UP ISSI’s COPE Program receives 2024 Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Programang Pang-Ekstensyon

COPE Program receives 2024 Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Programang Pang-Ekstensyon

Photo by Jacelle Isha B. Bonus, UPDIO

The UP Institute for Small-Scale Industries (UP ISSI) advocacy program, Communities of Practice for Entrepreneurship (COPE), is one of the two recipients of this year’s Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Programang Pang-Ekstensyon. This award recognizes extension programs that have demonstrated exemplary and significant contributions to the public service mandate of the University of the Philippines.

The COPE Program aims to provide entrepreneurship education to sectors of society that have lesser access to this social service through formal education.  The Program is also propelled by the need to augment the technical knowledge, entrepreneurial mindset, and skills of Filipino entrepreneurs. The opportunities for capacity building the Program provides offer relevant resources and networks useful in developing their businesses. 

One of the main offerings of the COPE Program is its free-of-charge face-to-face and virtual trainings on entrepreneurship-related topics, such as but not limited to enterprise development, digital marketing and e-commerce, finance literacy, business continuity and disaster preparedness, and business planning and sustainability. Anchored on the Adult Learning in Entrepreneurship Education framework, the COPE Program ensures that its capacity-building activities maintain the interplay of various elements in knowledge and skills generation; fundamentals (basic concepts of entrepreneurship); practical learning (praxis on the ground); and innovations (creative ways of producing/adding value). 

Since the launch of the COPE Program in 2019, 61 training sessions (face-to-face and online) have been conducted, reaching 5,389 individuals. 3,713 (68.90%) of the total number of participants are female, 1,675  (31.08%) male, and 1 (5.39%) LGBTQIA+. The majority (77.40% or 4,171) belong to the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector, particularly micro. 

Throughout its 5-year implementation, the COPE Program has also conducted various training sessions on enterprise development, business continuity planning, and other related topics to some of the most vulnerable members of the society, which include women entrepreneurs in the informal sector, Lumad bakwit, and high school students. Among the notable participants reached by the program were:

  • 400+ high school students of Nuestra Señora de Guia Academy      
  • 17 Lumad Bakwit students
  • 59 members of the Metro Manila Vendors Alliance, a group of ambulant and street vendors in Metro Manila
  • 28 members of the Pambansang Kalipunan ng mga Manggagawang Impormal sa Pilipinas (PATAMABA)
  • 12 members of Samahan ng Kababaihan para sa Kaunlaran at Kinabukasan ng Sapang Munti (SKKKSM)
  • 21 micro-entrepreneurs in UP Campus
  • 10 UP Ikot operators and drivers
Photo by Jacelle Isha B. Bonus, UPDIO

The COPE Program thrives on partnership. Throughout the implementation of the Program, UP ISSI has worked with offices within the University, such as the UP Resilience Institute (UPRI), College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD), UP Data Protection Office (UPDPO), and UP Diliman Gender Office (UPDGO). UP ISSI has also established external partnerships with several agencies in the government such as the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), international organizations (United Nations on Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), UN Women), the academe, sectoral associations (PATAMABA, MMVA, Business Continuity Management Association of the Philippines, Let’s Eat Pare, etc.) and MSMEs themselves. Grounded on the Adult Learning in Entrepreneurship Education framework, the partnerships and collaborations initiated through the COPE Program emphasize that knowledge is generated not just within the confines of the Institute but also through other sources—academics, institutional partners (both from the private and public sector), practitioners from various industries, individuals and associations of entrepreneurs, and the learners themselves. Thus, a multi-stakeholder approach is needed to have a holistic and comprehensive sharing of ideas and insights.

The COPE Program is also proving to be a flexible, sustainable, and resilient advocacy program. Despite the threat of the coronavirus pandemic in the first six months of its launch, it was redesigned through the launching of the COPE Webinar series. Maximizing digital technology during the pandemic, the Program continued to provide entrepreneurship education to its intended participants via Zoom and Facebook Live. Through these webinars, the Program was able to tap speakers and reach participants, not only within the Philippines but also from other countries, such as the United Kingdom, India, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, among others. Currently, the COPE Program continues to conduct both face-to-face and online training and development programs depending on the needs of the participants.  

Below are some of the feedbacks received from COPE participants:

“The whole seminar was very informative and a big help for us Pinay entrepreneurs, especially learning about the different institutions and orgs that extend help and support to women, PWDs, and small businesses.”

“The part of the program I really like the most is when I got information about the support I can get to build and support my future business. Also, when I got motivated by the words of experience of

the speakers.”

“Excellent knowledgeable topic skills ideas”

“I liked the sharing of programs and services of various agencies invited, which can help business entrepreneur start-ups.”

“Halos lahat ng paksa ay aking nagustuhan dahil lahat ay may sangkap na kaalaman, upang mapaunlad ang aking negosyo.”

“Lahat po ay kapakipakinabang para sa aming mga may maliit na negosyo at ang pinakanagustuhan ko ay ang paggawa ng produkto vs pagbigay ng services.” 

“All coaches are working very professional and helpful and very approachable.”

“Natuto ako sa pag hawak ng pera dahil sa mga itinuro.”

“Natuto kung paano maging maayos at mapalago ang negosyo.”

The Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Programang Pang-Ekstensyon recognition is a testament that the COPE Program exemplifies the mandate and commitment of the University of the Philippines to be of service to the Filipino people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized sectors of our society.

The awarding ceremony for the Gawad Tsanselor para sa Natatanging Programang Pang-Ekstensyon was held on June 21, 2024, 2:00 PM at the Institute of Biology Auditorium in UP Diliman.

The COPE program management  team is composed of Allysa Anne Mari De Guzman, Ron Allan A. Estrebillo, Joanna Rose T. Laddaran, Jake A. Villanueva, Neil D. Grimaldo, Marvin M. Manlapas, Kristel Maisie T. Soria, Kimberly E. Alo and Melanie V. Cabotaje, with the guidance and supervision of the head of the Training and Entrepreneurship Education Division Engr. Rolando Ramon C. Diaz and ISSI Director Prof. Melanie M. Moraga-Leaño.

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