Young entreps launch grant facility to promote social impact in business

The Roots Collective, in partnership with Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP), launched the Sibol (growth) Program Fund last October 2 in Taguig City to enable start-ups to develop and improve their enterprises that helps in increasing the income of local communities and protecting the environment.

 This three-year special grant facility, which will run starting January 2020, aims to ensure sustainability of social enterprises through product enhancements, sales generation, income generation for partner communities, and increased of areas for environmental protection.

According to Jamir Ocampo, chief executive officer of Roots Collective, the Sibol Fund is essential in promoting marketability of products while sustaining the impact they bring to communities they support.

“Advocacy for entrepreneurs is not just about the message. It's about proving that this advocacy will work with products through market acceptance. It's also our capacity to generate our own resources to take on developmental initiatives,” he said.

"The future of social enterprises rest on the young people."

PEF Executive Director Roberto Calingo meanwhile noted that the youth sector is becoming the key players and influencers of the market and the need to engage them is vital to help poor communities.

“May pag-asa ang mga poor communities if we can combine their efforts with the efforts of the youth in looking at ways to improve the product, and ways to bring the product to the market,” he said.

Calingo added that PEF is looking forward to the expansion of the project to connect young social entrepreneurs for lasting impact to poor households and communities.

Sana hindi ito one isolated success. My vision is that, someday, we can have the session in Visayas, Mindanao, and in key cities with a lot of linkages happening in the communities. Today is the first step towards that vision,” he said.

The youth as partner for environment conservation

To FFP Executive Director Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, the youth sector offers fresh ideas in resolving pressing problems that plague the environment.

“In this time of forest degradation and climate emergency, we need all of the innovation, we need all of the creativity, and we need all of the passion that young people can bring into our work.”   

Atty. Canivel also stressed that young entrepreneurs have been an important partner in developing sustainable livelihood that promotes forest protection and conservation.

“We were looking for a way to link our partner communities to the market. That drew us into working with social entrepreneurs,” he said.

The launch of the Sibol Program Fund is a part of a week-long Roots Commune, an exhibit at Uptown Bonifacio Mall that showcases a wide array of ethically made products that highlights sustainability and local creativity.