The UP Diliman Extension Program in Pampanga (UPDEPP) has partnered with the UP Foundation Inc. and Citi Foundation to develop courses to enhance the capabilities of practitioners in micro and small enterprise development in Central Luzon.
The Social Entrepreneurship and Financial Bridging Program seeks to equip micro entrepreneurs with the necessary skills to succeed in business. It also hopes to promote the exchange of knowledge among institutions to determine the best strategies that could lead to sustainability and financial independence of the identified livelihood and social enterprise groups.
Pilot testing of the courses is expected to directly benefit 120 individuals such as microenterprise leaders of local livelihood groups, implementers from government socio-economic development agencies, non-government organizations, micro-finance institutions and UPDEPP core faculty. Indirectly, the beneficiaries of the program will be the other members of the livelihood groups and their families who depend on the income of the microenterprise.
The program was launched by Aftab Ahmed, Citi Philippines Chief Executive Officer, UP Diliman Chancellor Michael L. Tan, UPDEPP Director Grace Jamon and Gerardo Agulto, Executive Director for University of the Philippines Foundation Inc. on Oct. 12, 2017 at the Citibank Tower in Makati City.
At the launch, Ahmed said “Citi has always been a champion of the micro entrepreneur. With Clark Freeport Zone being one of the growth centers in the country, the entrepreneurship courses being developed at UPDEPP come at an opportune time. We hope the pilot proves to be successful, so our efforts in educating micro entrepreneurs can then be replicated in UP colleges across the country.”
Tan and Jamon both emphasized that the UP campus in Clark serves as the ideal strategic base for the program considering its location and environment of diverse investments from business locators in the Freeport Zone. This unique advantage can be harnessed through potential collaboration of UPDEPP with large firms on how they can support programs transforming livelihoods and small and medium-sized enterprises in the region to become more competitive and resilient.
Agulto thanked Citi’s support. “We at UP Foundation appreciate this initial engagement and support from Citi Foundation. We hope to develop updated and relevant learning materials on the subject of social enterprise management in the region and work with government and non-government organizations implementing livelihood and small enterprise programs. We intend to offer the courses initially under UPDEPP and we look forward to sustain this process under our non-degree and degree programs. We look forward to a lasting and mutually gratifying relationship.”—UPDEPP