#BrigadangAyala: BPI Foundation, ALI extend help to social enterprises
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#BrigadangAyala: BPI Foundation, ALI extend help to social enterprises

/ 09:00 AM July 16, 2021

Ayala Corp

Social enterprises are for-profit organizations on a noble mission: to address unmet and emerging social needs and gaps using established business solutions.

According to the ASEAN 2018 report by the USAID, there are over 160,000 SEs in the country, most of them cooperatives. Many of these SEs help their beneficiaries by providing employment within their communities.

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A social enterprise that believes knowledge is one of the best gifts it could share with hardworking farming heroes, DownToEarth, located in Bukidnon, provides a biodegradable waste solution for primarily urban environments with little to no access to land, turning unused spaces into productive gardens.

And for the past seven years, BPI Foundation has been helping select social enterprises achieve their mission through BPI Sinag, a comprehensive development program aimed at nurturing and stimulating the growth of the country’s expanding SE sector.  That assistance was raised to another level with the forging of a partnership with Ayala Land Inc. to further enhance the BPI Sinag program by providing market access for its community of SEs.

SEs, after all, are deemed to have the potential to make a difference, create value, and solve social challenges in sustainable ways.

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This strategic alliance is aligned with the Brigadang Ayala initiative, a collective nation-building effort by the Ayala Group of Companies.

“Through ALI’s Alagang Ayala Land program, our Sinag SEs can avail themselves of free leasable space for three months to one year in any Ayala Malls nationwide, subject to certain minimum conditions,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo. “This mutually beneficial partnership will surely spark and boost business opportunities for both parties as the SEs attract new markets to the Ayala Malls.”

BPI Foundation, the social development arm of BPI, has a soft spot for social enterprises as they focus not solely on making money, but on the three Ps: people, planet, and profit. Today, the SE sector continues to face obstacles – lack of access to finance, a lack of effective impact measurement mechanisms, and low public awareness.

Given this, Cammayo said social enterprises “should grow in number because these are sustainable businesses driven by a social mission, bringing positive change while maintaining healthy financial returns.”

“Keeping in mind the bank’s goal of creating a more financially inclusive nation, BPI Foundation aims to help improve the social and economic wellbeing of Filipinos through programs like BPI Sinag. Social entrepreneurs have financial and social missions, to which, when achieved, could empower communities in need,” Cammayo said.

The first to enjoy the privilege of securing free space of a maximum of 10 square meters in any Ayala Mall, inclusive of the maintenance fees for the common area, are the top 10 winners of this year’s BPI Sinag Spark business challenge.

Last May 7, BPI Foundation launched this year’s business challenge dubbed, “Sinag Spark”, where, from an initial shortlist of over 60 SEs, the top 10 who are best able to showcase their business viability and social impact will be named Sinag Spark awardees.

These exemplary social enterprises will also win cash grants of up to P300,000 and experience MBA-like virtual training sessions to equip them with more skills that they can use to fulfill their missions, including sessions on business strategy and planning, marketing, operations, finance, organization and HR development, and social innovation.

The application period to become part of the BPI Sinag Awards has been extended to July 23, 2021, to enable more SEs to join. Interested applicants may check the complete eligibility requirements via https://bpifoundation.org/page/bpi-sinag.

“Most SEs are part of the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector, which is one of the main drivers of the economy in many countries, including the Philippines,” said BPI President and CEO TG Limcaoco. “With the ongoing pandemic, our commitment to help this very important sector recover and survive remains intact. Supporting the growth of MSMEs is key in building a financially inclusive and sustainable Philippines.”

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Mavils House of Mushrooms is an enterprise dedicated to teaching farmers and interested individuals the technology in mushroom cultivation and processing as an additional source of income.

The BPI Sinag program was introduced in 2015. While it was initially conceived as a business challenge for SEs, it has evolved into a growing ecosystem with almost 200 SEs that continue to bring together not just the country’s visionary entrepreneurs, but also mentors, investors, and other stakeholders who share the same goal of inclusive and sustainable growth through social entrepreneurship.

The program has partnerships with social impact organizations such as Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development, Endeavor Philippines, Start-Up Village, and Villgro Philippines, as well as BPI Direct BanKo, the microfinance arm of BPI, and now, Ayala Land through the Alagang Ayala Land program.

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TAGS: ALI, Ayala Group of companies, BPI Foundation, Brigadang Ayala, Sinag Spark
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