Sojung Lee, from the Korean Institute for Gender Equality Promotion and Education (KIGEPE), is a graduate of the 1st batch of the Development Entrepreneurship online course. She thought that Development Entrepreneurship is an innovative approach that could help gender activists in NGOs and gender specialists in universities to get a second identity as a “policy reformer.”
“Gender equality is something that we should pursue collectively. But in my society, a dichotomous thinking about government and civil society hinders the changes we try to create,” Sojung Lee said. “We included Development Entrepreneurship this year as a special topic in the third year of the Asian Gender Trainers Network Program (AGenT). We think this new approach of the Coalitions for Change (CfC) program in the Philippines could be useful for many gender activists to think and act out of the box to bring about a real change,” she added.
KIGEPE worked closely with Development Entrepreneurship leaders, namely Toix Cerna, Alyssa Alfonso, and Farah Sevilla, to design and conduct a two-day Development Entrepreneurship workshop for gender activists.
Development Entrepreneurship as a policy reform approach was appreciated as a novel and complementary strategy to introduce desired changes in societies where gender-based inequalities and injustices are still prevalent while policy progress to overcome them is slow.
Guided by this workshop design, KIGEPE hosted two batches of Development Entrepreneurship workshops, in September and October 2021, attended by 19 participants from Korea, Japan, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, and the Philippines.
It seems the workshop struck a chord. Based on the workshop’s post-evaluation survey, 80% of the participants would recommend Development Entrepreneurship to their colleagues and friends.
“The practice program on theory of change while applying Development Entrepreneurship principles has helped me to understand diverse issues of different countries. The education and mobility reform case studies definitely motivated and encouraged me to start pursuing policy reform,” a participant wrote in the survey.
This collaboration between KIGEPE and Development Entrepreneurship leaders is a testament to what entrepreneurial principles – like just start and making small bets – can achieve. And it’s just getting started.
“This partnership, while informal, has been very fruitful and is a welcome development for our AGenT program. We hope that these engagements can make us more effective in collectively transforming our societies to become better, more equal and just, for all marginalized groups,” Haelim Cho, Director of KIGEPE’s International Cooperation Center, said.
KIGEPE and the Development Entrepreneurship leaders will continue to offer the Development Entrepreneurship course to gender activists in the region. Hopefully, the course will engage them to join the growing community of practice that address social inequalities and injustices through policy reform work.
The Coalitions for Change will be conducting an Introduction to Development Entrepreneurship session on November 17, 2021. Interested individuals or organizations may register at bit.ly/IntroDevEntrep.