50 NorMin women entrepreneurs undergo ‘digital transformation’ training

TRANSFORMATIVE. Dr. Ambrosio Cultura II (left), president of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP) talks about the Digital Transformation upskill partnership with Kiyoung Ko, director of the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Centre for Information Communication Technology Development (APCICT), in Cagayan de Oro City on Monday (Feb. 5, 2024). The USTP and APCICT collaboration seeks to increase the number of women entrepreneurs in Northern Mindanao. (PNA photo by Nef Luczon)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – Fifty women-entrepreneurs in the Northern Mindanao region were chosen to undergo a “digital transformation” upskill training organized by a state university and the Information Communication Technology (ICT) training arm of the United Nations (UN).

During the program launch on Monday, Dr. Ambrosio Cultura II, president of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines (USTP), said the school’s partnership with the UN Asian and Pacific Training Centre for ICT for Development (APCICT) has resulted in the training program for digital transformation skills development.

“This is the first in the Philippines, and we are optimistic there will be more (batches of trainees) to follow,” Cultura said.

Cultura said the women participants came from the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) operating in the region and recommended by USTP’s partner agencies such as the Department of Trade and Industry, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and regional business organizations.

The program is based on APCICT’s Women ICT Frontier Initiative, a flagship capacity-building training for women entrepreneurs to use digital tools and platforms in their businesses. APCICT has its headquarters in South Korea.

APCICT Director Kiyoung Ko said their courses are taught by panel of experts in various industries throughout Asia, and this time-shared with participants in the city.

“We want to give them (participants) real help, not just theories, and build up technologies to promote their businesses,” he said, adding that the training program also deals with “hot issues” in safeguarding entrepreneurs from cyber threats and using AI-operated digital tools.

Meanwhile, Dr. Romela Ratilla, DOST-10 director, noted that the women program participants also form part of the agency’s Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program, which has seen an uptick in the number of MSME owners who are women.

The training program for women entrepreneurs runs from February 5 to February 8 in this city. (PNA)