First Women’s Economic Empowerment and Social Enterprise Regional Visioning and Engagement Conference (WEE-SERVE Asia)

April 21, 2017

Nisha Onta, Regional Coordinator for Asia, presented the W+ Standard during the WEE- SERVE Asia conference on 22 April in Manila, Philippines. The conference was organized by Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA), in partnership with OXFAM and with the support of the Swedish Government/SIDA. This conference is a culmination activity of a two-year action research conducted in 4 ASEAN countries by ISEA under the project Promoting Social Enterprises in Gender transformative and Responsible Agricultural Investments in Southeast Asia (PROSE-GRAISEA) in partnership with OXFAM and with the support of the Swedish Government/SIDA.

The objective of the conference is to build an ASEAN-wide multi-stakeholder platform to promote agricultural value chain interventions and investments that would transform and empower women and men small scale producers as a contribution to achieving the SDGs in the region.

The conference showcased social enterprise models in agricultural value chains in 4 countries that have had a significant impact in transforming the lives of women and men small scale producers. The cases presented varied from community led cooperatives to inclusive businesses. They provided a good overview of the social enterprise models in the ASEAN region. 
ISEA also presented the benchmark they have developed for transformational partnership that impacts on women and men small scale producers in agricultural value chains (AVC) as demonstrated by the social enterprise models. The objective of the benchmark is to raise the bar on how enterprises and other stakeholders in AVCs could sustainably impact on small scale producers, their households and their communities. It is also meant to provide guideposts among enterprises and other stakeholders in AVCs aspiring to make a meaningful contribution to SDGs. The benchmarks were very comprehensive but the participants expressed that the benchmarks need revisions and tools to assist interested parties to implement. 

The conference also finalized the declaration, that not only validated the objective of the research and the process of developing the benchmark, it also called on policy makers, support institutions and social investors in crafting policies and programs, providing an enabling environment, and deploying investments to enable social enterprises, inclusive businesses and other agribusinesses to become transformational partners of women and men small scale producers in agricultural value chains.

 

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