Online entrepreneurship course for OFWs set

The labor department is offering an online entrepreneurship course to assist returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in developing their own business undertakings. Dubbed OFW Reintegration through Skills and Entrepreneurship (OFW RISE) Program, the initiative aims to provide OFW-participants access to web-based training on basic entrepreneurship and practical business coaching, enable them to develop their business idea, and implement the same through livelihood assistance and other micro financing programs.

The initiative is a collaboration among the labor department, through the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) and National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO); Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA); Philippine Trade Training Center (PTTC); and Coca-Cola Philippines.

“We recognize the importance of entrepreneurship orientations and trainings to stir entrepreneurial willingness among our OFW returnees. We want to support their productive reintegration by helping them set up their business here and be with their families,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said during the signing of the memorandum of agreement on Thursday at the DOLE Office.

“This multi-stakeholder partnership provides a model for technical coordination among key actors, both from the private sector and the government, to work towards upskilling and empowerment of our OFW returnees,” he added.

The four-hour entrepreneurship course will be in an edutainment format that can be accessed by OFWs through their gadgets while they are in quarantine facilities or when they return to their home base.

Under the agreement, OWWA shall provide partner agencies with information on returning OFWs as well as the location of quarantine centers to facilitate planning of processes, targeting of participants, and scheduling of activities. It shall also facilitate the application of OFWs who have completed the OFW RISE online course and have submitted their business canvass to OWWA Livelihood Programs for Reintegration for the formation or enhancement of their business.

Coca-Cola Philippines, on the other hand, will lead the design and conduct of webinars for the program facilitators and business coaches and allocate resources to print initial sets of training handbooks to be given to target OFW returnees.

It shall also establish links with selected microfinance institutions which will help OFWs access credit to implement their business plans.

Meanwhile, TESDA was tasked with the online hosting of OFW RISE in all regions and facilitate issuance of electronic certificates of completion to participants who finished the modules and required outputs in accordance with TESDA requirements.

It will also provide partner agencies access to information on OFW RISE enrolees, completers, and certifications issued. Lastly, PTTC shall help tap into the Department of Trade and Industry Negosyo Centers at the local level to enable development of an ecosystem for OFW assistance on business start-ups, include their network of business coaching or mentoring, and provide other business development assistance.