Govt’s WIIN initiative fuelling women entrepreneurship

With an increasing number of women participating in the government’s free educational and technical vocational training programmes, more female entrepreneurs are emerging.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud attributed this trend to the significant investments made by the government to empower and upskill women.

Minister of Human Services and Social Security, Dr Vindhya Persaud took a walk through the business incubator

One of the ministry’s flagship programmes, the Women Innovation and Investment Network (WIIN), offers a hybrid model that includes virtual training, self-paced study, or in-person training.

“Investing in women has been a priority of this ministry, it is part of our wider government’s mandate. We are creating these initiatives and seeing women moving towards them and utilising them to become entrepreneurs or to become voices for other women that is an empowering thing,” Dr Persaud underscored during a recent interview with the National Communications Network (NCN).

Over the last three years, WIIN has upskilled some 11,700 women.

“It is a signal from the women themselves that they are ready for this and they want this,” the minister emphasised.

Beyond training, the ministry invested in a business incubator and WIIN App.

The ministry has since enhanced the business incubator as it now has a database consisting of all the women trained through WIIN and which routes they have taken upon completing the programme.

Additionally, the ministry is offering business literacy training under the WIIN programme.

The business clinics also work with women to help them understand how to start a business, develop their business plans, as well as how to sustain and grow their businesses.

The programme provides women with easy access to all the relevant stakeholders needed in their journey.

Graduates of the WIIN programme

To date, 25 per cent of the women from the business clinics have become entrepreneurs.

Similarly, 850 women are advertising their services, business, and skills on the WIIN app.

Meanwhile, the ministry has also facilitated training programmes targeting women who live in untenable situations and experience domestic and gender-based violence. Over 100 women were trained in various areas of skill.

Deriving from this training programme, the participants benefit from support to establish their businesses.

Minister Persaud also announced that 75 per cent of these women are on their way to setting up their businesses in an individual or consortium model.