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ILO, JP Morgan Chase Foundation initiate project for women entrepreneurs

The International Labour Organization (ILO) and JPMorgan Chase Foundation have entered into a project aimed at supporting women entrepreneurs from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agreement, which will be implemented by the ILO, is known as a project on ‘Rebuilding Better: Fostering Business Resilience Post-COVID-19’ is designed for the women to adopt more sustainable and resilient business models.

Amid the pandemic in which businesses and supply chains have been disrupted by adherence to health protocols including social distancing and lockdowns.

The target of the project is women entrepreneurs, who are identified as "less resilient to the impact of adverse economic shocks, accessing support services will be critical to their stabilization and recovery.

"The Rebuilding Better project, which will be implemented over 18 months, will bring about solutions to improve women entrepreneurs’ access to training, finance, and markets," according to the press release posted on the ILO website. 

The women will be trained and receive lectures on various topics such as business and financial management, financial literacy, productivity and occupational safety and health.

Among others, the project implementors will also consider digitalization as a "key crosscutting theme and employ a hybrid in-person and virtual model to deliver assistance to supported businesses. This will aim to increase their online presence and application of digital technology, while also serving to maintain their personal safety."

Murli Maiya, CEO for South and Southeast Asia, J.P. Morgan said, the firm "remains committed to supporting programs that create pathways to opportunity for underserved and disadvantaged communities."

"Through our partnership with the ILO, we hope to enable women entrepreneurs to develop their digital capabilities, better adapt to a fast-moving virtual environment, and help rebuild their businesses to be more sustainable and resilient amid any crisis," Maiya added.

Meanwhile, ILO Country Office for Thailand, Cambodia and Lao PDR Director Graeme Buckley said, “Women entrepreneurs in Asia are disproportionally affected by the COVID-19 crisis and many are currently suffering large setbacks. The Rebuilding Better initiative will support women-owned small businesses to recover and be more resilient, by helping them to harness digital technologies as well as available support services."

"Ultimately, this will contribute to the development of inclusive, resilient and sustainable economies, with decent work for all," Buckley added. -- BAP, GMA News