10 Filipino social enterprises we should support

Everyone will surely agree that we all need to support social enterprises that help in building a better Philippines. That is why BPI Foundation annually implements a program that offer mentorship, incubation, and financing access to those deserving businesses through its BPI Sinag Awards.

This year, BPI Sinag Business Challenge introduced its BPI Sinag Accelerate category that intends to help boost social enterprises that are focused on the triple bottom line–namely, people, planet, and profit.

Get to know each of the 10 finalists of BPI Sinag Accelerate 2016 and find out why those social enterprises deserve not just recognition but our full support.

 
Akaba Ltd Design Co.
Akaba is a startup lifestyle brand promoting the use of indigenous, handwoven textile sourced locally. Quality is at its core, as its high quality travel bags and products are meticulously cut, sewn, and assembled, with utmost attention to finishing touches like equally high-quality fasteners and zinc-alloy accessories.

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But the brand is more than that. It also aims to connect community-based artisans with the growing global market, which has a stable demand for travel bags. It also empowers underprivileged rural communities through sustainable livelihood and equitable trade while at the same time promoting Filipino culture.
 

Balangay’s Best
The business believes that by offering the market nothing but high quality and high value seafood products, the fisherfolk could have a more stable source of livelihood. It is a social enterprise that develops specialty seafood products to help create sustainable fishing.
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Also at its core is the protection of the local marine resources. As a buyer of fishermen’s catch, Balangay’s Best makes it a point to set prices that are higher than the prevailing rates in the marketplace. The business thinks that fisher folk that are spared from hunger would be more inspired to take care of the natural resources.
 

Camotes Coop
The multipurpose type cooperative implements programs, activities, and services that aim to address the community’s social, financial, and economic needs. It supports numerous farmers in Camotes, Cebu to help make them self-reliant. The core business is involved in agri-financing, cassava production and marketing, cacao production, coconut plantation, organic farming, leasing of transportation and farming equipment, and provision of training programs for further development of cooperative members.

 

Citihub
You surely have heard about this low-cost dormitory that aims to provide shelter to employees living in the metro. Its operational idea is to turn idle urban land slots into mobile transitory living spaces that will benefit those workers whose jobs are nearby.

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The structures are made of old and discarded shipping containers that are expertly designed and assembled to create decent and dignified living quarters that are leased at very affordable prices.
 

Fresh Start Organics
The pleasure of offering the market with fresh, healthy, and chemicals-free food is the commitment of Fresh Start Organics. Logically, the business specializes in products that are undoubtedly fresh, brought straight to its stores after harvest.

The business aims to further encourage passionate and committed organic farmers to continue cultivating fresh, organic products. It also encourages food businesses to choose and patronize organic and healthy ingredients.
 

Kapwa Greens
The premium tea brand pushes for the development of local herbs, fruits, and spices that are unique to the country. Its modern tea ingredients pave the way for signature blends that have distinct flavors and therapeutic aromas sans artificial flavoring.

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Moreover, Tsaa Laya of Kapwa Greens bring livelihood to mothers and women who belong to families that are relocated from Metro Manila to the countryside. It also aims to help families that are recovering from natural calamities.

 

LASIWWAI
This non-profit organization is committed to empowering women in selected communities. It has two types of priority programs: one that promotes peace and multiculturalism and the other that targets poverty reduction.

It supports weaving of fabrics that bind health and cultural heritage, promotes ikat weaving to provide livelihood to indigenous women as part of indigenous cultures, and creates social capital for entrepreneurs. Now, it also embarks on Intensive Organic Rice Farming through establishing seed bank on upland rice traditional Tboli varieties.

 
Organic Options Inc.
The marketing and distribution company works to create farmer entrepreneurs that practice sustainable farming and at the same time help produce healthy, safe, and affordable food for local consumers. It presently has more than 60 types of herbs, mushrooms, and high-value vegetables supplied by its network of farmer entrepreneurs across Regions 2 and 4.

 
The Churner Group Inc.
The brand offers organic products, from sugar to syrup, amino, vinegars, and sweeteners with low glycemic index. Interestingly, these are derived from coco sap, which in turn are from coconuts harvested in Mindanao. The business is providing decent income to coconut farmers in the area.

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Dalareich Food Products
The artisanal bean to bar chocolate maker promotes chocolate products that are made of cacao from Bohol. In turn, the business is supporting small farmers in the province by sourcing their cacao requirements exclusively from them.

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