Inclusive GET Ahead: promoting economic empowerment of women and men with disabilities in Lao PDR (Oudomxay).

A joint initiative of two ILO projects: INCLUDE and WEDGE that promote and support the inclusion of women and men with disabilities in enterprise development initiatives. Two Inclusive GET Ahead training courses for women and men entrepreneurs or people who want to start a small-scale business will be delivered by the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre in Vientiane Province and Oudomxay Province.

1. Background

The Training Package on Gender and Entrepreneurship Together for Women in Enterprise (GET Ahead) aims to assist ILO partner organizations in promoting enterprise development amongst women and men in poverty who want to start or are already engaged in micro and small-scale businesses.

In Laos, the GET Ahead materials were field tested in March 2003. In 2004-2005, a number of Training of Trainers courses were organized, mostly targeting trainers at the provincial level. Over 2005 -2006, 340 entrepreneurs (250 women) were trained, under the umbrella of the ILO Project on Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality (WEDGE), with funding from IrishAid. Many of the trainees in Khammouane, Savannakhet and Champasak Provinces are also members of ILO-supported village banks.

There is a need to further strengthen the capacity of existing partner organizations at the national and provincial level, and at the same time to familiarize trainers from a wider range of partner organizations with the GET Ahead training package and methodology. This concerns specifically the Lao Disabled Women’s Development Center, which is an observer on the WEDGE Project Advisory Committee and which has indicated a strong need for its vocational training staff to have improved capacity to offer basic business skills to trainees. For this a Training of Trainers’ (TOT) Workshop on GET Ahead for Women in Enterprise took place in Vientiane, 13-17 December 2010. Trainers from the Lao’s Disabled Women’s Development Centre participated in this TOT and are now ready to organize two inclusive Get Ahead training workshops in two provinces where women with disabilities have returned after having received vocational training in Vientiane.

2. Objectives

The specific learning objectives for the participants in these training workshops are to increase their capacity to:

  • Provide action-oriented, participatory training on basic business management skills to low-income women and their families
  • Enable low-income women entrepreneurs and their families to shift from marginal income generation to profitable business development
  • Promote women’s economic and social empowerment among low-income groups and to understand and explain the rationale for providing equal opportunities to men and women in enterprise development
  • Create a ‘business mind’ among low-income women engaged in small-scale income generation and in business.

3. Expected Outputs:

18 women and men with and without disabilities economically and socially empowered

4. Target groups

Approximately 18 people with high representation of women and men with disabilities.

5. Tentative date and venue

21-25 February 2011 in Oudomxay. Venues to be decided.

6.Implementing Agency

Lao Disabled Women’s Development Centre (LDWDC)