Women and ICT Frontier Initiative to empower women in Asia and the Pacific through ICT entrepreneurship
In June 2016, the Women and ICT Frontier Initiative (WIFI) was launched in Korea during a regional forum dedicated to capacity building in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific. The program aims to support women from the region with better tools to become more productive entrepreneurs and grow sustainable projects that favor local and national economies.
The WIFI Initiative – promoted by the United Nations Asian and Pacific Training Center for Information and Communication Technology for Development- is an integral entrepreneurship training program whose main objective is to “create socially and economically-empowered women through ICT-enabled entrepreneurship.” In order to do this, the program is focused both in strengthening the capacity of women entrepreneurs through ICTs and in enabling policymakers to support the process.
As a strategy, WIFI follows a two-track approach based on Knowledge Enhancement and ICT Skills Enhancement. This means combining the learning of concepts and principles for women’s empowerment, Sustainable Development Goals, planning and managing businesses with the actual use of ICT applications for fulfilling different business functions. The curriculum is as well adapted to its target and offered in two different versions, one for women entrepreneurs and one tailored for policy and decision makers. Some additional services provided by the WIFI initiative are the InfoBank, a Mobile Learning Platform and personal Advisory. Here’s a brief description of each service:
- InfoBank: online knowledge platform that contains information about existing programs on ICT literacy and business tools or applications in order to allow users to select programs that suit their needs. It will guide women entrepreneurs to build their ICT literacy and business skills to increase their productivity and collect feely available learning resources.
- Mobile Learning Platform: enables beneficiaries to learn digital literacy skills through their mobile devices. It includes interactive features, videos, documents, exercises and activities.
- Advisory Services: Finally, WIFI provides technical assistance and advise to partners including governments, civil organizations, academic institutions and women’s initiatives. The topics covered include WIFI roll-out and other issues related to business and technology.