A micro-enterprise here gets a boost in its handcrafted paper production project after availing of a technical grant from the PUM Netherlands Senior Experts program recently.

Netherlands senior expert Leo Hoegen was recently here for a three-week assignment to provide technical assistance on product enhancement and marketing for the Dayawan Handmade Paper Products – Multi-Purpose Cooperative at the San Roque Village in Dayawan, Villanueva, Misamis Oriental.

Initiated in 2004 as one of the community-based livelihood projects supported by STEAG State Power Inc., the Dayawan Paper Project has transformed into a promising enterprise that produce individually handcrafted paper products such as greeting cards, jewelry boxes, picture frames, calendars, penholders, gift bags, paperweights, etc. The project has been providing steady livelihood to at least 16 women who are members of the cooperative.

From a handful of local customers, the Dayawan Paper has expanded its market in the United States, Germany, United Kingdom and Japan.

“PUM Netherlands’ assistance is a big help especially in improving the Dayawan paper designs and to ensure that these are customized to match the requirements of specific markets especially in Europe,” says Steag Community Relations Manager Ghaye Alegrio.

For nearly five (5) years now, Steag’s parent company Evonik Industries based in Germany has consistently patronized the Dayawan Paper for its yearend corporate giveaways.

Alegrio noted the vast potentials of the Dayawan paper citing not only the huge market within the Evonik conglomerate which at the moment employs more than 39,000 workers worldwide, but also through its numerous business partners around the globe.

“The challenge for the women of Dayawan is how to keep pace with the highly competitive market and the PUM’s assistance is indeed timely,” Alegrio said. (STEAG State Power)

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