Young entrepreneurs build creative community for local growth

The Roots Collective, in partnership with the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), highlights sustainability and local creativity through Roots Commune from September 30 to October 6, 2019 at Atrium of Uptown Bonifacio mall in Taguig City.

The Roots Commune showcases a wide array of ethically-made products – from farm-to-cup herbal blends to zero-waste necessities, to handcrafted accessories, to all-natural foodstuffs from house several well-loved local brands such as Tsaa Laya, HABI Footwear and Lifestyle, Gouache, Woven, Hiraya Chocolates, Wholly Grain, BalaiKamay, Lakan Lubi VCO and many other brands.

The event also features founders of social enterprises, as well as key members from their partner communities, who will be talking about their journeys together in building long-lasting collaborations toward a better future for the next generation.

According to Jamir Ocampo, chief executive officer of the Roots Collective, the entrepreneurs who banded together for this event collaborated with a community of skilled workers – from farmers to rural weavers to urban artisans – to create mindful and impactful yet useful and quality products.

“We realized there’s really a need for a community hub. It’s just more than a space – we help each other figure out together how to grow big. If there’s anything that this new generation of social enterprise did at Roots, it’s growing together,” he said.

Unlocking social enterprise collaboration as pathways for sustainability

Roots Collective also features the launch of Sibol Fund, a special grant facility that will enable start-ups to develop or enhance the social impact of their business for poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.

As social enterprises continue to multiply and grow in the Philippines, this sector holds its promises in using business as a measure to address development problems in the country particularly poverty and unemployment.

According to the British Council (2017), there are approximately 164,473 social enterprises in the country, benefitting 4.7 million Filipinos. The impact of the sector continues to rise, with a 5% job increase between 2016 (16,504 jobs) and 2017 (17,434). 

Recognizing the challenging environment of start-ups, development funders PEF and Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP) have already pledged to support the Sibol Fund to help transition startups to sustainable business and confront several barriers to growth, internally and externally.

"We believe social impact brought by the fund can be sustainable if we grow together by mobilizing the diversity of our talents and deepening the collaboration between grassroots producers and creative entrepreneurs," he added.

Apart from that, there are creativity workshops, advocacy talks, and recycling drives all throughout the week.