Updated: Apr 30
The aim of World Intellectual Property(IP) Day is to teach the world about the role that intellectual property (IP) rights play in encouraging innovation and creativity. This year, the World IP Day is being celebrated under the theme, “IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future”, reflecting the potential of youth-led innovation and creativity”. This day means many things to different people and institutions. For some, it is learning about IP in general – what is it? For others, it is simply how to get more IP protection so as to generate more revenue. While for others, it presents an opportunity to understand how to use IP as an entrepreneurship tool for small, micro and medium enterprises (SMEs) so as to generate income and alleviate poverty. This piece will focus on the last scenario, demonstrating with the work of ILaED.org relating to women entrepreneurs, who include women who are youth.
For any entrepreneur to use intellectual property for their business, they need to have access to the right information. ILaED.org therefore ensures that the role of intellectual property is not only known to IP specialists and experts, but this knowledge extends to the female youth deep down in the village in a least developed country. We provide training on creation, protection, commercialization and enforcement of intellectual property. But we also explain how to use other tools, in addition to IP, to grow a business and compete in national and international markets.
On this World IP Day, ILaED.org is happy to be supporting a number of women and youth in their entrepreneurship venture, thus helping them to alleviate poverty and achieve economic development. This piece cites two examples where ILaED.org is helping youth and women use IP to innovate and create for a better future.
ILaED.org, in collaboration with GSWIM, does train and mentor youth and women to use intellectual property to add value to their products. It also teaches how to use IP as a marketing tool as well as how to use other tools like technology, electronic commerce and trade to make IP more meaningful for SMEs, thus leading to poverty alleviation and economic empowerment.
After GSWIM/ILaED.org training (Credit: GSWIM/ILaED.org)
ILaED.org was also privileged to teach energetic and visionary women and youth creators and entrepreneurs at a workshop organized by The Hope Alive Initiative/Civil Connections. The participants were taught the meaning of intellectual property and how it can be used to generate income, create jobs and make a positive impact on the world around them. In addition, they learnt how to use trade, electronic commerce and marketing tools to add value to the IP protected goods so as to earn more money and alleviate poverty.
Participants in ILaED.org training (Credit: ILaED.org)
The outcome was a new project, on “Empowering women and girls in arts and crafts for economic value in Mayuge”, to be run in partnership with GSWIM and Civil Connections. Under this project, ILaED.org, will continue to economically empower youth and women in Mayuge district in Uganda, using intellectual property, technology, electronic commerce and trade.
Participants after ILaED.org training (Credit: ILaED.org)
The need to access finance to start or run any enterprise cannot be under estimated. ILaED.org takes it upon itself to contribute or look for funds for various projects to support training, mentoring and coaching activities of women and youth entrepreneurs.
ILaED.org has the rare honour of participating in the Asian Harvest Festival, to be held on Thursday 2 June 2022 at the World Intellectual Property Organization, where you can find some of the beautiful hand-made crafts skilfully produced by women participating in the ILaED.org/GSWIM project on “Empowering women and girls in arts & crafts for economic value”.