Education; freedom to start businesses essential to empowering women, NIA official says
NIA CHARLESTOWN NEVIS (September 14, 2022) — For women to be empowered they need to have access to education as well as the freedom to start businesses. That view was expressed by Ms. Catherine Forbes, Training Officer at the Department of Gender Affairs in the Nevis Island Administration (NIA).
Ms. Forbes was delivering welcome remarks at the start of a three-week training workshop entitled “Microtrade Purchases & Sales Skills Training” on September 12, 2022, at the Ingle Blackett Conference Room in Charlestown.
The event is being hosted by the NIA through the Small Enterprise Development Unit (SEDU) and the Department of Gender Affairs in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan).
“This is one of the initiatives through the Women’s Empowerment Entrepreneurship and Financial Inclusion Project… For women to be empowered, they need to have access to education, as well as freedom to start businesses.
“When women have economic and financial stability, it could only mean good things for the economy. My hope is that you are all empowered throughout the next three weeks and that you, in return, go out and empower other women,” she said.
The programme is part of the Republic of China (Taiwan’s) contribution to the economic empowerment of women in Latin America and the Caribbean. The post-pandemic initiative is meant to support women who see it fit to branch out on their own. The programme is in its 7th and final cohort of the training and the third session on Nevis.
Ms. Claudia Walwyn, Project Coordinator, in her remarks stated that the programme has already seen success on Nevis.
“We’ve had much success because women were able to participate in the training and take from the training business sensibility skills in various areas such as beauty, food and beverage, business strategy and innovation and you are now doing microtrade purchases and skills training,” she said.
The Project Coordinator also expressed hope that the 32 participants, a mix of unemployed, self-employed and entrepreneurs will take as much as they can from the training so they too benefit as other women already have.
Ms. Walwyn used the moment to announce a prize for the top eight participants at the end of the training.
“There is a grand prize of $3,000 for eight persons in the room. There are more than eight trainees…however, we implore you to participate fully in the training because even though we can all do with a grant or a gift of money, there is more to life than money, and some of the skills that you are going to learn or sharpen in these three weeks of training, are going to go a long way in improving your business. So I want you to take the training seriously,” she said.
Meantime, Mrs. Angela Walters-Delpeche, Senior Business Development Officer at SEDU, told the participants they should not be hindered by any obstacles in their pursuit of creating successful businesses.
“We are all females. Some of us are managers of our home and we have done it skillfully and successfully so nothing should stand in your way to create businesses and make them successful and sustainable…
“So I want us to tell ourselves, ‘I can do it.’ Go out and impact the economic environment of Nevis and beyond. Create something that will be sustainable for future generations to carry on or build on to create something even greater,” she said.