Basic Information:

Project Holder: Philippine Commission on Women
Project Partners: Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)
  Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
  Department of Agriculture (DA)
  Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
  ECHOSI Foundation lead in Private Sector
Period of Implementation: 2014-2020
Project Budget: Cdn $7.65 million – Canadian Government support


The Supporting Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) Project builds on the results and lessons learned from the GREAT Women Project 2006-2013). GREAT stands for Gender Responsive Economic Actions for the Transformation of Women. The earlier project focused on creating an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment at national and local level, and in the latter part engaged private sector partners to support women micro entrepreneurs (WMEs) improve their product design and market strategies. The first project was implemented with DTI, DOST, DILG, DENR, TESDA and OSHC, DA, PHILHealth, PCFC, NAPC and several other national agencies, together with local government units in Ifugao, Quezon, Metro Naga (Camarines Sur), Bohol, Leyte, Iloilo, Davao Sur and PPALMA Alliance in North Cotabato.

GWP was instrumental in NGAs’ and LGUs’ learning how to apply ‘gender mainstreaming’ in their policy-making, planning and budgeting, and service delivery, improving their effectiveness as government agencies and institutions as their services benefitted women in microenterprises. It also highlighted the importance of building capacity of women as entrepreneurs, providing assistance to improve their products to target specific market needs and facilitate improvements in competitiveness of their business. GWP likewise intends to promote women’s economic leadership and empowerment so that women realize the benefits from entrepreneurship.

Among others, the main lessons that informed the design of the GREAT Women Project-2 include:

1) The need for greater focus on scaling-up women-led micro-businesses in high- growth, priority industry sub-sectors;
2) Private sector that include women-owned SMEs and large corporations can be engaged to promote WEE and facilitate growth of women’s businesses in the spirit of fair trade and inclusive business;
3) Local resources (i.e. gender budgets) can develop women leaders and small enterprise development initiatives;and
4) The LGUs and regional agencies play a crucial role in facilitating convergence services for WMEs and in partnering with successful enterprises for product development, up-valuing, market testing and market development.