BPI Foundation launches bigger ‘Sinag Business Challenge’
The Bank of the Philippine Islands’ social development arm, BPI Foundation, unveiled a bigger and bolder version of its iconic competition for young social entrepreneurs on Tuesday.
Called “BPI Sinag Business Challenge for 2016,” the program aims to empower up-and-coming enterprises with a social mission through an exclusive series of mentorship programs, while also offering participants the chance to win cash prizes and access to finance.
BPI Executive Director Fidelina Corcuera, during the launching in the company’s head office in Makati, announced two new categories this year—BPI Sinag U for university students and BPI Sinag Accelerate for start-up businesses.
The first category, which seeks to inspire student entrepreneurs, will target selected schools across the country in search of brilliant minds with the best business ideas.
With the help of Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ASCENT), the chosen students would be able to participate in regional and national boot-camps , while the finalists would be able to receive funding to make their social enterprises a reality.
“When we first invited millennials last year to share their social enterprise ideas as part of BPI Sinag 2015, we were encouraged by the immense energy, creativity, dedication and heart exhibited by our participants,” Corcuera said. “This was our inspiration to create a category for university students for the 2016 round. We hope to fuel their passion for social change while they are still young, and provide guidance, tools and networks so that they can transform their ideas into viable and sustainable social enterprises.”
The BPI Accelerate program, meanwhile, aims to provide an extra boost to accelerate and scale existing social enterprises.
To qualify, participants must be of of legal age with pre-existing business operations for at least two years.
The assistive initiative is further strengthened by the Peace and Equity Foundation’s (PEF) goal to reach a wider network of start-up social entrepreneurs whose enterprises focus on new business models that address social and environmental problems.
Projects in agri-based communities, coastal communities and other marginalized sectors across the archipelago will reportedly be prioritized to give them more opportunities and exposure.
A special focus on Muslim entrepreneurs shall also be implemented, since their investment requirements offer new models in enterprise development.
Additional information about BPI Sinag event is available in their official website, www.sinag.bpifoundation.org.
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