Entrepreneurs have gained strong support from the Bank. From the social entrepreneurs, to the small and medium ones. BPI has streamlined its processes and products to better serve the needs of these growing businessmen.
For social entrepreneurs, BPI Foundation is building an ecosystem for social entrepreneurship in the Philippines through BPI Sinag. More than just being a competition, BPI Sinag works with different partners in the government, non-profit and private organizations to foster a thriving ecosystem for social enterprises. Part of the program is to provide grants, and boot camps in business management, finance and marketing. The program also connects the entrepreneurs to investors, the academe and other like-minded partners to increase opportunities of sustainably growing their businesses. In 2018, BPI Sinag has linked 37 social enterprises to mentors and investors. BPI Sinag also focused on working with social enterprises in the fields of health, education, energy and the environment, as these businesses have the potential to create more impact and address social problems.
Prior to the selection of 37 social enterprises which underwent the bootcamp sessions, BPI Sinag employed a 7-city roadshow across the country, which involved learning sessions with a total of 120 entrepreneurs.
As continuing monitoring and mentoring of previous BPI Sinag cohorts, the program introduced alumni learning sessions for 47 social enterprises from BPI Sinag years 2015-2017 participated in.
Furthermore, Show Me, Teach Me (SMTM), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry’s Philippine Trade Training Center (DTI-PTTC), provided training and workshops to bigger cohorts in 10 cities across the Philippines.
By strengthening its partnership with DTI-PTTC, the program was able to expand its reach and cover more provinces across the country, growing its beneficiary reach by 70% in 2018. From a total of 941 participants in 2017, the program has provided basic business recording, food packaging and labeling design, and non-food product enhancement and assessment modules to 1,596 MSMEs in 2018. The program also introduced green business modules to encourage MSMEs to integrate more sustainable ways of operating their businesses.
The program has also actively engaged with BPI BanKo to connect MSMEs to financial products that will help them grow their businesses. In 2018, the growth rate of BPI BanKo loan availment of SMTM participants increased by 200% from 2017, closing 12 loans in 2018, reaching a total of 19 loans to date.
Also in 2018, the BPI Tech-Voc Program was launched to capacitate both MSMEs and low-income earners in optimizing their productivity through training programs that combine valuable technical-vocational skills with entrepreneurial and management skills. Seven (7) communities in Sorsogon, Negros Occidental, Batangas, Pampanga and Western Samar were selected and provided with skills development modules in cookery, food and beverage, events management, reef guide training and living traditions. The selected communities are either among the 20 poorest provinces in the Philippines or included members of minority groups.
A total of 377 community members were able to learn and apply new tech-voc skills through the program. This was done by working closely with the Regional and Provincial offices of both TESDA and DTI, Bayan Academy, and other private organizations