ARMM Explores Entrepreneurship Program to spur Bangsamoro Economy
COTABATO CITY. November 19, 2014. The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) considered the poorest region in the country is hoping that a program on entrepreneurship can spur more economic activity in the region.
Regional Board of Investments (RBOI) chairman, lawyer Ishak Mastura, who also heads the ARMM cabinet cluster on economic growth and linkages announced the program to develop entrepreneurship in the region after attending and representing the country at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) conference dubbed “Fostering Entrepreneurial Youth” in Vienna, Austria on November 11-13. More than 50 countries were represented at the conference, particularly countries where UNIDO conducts its entrepreneurship program like Angola, Namibia, Rwanda, Cabo Verdo and Uganda.
Mastura said “as we transition to a post-conflict environment with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro earlier this year, we believe that fostering Bangsamoro entrepreneurship ensures peace will become sustainable by seeing to it that whatever post-conflict funds that will pour into the region from both the government and foreign donors will lead to self-reliance, which is what entrepreneurship is all about, and not dependency.”
He added that currently there is a proposal from ARMM for UNIDO to extend its Entrepreneurship Curriculum Program (ECP), which he hopes can be realized next year at the earliest upon donor approval.
According to UNIDO, the ECP is a cost-effective investment in the development of entrepreneurial capacity of young people. ECP is inclusive since it reaches out to both girls and boys in rural and urban areas. It lays the ground for private sector development. Entrepreneurship is introduced as a subject in general secondary schools or technical and vocational schools.
Young people acquire personal qualities such as self-confidence, innovation and creativity, the ability to take initiatives, as well as the willingness to take calculated risks and to collaborate. They learn to save, invest and grow. These competencies help them select and shape their career path as employees or entrepreneurs.
The curriculum is action-oriented: more than 50 per cent of the programme’s time consists of practical research in identifying business opportunities, assessing resources for setting up and steering a business, and learning from successful entrepreneurs in their companies and in the classroom.
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv Hataman for his part said that the region is now enjoying an unprecedented period of economic growth with P3.3 billion private investments alone registered with the RBOI this year, a clear indication of the benefit of the successful peace process.
However, he cautioned that the government and donors cannot continuously be the primary source of economic activity in the region. Adding that “kailangan ma-develop ang sariling kakayahan ng Bangsamoro para ito maging sustainable at isa sa hakbang na isinasagawa ng ARMM bilang pag-handa sa Bangsamoro ang posibleng pag-adopt ng entrepreneurship program in the education of our youth.” (We need to develop self-reliance of the Bangsamoro for it to be sustainable and one of the steps that we are doing in the ARMM in preparation for the Bangsamoro is the possible adoption of entrepreneurship program in the education of our youth). Source: RBOI/UNIDO