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DOST launches hunt for top innovative female entrepreneurs in EV

DOST launches hunt for top innovative female entrepreneurs in EV

DOST seeks innovative women entrepreneurs in Eastern Visayas for the WHWise Program, bolstering their chances for national government support. Photo: DOST-8/Facebook

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in Eastern Visayas has launched a search for the region's top female entrepreneurs in a bold initiative to foster innovation and entrepreneurship among women. The initiative is intended to increase their chances of gaining increased national government support.

According to Ernesto Granada, DOST's Eastern Visayas Regional Director, the department is seeking a minimum of three contenders from each of the six provinces in the region. Five entrepreneurs will be chosen from these nominations to participate in the Women-Helping-Women: Innovating Social Enterprise (WHWise) Program.

"The initiative is crucial as it presents a systematic platform for identifying, evaluating, and shortlisting potential female social entrepreneurs in Eastern Visayas," Granada articulated in a recent interview.

Labeled "Unlad Bayi," the initiative welcomes nominations of women entrepreneurs who are founders, co-founders, or presidents of social enterprises. To be considered, they must already serve a community through their existing enterprise.

Regarding eligibility, their offerings must be innovative and registered with either the Department of Trade and Industry or the Securities and Exchange Commission. The businesses should have been in operation for at least one year but not more than seven, and they should not currently receive DOST funding.

Granada elaborated that the aim is "to engage more community-based women entrepreneurs in the region, inspiring their participation in the program and heightening their prospects in the 2024 WHWise Program National Innovation Challenge."

The deadline for regional applications is May 15, 2023, with the winners to be revealed on June 23. Granada outlined that from the shortlisted candidates, the DOST will select the top five most innovative women entrepreneurs, who will have received mentoring and coaching sessions.

The selection process will feature a pitch event, where each applicant will present their project to a three-member panel of judges. Each of the five victors will receive a cash award of PHP50,000 and represent the region in the national innovation challenge.

The selected enterprises will receive ongoing support to ready them for the national competition. The entrepreneur who progresses to this level can be shortlisted for a financial grant of up to PHP5 million. —iTacloban (Source: PNA)

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