/ 24 March 2023

FIVE hundred beneficiaries of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority’s iSTAR Program recently graduated after finishing their training.

The graduates are products of the TESDA Women’s Center for Excellence for the iSTAR Program which was inaugurated in March 2022.

TESDA Director General Danilo Cruz encouraged the graduates to make use of their learnings and help create job opportunities for others.

“Your micro-retail business is not only a source of income for you but also a valuable service to your community as you provide access to goods and services that contribute to the betterment of the quality of life,” Cruz said.

“Keep in mind that entrepreneurship is a journey, and there will always be new challenges to face. But as a successful graduate and entrepreneur, you have the skills, knowledge, and drive to overcome any obstacle that comes your way. Keep pushing forward and continue to make a positive impact in your community,” he added.

Since 2011, TESDA and Coca-Cola Philippines have been partners in providing entrepreneurial skills training to Filipino women. Over 250,000 micro-retailers in 81 provinces have benefited from the STAR program, the predecessor of the iSTAR Program.

In December 2019, TESDA and Coca-Cola Philippines signed a memorandum of agreement to elevate the entrepreneurship training program for micro-retailers into a blended digital learning platform, thus, the iSTAR Program.

The training consists of online, self-paced learning sessions and business coaching sessions developed by TESDA and Coca-Cola Philippines to help businesses that were badly hit by the pandemic.

The iSTAR Program has also been integrated into the TESDA Online Program.

The modules include “Safe Stores Education,” “Building Business Mindset,” Planning the Business,” Managing Business Operations,” “Ensuring Business Sustainability and Success,” and “Access to Business Coaching, Resources, and Peer Mentoring.”