Social Enterprise

23rd WEF Plays Vital Role in PH Economy – Sen. Bam

The 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia, which will be held in the country from May 21-23, plays a vital role to the Philippine economy with the 2015 ASEAN Integration fast approaching.
“With the spotlight on East Asia, we should take every opportunity to showcase and promote the country’s robust economic growth,” said Senator Bam Aquino, chairman of the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship.
Earlier, the World Economic Forum (WEF) described the Philippine economy as one of the “greatest economic comeback stories in recent years.”
The WEF also predicted that the country would be the strongest performing Southeast Asian economy this year, with gross domestic product (GDP) growth projected to surpass 6.5 percent.
“The Forum is an ideal stage where we can entice businessmen to pour investments and establish other ventures in the country, aside from promoting our products and services,” added Aquino, whose office is one of the organizers of the Forum.
Aquino believes that the government and private sector should grab every opportunity to promote the country before the launching of the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community 2015.
“When the integration starts, we expect tight competition from other countries for a lion’s share of the ASEAN market composed of 600 million people,” Aquino said, who is part of the prestigious WEF community and will participate in the events the next few days.
In his speech during the 3rd National Symposium Workshop on Empowering People & Organizations in the Workplace for Excellent Results (E-Power), Aquino stressed the important role of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the country’s economy at the start of ASEAN integration.
“As much as there are risks here, there are opportunities there,” Aquino said, emphasizing that enhancing the quality of our products and services will increase the businesses’ chances to perform favorably in the free market.
Photo source: WEF Website

Sen. Bam: PH social enterprise to take centerstage at WEF

Social enterprise in the Philippines will take centerstage when Senator Bam Aquino discusses his experience in empowering and creating opportunities for the poor during the 2014 World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meetings in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland.
The senator, who chairs the Senate Committee on Trade, Commerce and Entrepreneurship, will speak during a session for social entrepreneurs on Jan. 21. The forum proper will be held from Jan. 22 to 25.
The senator will talk about social entrepreneurship in the Philippines during the morning session entitled “Changing the Game: Innovating Smartly in Organizations and Systems” at Post Hotel.
In the afternoon session entitled “Cracking the Emerging Market Code”, Sen. Aquino will share the story behind the successful Hapinoy Program which he co-founded in 2006 before he entered politics.
The Hapinoy Program is a micro-enterprise development program which focuses on small neighborhood convenience stores or sari-sari stores, commonly set up by Filipino mothers to help augment their family’s financial needs.
The program provides mothers with training, access to capital through micro financing, and opportunities for new businesses that will benefit both their families and the communities they are in.
Other Filipino achievers are also expected to join the lawmaker as they attend sessions on business, policy, design and social enterprise.
Sen. Aquino was a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum in 2006 and was a WEF panelist in 2012 for the “Learning from the Frontiers” session.
Based in Geneva , Switzerland , the World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas.
Incorporated as a non-profit foundation in 1971, the WEF is tied to no political, partisan, or national interests. This year’s forum will have “The Reshaping of the World: Consequences for Society, Politics and Business” as its theme.
In April, the Philippines will host the 23rd World Economic Forum on East Asia , which is crucial in the region’s preparation for ASEAN integration in 2015.

ADB Official: PH Bright Example in Development of Social Enterprise

A ranking official of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) believes the Philippines has the potential to become a regional leader and a bright example in the development of social enterprise and inclusive business.
However, ADB vice president Stephen Groff stressed that the government and private sector must “take stronger steps to boost this sector” in this ideal time where there is “explosion and interest in social enterprise”.
“Such growth must rely primarily on local ingenuity, resources and commitment to substantially reduce poverty and deprivation across the country,” Groff said in his speech during the Social Business Summit, which opened last Wednesday at GK’s Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan.
“Gains can be made by forging closer collaboration with international partners who can offer promising approaches, voluntary support, and technical expertise and financial resources,” Groff emphasized.
Groff said the government–both national and local–can serve as advocate and champion by raising awareness and providing finances to those interested in venturing into social enterprises.
“The government can also lead by example through the procurement of quality goods and services. It will help create a virtual cycle that will allow these social enterprises to grow,” he added.
The private sector, for its part, could sponsor a “bootcamp” to identify social problems, define change, construct business model and measure social impact.
Earlier, Senator Bam Aquino, the first social entrepreneur to be elected as senator, filed a number of bills that aim to support social enterprises and redefine the concept of social value in government spending.
Senate Bill No. 1026, otherwise known as the “Social Enterprise Bill,” aims to establish a Poverty Reduction Though Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Program that will “provide a nurturing environment for the growth and burgeoning of strong and innovative social enterprises as tools to reduce poverty”.
Sen. Aquino also filed Senate Bill No. 1029, also known as the Social Value Bill, which redefines “value for money” for government procurement as going beyond products and services with the lowest price, to those which offer “the greatest collective benefit to the community.”
The young lawmaker earlier said, “Ultimately, our goal is to ensure that, as the country grows, more Filipinos are able to grow with us. Now that the Philippines is growing at a phenomenal rate and all eyes are on our economy, now is the time to make sure that no one gets left behind.”

GK Enchanted Farm is Site of Country’s First Social Enterprise School

The GK Enchanted Farm in Angat, Bulacan will be the site of the first-ever social enterprise school that will help spur the sector’s growth.

This was announced Thursday by no less than Education Secretary Armin Luistro during the Social Business Summit that coincided with Gawad Kalinga’s 10th anniversary celebration.

Luistro said the social enterprise school will be part of senior high school or the last two years under DepEd’s K+12 program.

“The social enterprise school will serve as a model for the establishment of such kinds of schools in other parts of the country,” said Luistro.

Luistro said that with GK spearheading the first social enterprise school, students will be prepared and guided for small business ventures and other career paths that are in tune with today’s demands.

“This program is also in line with DepEd’s Abot-Alam program, which aims to lure some five million out-of-school youth back to school,” Luistro added.

Also, Luistro shared his plan of connecting public schools in the Philippines’s 46,500 barangays with local community and industry partners to further advance the quality of education in the country.

Government convergence

Key personalities and institutions from both the government and the private sector have likewise pledged support for this initiative.

Aside from Luistro, Agrarian Reform Secretary Gil de los Reyes, National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) head and Environment and Natural Resources Assistant Secretary Marcial Amaro also emphasized their commitment to GK’s programs and advocacies.

Amaro said the DENR has committed to establish an Agro-Economic and Nature Park at the GK Enchanted Farm that will help the government’s National Greening Program.

For his part, de los Reyes said the agency is focused on strengthening Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) groups in different parts of the country by providing them with the needed farm equipment and other implements.

Also, de los Reyes said the DAR is coordinating with other government agencies such as the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to fast-track the establishment of cooperative and rural workers association at a cheaper cost.

Balisacan, in his speech, emphasized that social entrepreneurs play a key role in reducing the country’s unemployment and poverty rate.

Private sector support

From the private sector, high-profile educational institutions De La Salle University and Hautes Etudes de Commerce (HEC) Paris—Europe’s leading business school—have likewise committed to support the educational of future social entrepreneurs.

According to Bénédicte Faivre-Tavignot, Executive Director of the HEC Social Business Chair, “It’s urgent to invent new ways to do business and to raise a new generation to do it. We need a paradigm shift [in education and in doing business.]”

Likewise, organizations and corporations such as the LifeBank Foundation and Hyundai have committed to support the education of future social entrepreneurs by developing both physical infrastructure and long-term programs, in order to build “laboratories” for social enterprise and countryside development. These are among the many other forms of support pledged by various public and private sector partners of Gawad Kalinga.

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