Enhancing its Sari-Sari Store Training and Access Resources (STAR) program, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is set to offer the iSTAR program to aspiring entrepreneurs who are planning to put up a business.
The STAR program, aimed at helping sari-sari stores become more sustainable and profitable, was designed to help women owners become better entrepreneurs and provide them with support or access to financial resources.
TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña said iSTAR, which will be launched before year-end, would conduct 80 percent of its training online and 20 percent in-person.
“STAR is for women only, while iSTAR will accommodate both men and women. STAR requires women to have a sari-sari store or carinderia to qualify to avail of the training, while iSTAR is for everyone who is willing to start a business,” he said.
Both programs have the same components, such as access to training, access to peer mentoring, and access to resources. Still, the main difference is that iSTAR is the digital version, Lapeña added.
More people are expected to benefit from the iSTAR.
“It has an unlimited reach since it is online,” Lapeña said.
“Once the iSTAR is available, we hope that more people will take the opportunity to learn more for free. This is the best time to learn how to be enterprising, and how one can be able to start a small business,” he added.
Once the program is available, those interested will be able to avail access via the TESDA Online Program, he added.
Meanwhile, he said the STAR program is available to 76 provinces and so far has 180,000 beneficiaries from 2011 until March 2020.