PH social enterprises lauded
In France, the Philippines is making a name for itself as the home of the world’s most successful social enterprises.
The Philippines, through Gawad Kalinga (GK), Human Nature, Global Electric Transport (GET) Philippines and Batang Bayani International Inc., kicked off the opening plenary of the 8th World Forum for a Responsible Economy in Lille, France. More than 1,200 international delegates flocked to the forum to learn more about successful social enterprises operating in the Philippines. The event, held from Oct. 21 to 25, was attended by company executives, renowned corporate social responsibility experts, nongovernment organizations, students and labor group leaders.
Spearheaded by France’s former Agriculture Minister Philippe Vasseur and organized by the Réseau Alliances network, the World Forum Lille seeks to highlight the “best practices” of responsible businesses.
“We should not be afraid of building a better world,” shared GK Founder Tony Meloto.
GK is a movement that aims to end poverty for 5 million families by 2024.
Social entrepreneurs Dylan Wilk of Human Nature, Freddie Tinga of GET Philippines, Fabien Courteille of Batang Bayani International Inc. and France’s Jean Duforest, Founder of ïdgroup also spoke during the session.
Wilk, co-founder and vice president of social enterprise Gandang Kalikasan Inc., maker of Human Nature, said Human Nature aimed to be the world’s first multinational social enterprise.
“The word “multinational” doesn’t have a very positive connotation—it’s associated with greed, tax avoidance, minimum wage, labor disputes—but we want to show that business can be a force for good,” he said.
“There is something beautiful happening in the Philippines now—a whole generation of Filipino entrepreneurs who are showing that things can be different. That ‘Made in the Philippines can be just as good as ‘Made in France’ or ‘Made in the USA.’ That Filipinos are just as creative and ingenious as the Koreans, Americans or British,” he said. “These Filipinos are succeeding and the world is starting to notice! Don’t let the world tell you that you cannot do it.”
Since its inception in 2008, Human Nature has strove to root each business decision in its Pro-Philippines, Pro-poor and Pro-environment promise.