ILO shares its orientation tool on coops with indigenous women entrepreneurs at WIPO training

News | 18 November 2019
Andrea Davila, (right)
COOP Unit, International Labour Organization and Lorena Llumiquing, (left) Miske, Ecuador
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is currently implementing a “Project-Based Training and Mentoring Program on Intellectual Property for Women Entrepreneurs from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.” The main objective of the program is to strengthen the capacities of women entrepreneurs from indigenous peoples or local communities to make strategic and effective use of Intellectual Property rights in support of projects based on Traditional Knowledge (TK) and Traditional Cultural Expressions (TEs).

The Program consists of two phases: a Geneva-based training from 11 to 15 November 2019, followed by a mentoring phase to guide the implementation of the participants’ projects that will take place in 2020. The training in Geneva had the participation of 24 indigenous women from across the world.

During t
Mina Waki, COOP Unit, International Labour Organization
his training, ILO COOP Unit was invited to conduct an orientation session on Cooperatives on 12 November. The first part of the session focused on the importance of collective action followed by a reflection on how cooperatives fare on women empowerment. After this first presentation ILO tools on Cooperatives (Think.Coop, Start.Coop and Manage.Coop) were briefly introduced to the participants. The second part of the session used some exercises from Think.Coop to inform participants about different business structures, including cooperatives, and to help improve their understanding on the cooperative model, its structure, values and principles. The session on cooperatives was interactive, it included exercises, games, experience sharing and questions and answers.

Participants at the training
Moreover, and as part of the training program, each participant had the opportunity to share their local projects. In the framework of the Cooperative session, two participants shared their projects. Lorcia Moore from Belize presented the Women Coconut Processors Association that produces natural hair and skin products based on coconut; and Paola Thompson from South Africa presented the Woza Moya project which aim is to empower the Zulu woman bead-makers economically and socially, while preserving their traditional knowledge expressed in their beadworks.