Supporting the business of doing good | Inquirer Business

Supporting the business of doing good

/ 05:01 AM October 22, 2021

WINNERS’ CIRCLE BPI Foundation recognizes some of the country’s top social enterprises. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Ten social enterprises (SEs) that have proven to be effective in using business solutions to help solve social problems will receive cash grants, exclusive mentorship and other hand-holding support from BPI Foundation to enable them to scale up and make an even bigger positive impact on the community amid a raging pandemic.

At the recently held BPI Sinag Spark 2021 Awards—the flagship program of BPI Foundation, which aims to champion Filipino SEs—named as the top five winners were: Batangas Egg Producers Multipurpose Cooperative, Ecoveritas Agriculture Technical Assistance Services (COSCAO Chocolate Manufacturing), Likhang Maragondon Native Products Trading, Mayani and Tinker House.


GreenLife Coconut Products Philippines, MagzWheel Furnitures & TireCycling, Peak Foods Processing, Tagolwanen Women Weavers Association and rounded up the roster.

Sinag spark

With the theme “Sinag Spark,” which represents light and hope for progress to SEs as they bounce back from the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, BPI Sinag is now on its seventh year of empowering local SEs in uplifting Filipino communities and scaling their businesses, while addressing the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit through opportunities for technological, social and market innovations.


This year, 124 enterprises participated in the business challenge.

After going through months of deliberations and two intensive boot camps, the top 25 finalists were tasked to pitch their business plans to a panel of judges, namely, BPI Foundation executive director Owen Cammayo, Bayan Academy chair and president Francisco Bernardo III, Villgro Philippines cofounder and chief executive officer (CEO) Priya Thachadi and Coffee for Peace founder and CEO Joji Pantoja.

“At BPI, our aspiration is to build a better Philippines, and we believe that supporting the growth of this sector is key to doing just that. We recognize the importance of SEs to our economy and society,” said BPI president and CEO Teodoro Limcaoco. “Through BPI Sinag, we are committed to nurture social entrepreneurs and help enable their growth, progress and sustainability.”

Cash grants

To help expand their businesses and reach, each of the top five winners will receive cash grants worth P300,000, while the rest of the awardees will get P100,000 each. These SEs will also undergo a six-month mentorship program from the pioneering social enterprise incubator Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development. Through Ayala Land Inc.’s Alagang Ayala Land program, Sinag SEs can also avail of free retailing space for three months to one year in any Ayala Malls. Furthermore, BPI Foundation will cover maintenance fees for common areas for a maximum of 10 square meters for the first three months for the top 10 awardees.

The trophies for the Sinag Spark 2021 Awards were designed and custom-crafted by 2018 Sinag awardee, Willie Garcia of JunkNot Eco Creatives.

Special awards were likewise given by BPI Foundation. MagzWheel Furnitures & TireCycling, a producer of furniture from recycled rubber, received a P20,000 cash grant from BPI Direct BanKo, while Mayani, an impact-driven agri-technology startup, took home the “Endeavor Mentorship Award” and bagged several mentorship sessions.

Collaborative makers hub Creativly Studio and fresh fruit and vegetable distributor Green Habits Agri Trading won “The Gift Mentorship Award,” entitling them to a one-on-one mentorship program from StartUp Village.


Meanwhile, Ecoveritas Agriculture Technical Assistance Services (COSCAO Chocolate Manufacturing), which offers healthy chocolate bars, and Mayani bagged the “Investment Readiness Award” and won three months’ worth of investment mentoring support from Villgro Philippines.


“Our efforts to support social enterprises do not stop here as this is a long-term commitment,” said BPI Foundation’s Cammayo. “We will continue to build and refine the program scope and interventions based on prevailing market dynamics.”

In a recorded video message, BPI Foundation chair Fernando Zobel de Ayala congratulated this year’s awardees. “We recognize that this year has certainly not been easy for businesses of all sizes, given the challenges brought about by COVID-19. I commend and salute your commitment to serving our fellow Filipinos and the planet while helping drive our country’s economy during these difficult times,” Zobel said.

Since its launch in 2015, BPI Sinag has provided a total of P20.5-million cash grants and nurtured 238 SEs all over the country.

This November, BPI Foundation will hold its first Philippine SE Summit to present a national SE strategy paper and introduce its second Sinag book titled “How to Manage a Business That Does Good.”

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TAGS: BPI Sinag Spark 2021 Awards, social enterprises (SEs)
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