Businesses urged to seek social purpose

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BAGUIO CITY – A more inclusive economic growth can be achieved if businesses seek, define and pursue their social purpose.

This is the core of Danny Ocampo’s talk here in Baguio last Tuesday during the launching of BPI Sinag, a business plan competition which is a project of the BPI Foundation in partnership with the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ACSent).

Ocampo discussed the importance of social entrepreneurship in the event attended by young and budding entrepreneurs in the city. He explained that social entrepreneurship is a more practical way for Filipinos, especially the young, to help in achieving a more inclusive growth.

He defined a social enterprise as an organization that has a social purpose and a business model that will enable the enterprise to accomplish this purpose. He pointed out that by seeking the social purpose behind a business’ operations, the need to generate profit becomes more meaningful.

Ocampo cited the example of Good Shepherd to explain how a social enterprise works. He said that “Good Shepherd is in the business of providing good quality education for young girls coming from poor families so that these young girls can help uplift their families from poverty. . . And they make good jam in order to do that.”

He explained that solving social problems can be better achieved through the generation of profits using a business framework since both the owners as well as the society benefit from the profit generated. Furthermore, enterprises with a profit motivation and a business structure can be replicated more easily which ensures continuous growth. He encouraged existing businesses to also seek their social purpose in order to have a renewed motivation to earn.

The Philippine economy grew 6.1% last year which is considered the second fastest in Asia next to China. However, Ocampo noted that there is a need to make this growth trickle down to the poor.

Ocampochallenged the young generation to set up innovative businesses that have clearly defined social purpose. He encouraged them to submit their business ideas to the BPI Sinag challenge. The finalist to the BPI Sinag challengewill benefit from the various training and mentoring program that the ACSent will benefit.

BPI Sinagis a business challenge which aims to empower entrepreneurs with a social mission. The program aims to capacitate and accelerate entrepreneurs through cash prizes, mentorship, and access to finance. Interested participants may visit their website www.sinag.bpifoundation.org for more information.

By KEVIN PHILIP D. GAYAO

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