BPI Foundation, the social innovation arm of the Bank of the Philippine Islands, has announced the launch of the 4th year of BPI Sinag, its flagship program that accelerates social enterprises, or businesses creating products and services that aim to make a social impact in a sustainable manner, targeting the triple bottom-line of people, planet, and profit.
To mark BPI Foundation’s 40th anniversary, BPI Sinag 2018 shines brighter as it reaches out to new social enterprises, launches new opportunities, enlists new partners, and moves to strengthen the social enterprise ecosystem in the country. “Social enterprises are businesses with hearts for communities and the environment.” said Maricris San Diego, BPI Foundation Executive Director. “They drive inclusive growth by approaching social problems with a business approach, helping ensure their sustainability. By helping them accelerate through BPI Sinag, they can get a better chance to be competitive businesses and impactful community-builders.”
New social enterprises This year, BPI Sinag aims to deepen its impact and reach out most especially to social enterprises in the agribusiness, healthcare, energy, and education sectors. “These are priority sectors that we have identified as having the most potential to make a great impact in our country today,” said San Diego. “Our challenge for these social enterprises is to move beyond simply alleviating poverty and into creating wealth for Filipinos.” To reach out to more social enterprises nationwide, BPI Foundation conducted road shows from April 4 to 13 in the following cities: Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Cagayan De Oro, Baguio, and Pampanga.
More opportunities New this year is the “fast track opportunity” where participants in these roadshows presented their business proposals for their social enterprises in a 7-minute elevator pitch, securing for them automatic inclusion in the BPI Sinag Top 40. Based on their performance, social enterprises will be shortlisted as Top 40, then Top 20 finalists, until BPI Foundation finds its Top 10 awardees for 2018. Five of these will receive Php 100,000 each, while the top 5 will get Php 500,000 each. They will also receive cash grants and continued mentorship to set themselves up for success. Just like last year, BPI Foundation will continue to offer special access to market for these SEs by inviting them to events such as the annual BPI Sinag ng Pasko, where they can offer their products and services directly to consumers in time for the holiday season.
New partners Partnering with BPI Foundation for BPI Sinag 2018 are BPI Business Banking and BPI BanKo, Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resources Development (BAYAN Academy), a social development organization that will spearhead the business workshops, Villgro Philippines, a social enterprise incubator which will help design and implement the BPI Sinag road shows, and business accelerator StartUp Village.
A social enterprise ecosystem Since its launch last 2015, BPI Sinag has been able to reach out and assist 138 social enterprises nationwide. BPI Foundation is reaching out to all of them in its first BPI Sinag Alumni Reunion. The event will be an avenue where all social entrepreneurs who participated in BPI Sinag years 1-3 can meet again after their time in the business challenge and share updates on their journey after finishing the program.