Francis Gurry led WIPO as Director General from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2020.

New WIPO IP Training and Mentoring Program Supports 24 Women Entrepreneurs from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities

November 14, 2019

Two dozen women entrepreneurs from indigenous peoples and local communities met in person for the first time at a weeklong training program on intellectual property (IP) held at WIPO.

The artisans, designers, performers, researchers, farmers and other entrepreneurs were selected from a pool of hundreds of applicants for the WIPO Project-Based Training and Mentoring Program on IP for Women Entrepreneurs from Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities. The program, launched earlier this year, aims to strengthen the capacity of women who work on projects based on their traditional knowledge and traditional cultural expressions, helping them benefit from the strategic use of IP rights. The women entrepreneurs hail from 24 countries.

(Photo: WIPO/Berrod) [More photos on Flickr]

Speaking to the women amid an exquisite display of their works, WIPO Director General said of the program: “This innovative program brings together WIPO’s commitment to intellectual property, economic opportunities, sustainable development and gender equality.  We find great ingenuity and creativity from indigenous peoples and local communities. It's a question now of how intellectual property can empower and support these women and their businesses, help them distinguish their beautiful creations in the marketplace, and protect and promote tradition-based innovations.”

Video: Director General Gurry and representatives from International Labour Organization, the International Trade Centre and the International Trademark Association underline the program's importance.

Throughout the week, the women learned about IP rights, but also, business models, market access strategies and marketing of cultural heritage. They had the chance to present their projects and receive feedback from experts and their peers, culminating with a session on developing an IP strategy and project implementation.

The practical workshop component of the program was held at WIPO headquarters in Geneva the week of November 11, 2019 and was facilitated by Ms. Jennifer Tauli Corpuz of the Tebtebba Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education in the Philippines. The second half of the program, the mentoring phase, will take place in 2020.

WIPO leads the program in cooperation with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Trade Centre (ITC) and the International Trademark Association (INTA).