenges faced by women entrepreneurs, we can foster an environment where innovation and creativity flourish, leading to sustainable economic growth and societal progress,” he said. – PNA