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‘STAR’ empowers 8,000 women retailers

Around 8,000 women, all sari-sari store-owners, are now equipped with management skills through the Sari-Sari Store Training and Access to Resources (STAR) program.

The STAR Program is a partnership forged by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines started in 2012.

Under the program, the two partners aimed to empower 200,000 women nationwide who operate a sari-sari store or those involved in the small retail business. Initial target in the past was only 100,000 women by the year 2020.

The women retailer beneficiaries are to undergo skills training on how to manage their business.

On Saturday, TESDA said a total of 7,986 women have graduated under the STAR Program.

TESDA Secretary Joel Villanueva said his agency has also been honing the skills of the trainers and program implementors.

“Our staff constantly needs capability build-up in order for the program to be more effective,” the TESDA director general said.

He said the gender and development training has been embedded within the STAR Program, one of the concerns addressed under the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on women empowerment.

The STAR Program with Coke is just one of the partnerships TESDA had struck with the private sector.