BPI Foundation and Ayala Land intensify joint support for social enterprises

(Press Release)

BPI Foundation, the social development arm of BPI, has formalized its partnership with Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) to further enhance its BPI Sinag program by providing market access for social enterprises (SEs).

Now on its 7th year, BPI Sinag, a comprehensive development program aimed at nurturing and stimulating growth to the budding SE sector, inked a strategic partnership with Ayala Land and joined the group-wide #BrigadangAyala initiatives for greater impact.

“Through ALI’s Alagang AyalaLand program, our Sinag SEs can avail of free leasable space for three months to one year in Ayala Malls, subject to certain minimum conditions,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo. “This mutually beneficial partnership will surely spark and boost business opportunities for both parties as the SEs attract new markets to the Ayala Malls.”

The top 10 winners of this year’s BPI Sinag Spark business challenge will win cash grants of up to ₱300,000, experience MBA-like virtual training sessions, and receive free leasable space in any Ayala Malls, inclusive of the maintenance fees for common areas for a maximum of 10 square meters for the first three months.

According to the Social Enterprise Landscape in the ASEAN 2018 report by the USAID, there are estimated to be over 160,000 SEs in the country, most of them cooperatives. Many social enterprises in the Philippines help their beneficiaries by providing employment within their communities. Outside Metro Manila, opportunities are relatively untapped and starting to attract new generation SEs.

However, even before Covid-19, the SE sector has already been trying to overcome several obstacles like the lack of access to finance, a lack of effective impact measurement mechanisms, and low public awareness.

“Most SEs are part of the micro, small, and medium enterprise (MSME) sector, which is considered one of the main drivers of economic development in many countries, including the Philippines,” said BPI President and CEO TG Limcaoco. “With the ongoing pandemic, our commitment to help this very important sector recover and survive remains intact. Supporting the growth of MSMEs is key in building a financially inclusive and sustainable Philippines.”

“This partnership with BPI is perfectly aligned with Alagang AyalaLand. While the BPI Sinag project would identify and nurture budding social enterprises, we in Ayala Land will provide the spaces in our malls lease-free to the most promising of these enterprises,” said Ayala Land Inc. President and CEO Bobby Dy. “This reflects our commitment and synergy in the Ayala Group, especially when our hope is to provide opportunities for our fellow Filipinos.”

“We recognize the importance of providing a vibrant environment for social enterprises to flourish and make further impacts on society,” said Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Regional Operations Group Undersecretary Blesila Lantayona. “While a legal framework for social enterprises is yet to be institutionalized, DTI commits to provide interventions in sustaining the MSME development including our social enterprises so as to generate more employment and to give better lives to millions of Filipinos.”

Over the years, BPI Sinag has supported over 180 SEs from various industries such as healthcare, food and beverage, education, energy, technology, agriculture, and manufacturing, among others.

“Aside from the network and learning opportunities, we have awarded almost P20M worth of cash grants to our Sinag SEs aimed to boost their enterprise and further uplift the lives of the communities they serve and operate in,” Cammayo added. “This year, we will inject another P2M in cash into the ecosystem, provide the SEs access to invaluable mentoring sessions, MBA-like crash courses, and premium marketplaces.”

The application period has been extended to July 23, 2021 to enable more SEs to join. Interested applicants may check the complete eligibility requirements via https://bpifoundation.org/page/bpi-sinag/.