Story by Forcep Chris dela Torre | Program Officer | Southern Philippines
Fourteen staff members from Heifer Philippines regional program and country program offices successfully completed the Training of Trainers Workshop on Business Planning Preparation. The workshop was held to enhance staff members' business planning abilities, necessary in their work helping to develop enterprises and cooperatives in the communities they serve.
Heifer believes that Filipinos can help themselves if given the opportunity to succeed. And we believe that Heifer is doing the right thing in educating staff to be more reliable and knowledgeable mentors in the field of microenterprise, SERDEF Chairman Francisco Floro said.
In response, Heifer Philippines Country Director Hercules Paradiang expressed his expectations for the workshop, It is with high hopes that after the training, the staff will be equipped with knowledge and tools in analyzing the viability of a business and project and in facilitating a business planning workshop with farmer cooperatives, associations and households.
Those attending the workshop had the opportunity to prepare and present a business plan based on the current business enterprises of the self-help groups (SHGs) from their regions and the potential community enterprises the SHG will be engaging in as part of the newly approved Heifer Philippines dairy project in partnership with the National Dairy Authority. The participants were divided into three groups according to respective regions: Northern Philippines developed a business plan for Longanisa (local sausage) production, Central Philippines prepared a plan for dairy production and Southern Philippines prepared a plan for the Feed Milling Enterprise based on actual data from the field since it was an existing community enterprise. Each group was assigned a coach from SERDEF who served as mentor during the entire process.
Each group presented its completed business plan during a plenary critiquing. SERDEF invited two experts in the enterprise field to serve as an evaluation panel, Ed Canela, a business and marketing consultant connected with the Asian Development Bank, and Professor Edith Reyes of the University of the Philippines School of Economics. Each group presented its respective plans very well, and colleagues, coaches and evaluators shared their comments and recommendations.
Heifer Philippines staff members considered the activity a very helpful tool to help them take their communities' livelihood activities to the next levela formal business enterpriseafter establishing the viability of the enterprise through a systematic process of business planning.
The workshop, held September 24 to 28, 2012, in the International Institute for Rural Reconstruction (IIRR) Training Center in Silang, Cavite, was facilitated by the Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation (SERDEF) of the University of the Philippines.