March 21, 2022

Taguig City – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Coca-Cola Philippines have inaugurated a training facility for the iSTAR Program, the upgraded version of their Sari-Sari Store Training and Access Resources (STAR) Program.

On March 15, TESDA Secretary Isidro Lapeña, Coca-Cola Philippines President Antonio del Rosario, and ASA Philippines Inc. President Kamrul Tarafder, personally inaugurated the newly-refurbished TESDA Women’s Center for Excellence for the iSTAR Program.

The iSTAR Program Center for Excellence at the TWC will continue to be a benchmark institution to learn more about gender mainstreaming in TVET and women economic empowerment in the micro-retail sector internationally. It will also serve as a model training facility enforcing social change for economic empowerment.

Since 2011, TESDA and Coca-Cola Philippines have been partners in providing entrepreneurial skills training to Filipino women. Through the STAR program, over 200,000 women retailers were trained and empowered.

In December 2019, TESDA and Coca-Cola Philippines signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to elevate the entrepreneurship training program for micro-retailers into a blended digital learning platform, thus, the iSTAR Program.

The training consists of online self-paced learning sessions and business coaching sessions developed by TESDA and Coca-Cola to help businesses that were badly hit by the ongoing pandemic crisis.

The iSTAR Program has also been integrated into the TESDA Online Program (TOP). Currently, there are modules such as “Safe Stores Education,” “Building Business Mindset,” “Planning the Business,” “Managing Business Operations,” “Ensuring Business Sustainability and Success,” and “Access to Business Coaching, Resources and Peer Mentoring.”

Further, TESDA and Coca-Cola will add a new module entitled “A Basic Course on Online Retailing (E-Commerce) using Social Media for MSMEs.” The module aims to provide learners basic understanding of online retailing using information and communication technology in their businesses.

As of February 28, the iSTAR Program currently has 12,079 module enrollees and 9,123 module completers since the start.

Meanwhile, aside from the inauguration of the TWC Center for Excellence for the iSTAR Program, TESDA and Coca-Cola have also launched the legacy book of the iSTAR Program and turned over laptops to its local implementing partners.

In his message, Lapeña expressed his optimism that these activities under the iSTAR Program will surely have a great impact to the communities. He also assured partners that TESDA will continue to work closely with them in providing entrepreneurial skills training to Filipinos.

“We assure our partners that we will continue to closely collaborate with you in providing more opportunities to more aspiring ‘iSTARprenuers’ nationwide through entrepreneurial skills training,” the TESDA Chief said.

For his part, del Rosario shared that they are targeting around 20,000 retailers to be trained under the iSTAR Program. “With your help, we are confident we can achieve this goal,” he said.

To enroll in the iSTAR Program in the TOP, just visit ###