The term “social enterprises” has been making waves in recent years. Before we share the opportunities available to social enterprises through our BPI Sinag program, let us first discuss what social enterprises are, and what critical role they play in our country.
1. What’s an easy-to-understand definition of a social enterprise?
Think of it as the intersection of a social problem and a business. A social enterprise applies commercial methods to solve a problem in society, thus making a difference in people’s lives and in the environment. Social Enterprises are sustainable, income-earning, and address an urgent social need.
2. Businesses are solving the problem of unemployment by providing jobs. How come they aren’t social enterprises?
Traditional businesses are essential to providing opportunities for employment, but what are their business intentions? They need to be committed to solving an urgent social problem and their benchmark for success must go beyond profit. Despite their differences, this isn’t to say that traditional businesses can’t learn from social enterprises and vice versa.
3. If it’s not like a traditional business, how is a social enterprise different from an NGO?
There are characteristics unique to NGOs, Social Enterprises, and Business Enterprises. Let’s take a look at some of their differences:
4. What are the multiple bottom lines that a social enterprises uses as its benchmark?
The bottom lines include People, Planet, and Profit. “People” refers to the fair and beneficial labor practices that affect the community and individuals with which a social enterprise does its business. “Planet” pertains to observing sustainable environmental practices. And finally, “Profit” is the organization’s earnings after cost of inputs and capital have been deducted. It’s important for social enterprises to make a profit. It assures their sustainability and enables them to scale up. It also counteracts the notion that social enterprises are unpredictable and risky.
5. Why do social enterprises matter?
The Philippines recently posted a 6.9% GDP growth for the first quarter of 2016, outpacing the performance of its neighbors to be the region’s fastest growing economy. However, to this day, one in every four Filipino lives under a dollar a day.
Social enterprises are great drivers for inclusive growth. They engage more Filipinos in a shared commitment to make the country’s strong economic growth felt by every member of society, especially the poor and the marginalized.
GIVING SOCIAL ENTERPRISES A BOOST THROUGH BPI SINAG
In 2015, BPI Foundation launched the BPI Sinag Business Challenge in order to discover, develop and support enterprises with a social mission, with the aim to foster more inclusive economic growth in the Philippines.
Following its success, BPI Sinag 2016 is now on-going, with the aim to widen and increase the support of social enterprises across the country. The business challenge offers social entrepreneurs access to mentorship and incubation, industry network, and business grants and financing options.
“We have decided to support social enterprises as they have proven to be among the most effective channels to promote inclusive growth,” said BPI Foundation executive director Fidelina Corcuera. “By applying commercial methods to address problems in society, they are not only able to deliver great social impact and make a difference in people’s lives and the environment, they are able to do so in a financially sustainable manner.”
BPI Sinag 2016 has two distinct categories: BPI Sinag U, which aims to empower student-entrepreneurs to bring their social enterprise ideas to life; and BPI Sinag Accelerate, which aims to boost social enterprises through business mentorship and access to capital for them to be able to expand and increase their impact.
Learn more at sinag.bpifoundation.org.
Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook as well – www.facebook.com/bpisinag.
ABOUT THE COVER:
Paul Orpiada is the founder of Karaw Craftventures, a social enterprise based in Naga City. His enterprise empowers and gives hope to women inmates from the Naga City District Jail by helping rehabilitate them through sustainable livelihood activities and in-prison skills development programs. Karaw Craftventures creates artisanal Ragpets and Encature toys with the use of upcycled discarded rags.
With the BPI Sinag Grand Award and mentoring, they gained momentum. They improved their product lines, reached 700 new clients, and opened Gikan, a business hub where their products and other local products are showcased to tourists and residents of Naga City.
This material, which is strictly for information purposes only, is for your sole use, and does not constitute a recommendation or an offer to sell or a solicitation to buy any financial product. Any information is subject to change without notice and BPI is not under any obligation to update or keep current the information contained herein. You are advised to make your own independent judgment with respect to the matter contained in this document. No liability whatsoever is accepted for any loss that may arise (whether direct or consequential) from any use of the information contained herein. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.
The views expressed in this report reflect the writer's personal views and not necessarily the Bank of the Philippine Islands'. Furthermore, no part of any of the writer's compensation was, is, or will be directly or indirectly related to the specific recommendations or views expressed by the writer in this report.