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Accelerate PH Celebrates International Women’s Month with Event Featuring Mindanao’s Women Entrepreneurs

Program Year: 2024

In celebration of International Women’s Month, the Foundation’s Accelerate Women’s Entrepreneurship for Peace and Prosperity in Mindanao (Accelerate PH) initiative and the Community Crafts Association of the Philippines organized Lokalakalan 2024. The event featured traditional weaves and handcrafted products from the Accelerate program, including 11 women artisans from communities across the Bangsamoro region.

Accelerate supports more than 2,500 women in Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur, and Basilan, including both current and aspiring entrepreneurs and women in the workforce across 13 project locations. They include former women combatants, spouses and family members of combatants, survivors, those at risk of gender-based violence, indigenous women, technical-vocational and college graduates, and overseas female workers who returned home due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two women sit beside a poster for an artisan fair.

Two women sit beside a poster for an artisan fair.

Beyond just a market-selling activity, the event highlighted women artisans’ creativity, innovation, and perseverance, as well as the diverse ethnic cultures and identities in the Bangsamoro region. Accelerate and its partners envision a community where women take pride in their cultural heritage and can use the skills and knowledge acquired across generations of weaving to promote women’s economic participation. Our local partner, South Upi Monom Organization (SUMO), an association of artisans and producers from the Teduray-Lambangian tribe in Maguindanao del Sur, hopes to promote their indigenous crafts and generate sustainable income for the organization and their members. Their long-term vision includes sustaining their enterprise to provide more economic opportunities for indigenous women in their community and the Bangsamoro region.

Along with participation in trade fairs, Accelerate provides women with skills and business development training, connects women entrepreneurs to markets and other business opportunities, and provides capital to help women participants grow their businesses.

Accelerate is a project of The Asia Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). A separate component, Accelerate Bangsamoro, is supported by the Australian Government.

For more information about Accelerate, please visit https://acceleratewomen.ph/ or our Facebook page Accelerate Women PH.

Related locations: Philippines

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