ILO, Google tie up for online programs for women entrepreneurs in PH, Thailand, Malaysia

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 17 2021 12:17 PM | Updated as of Nov 17 2021 12:23 PM

MANILA— The International Labor Organization said Wednesday it would launch several programs to support women entrepreneurs in Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines through its new partnership with global tech giant Google.

The workshop will be launched on Nov. 17 hosted by the ILO’s "Rebuilding Better: Fostering Business Resilience Post-COVID-19 Project," it said in a statement. 

It includes 3 new and free online programs for women entrepreneurs in the said Southeast Asian countries, ILO said. Programs were developed in partnership with Google and ILO's International Training Center. 

The digital program will cover topics such as consumer behavior, digital landscape, and reasons why it's crucial to bring businesses online, the statement said. 

Demonstrations of digital tools such as Google Ads, Google Analytics and Google Trends will also be held, it said. 

“We are honored to collaborate with the ILO to support women entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia, especially those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic," Google Head of Public Affairs Ryan Rahardjo said. 

"Through this collaboration and our free Google Primer app, we hope more entrepreneurs in the region will be able to learn new skills, grow and expand their businesses both locally and internationally”, he added.

For those interested to take advantage of the partnership, training programs are available via the Google Primer learning app, ILO said.

ILO said at least 2,000 women entrepreneurs who are looking to boost their online presence would be the first beneficiaries of the digital training program. 

ILO's senior specialist on Enterprises Development Charles Bodwell said the COVID-19 pandemic and the increase in domestic care responsibilities have made it harder for women entrepreneurs to access support services they need.

"We are grateful for the partnership with Google, which allows us to provide women entrepreneurs with training support that is flexible and available for them to access at their own convenience, while also aligned with their needs”, Bodwell said. 

ILO along with the Japanese government earlier pledged some $2.2 million to help in the recovery of pandemic-stricken small and medium enterprises in the Philippines. 

Google Philippines, meanwhile, earlier said the growing e-commerce industry could boost the Philippines' internet economy to $28 billion by 2025. 

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