Over the last several months, as part of this project Ba Futuru has been supporting women entrepreneurs on the small remote island of Atauro by helping them to promote their local products and business through creating an inspirational film about their work.
Ba Futuru has also helped local women on Atauro to develop their business ideas for the business plan competition, make progress on their action plans, and through the business competition, many women were able to get gain assets to improve their small businesses.
On December 9th and 10th Ba Futuru held the National Women's Innovative Project Forum bringing together 46 women entrepreneurs from both Bobonaro and Atauro. This forum also included His Excellency SECoop, Sr. Elizario Ferreira, and representatives from AMETL, IADE, Casa Vida and SEII.
The forum was an important empowerment opportunity for the women involved to continue to grow their skills and share the innovation with one another.
Women's Economic Empowerment: a PostCOVID response
By Brandy Roberts | Portfolio Manager
Women participate in a Focus Group Discussion
Supporting women’s economic development is one way that you can make a valuable impact in Post-COVID response. Women are disproportionately affected – as they are often more exposed to health and economic risks. During the State of Emergency, schools and social services suspended, and more people working from home leads to a higher risk of domestic violence. Furthermore, as many women are not involved in formal employment or businesses, they don’t receive the benefits or protection that their male counterparts are receiving.
Now that Timor-Leste has no active cases of COVID-19, Ba Futuru staff are working hard to not only support women through project activities, but also ensure that no other needs are being unmet. Last month, our team traveled to Atauro and met with women participating in “Women Driving Peace and Economic Development”, to see in what other ways Ba Futuru can be helpful.
Currently, women are working on their action plans and preparing their business ideas for a business plan competition that will happen in October.
The Women Driving Peace and Economic Development project has been effectively reducing women’s marginalization for almost three years.
We are working with 68 women on Atauro Island, a remote and impoverished part of Timor-Leste. We have trained 16 groups of women – including women living with disabilities - providing them with knowledge and skills on gender based violence prevention and non-violent conflict resolution while at the same time working with them to improve their individual and group entrepreneurial skills.
Currently, staff are working one-on-one with women to develop action plans, that will eventually turn into income generating activities. A business competition is planned for later this year, where women will have the chance to win materials necessary for starting their business.
As this year wraps up, we still need more support for the 3rd year of the project to bring more women these important skills and to fund their small business start ups.
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