The BPI Foundation keeps its commitment to help promote social entrepreneurship among Filipinos by bringing back its BPI Sinag competition. After the success of BPI Sinag 2015, the foundation launches the BPI Sinag Business Challenge 2016 with a major twist.
This year, the competition will be divided into two categories, namely, the BPI Sinag U and the BPI Sinag Accelerate. Moreover, the challenge will still focus on social enterprises and/or business centered on the triple bottom line—people, planet, and profit. Participants from both categories will be given access to national/regional boot camps, industry networking, and financing options (grants, debt, and equity).
“We have decided to support social enterprises as they have proven to be among the most effective channels to promote inclusive growth,” BPI Foundation Executive Director Fidelina Corcuera said. “By applying commercial methods to address problems in society, they are not only able to deliver great social impact and make a difference in people’s lives and the environment, they are able to do so in a financially sustainable manner.”
BPI Sinag U
This category aims to support student entrepreneurs who have inspiring ideas and stories. The foundation has tapped the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ACSENT) as its partner for this component of the program.
BPI Sinag U will be carried out in 40 selected universities (carefully chosen based on concentration of small and medium enterprises) across the country with the goal of encouraging and selecting student entrepreneurs who have the best business ideas. A shortlist of students will be entitled to join special boot camps and mentorship programs. The finalists will also get the chance to receive grants that can help turn their social enterprise ideas into real business entities.
“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,” said Corcuera.
BPI Sinag Accelerate
The second category of the competition aims to help boost existing social enterprises. Entrepreneurs who are at least 18 years old and who have businesses that are duly registered and are operating for at least two years are qualified to join BPI Sinag Accelerate.
For this part, the foundation is teaming up with the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) to reach out to more social entrepreneurs especially in agricultural, coastal, and marginalized communities. This category will also allot a special focus on Muslim businessmen who tap Islamic financing for enterprise development.
The competition officially starts on June 1. The screening process is set to last until August. BPI Sinag Accelerate will hold special events in Iloilo, Bacolod, Cebu, General Santos, Laguna, Pampanga, and Cavite.
For more information, visit http://sinag.bpifoundation.org/.
Main photo shows (from left) PEF Deputy Executive Director Ricardo Torres, BPI Foundation Executive Director Fidelina Corcuera, ACSENT Director Danilo Ocampo, and BPI Family Savings Bank Consumer Loans Product Marketing Head Noel Altamirano.