BPI Foundation awards ₱2 million cash grants to social enterprises

(Press Release)

Ten social enterprises (SEs) received cash grants, exclusive mentorship opportunities, and more at the recently held BPI Sinag Spark 2021 Awards, the flagship program of BPI Foundation which aims to champion Filipino SEs.

For seven years now, BPI Sinag has been empowering local SEs in uplifting Filipino communities and scaling their businesses while addressing the triple-bottom-line of people, planet, and profit through opportunities for technological, social, and market innovations.

“At BPI, our aspiration is to build a better Philippines, and we believe that supporting the growth of this sector is key to doing just that. We recognize the importance of SEs to our economy and society,” said BPI President and CEO TG Limcaoco. “Through BPI Sinag, we are committed to nurture social entrepreneurs and help enable their growth, progress, and sustainability.”

With the theme “Sinag Spark,” which represents light and hope for progress to SEs as they bounce back from the effects of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, Batangas Egg Producers Multipurpose Cooperative, Ecoveritas Agriculture Technical Assistance Services (COSCAO Chocolate Manufacturing), Likhang Maragondon Native Products Trading, Mayani, and Tinker House took the top five spots in this year’s business challenge, while GreenLife Coconut Products Philippines, MagzWheel Furnitures & TireCycling, Peak Foods Processing, Tagolwanen Women Weavers Association, and Tindagat.ph placed sixth to tenth.

To help expand their businesses and reach, each of the top five winners will receive cash grants worth ₱300,000, while the rest of the awardees will get ₱100,000 each. These SEs will also undergo a six-month mentorship program from the pioneering social enterprise incubator Bayan Academy for Social Entrepreneurship and Human Resource Development.

Through Ayala Land Inc.’s Alagang Ayala Land program, Sinag SEs can avail of free leasable space for three months to one year in any Ayala Malls. On top of that, BPI Foundation will cover maintenance fees for common areas for a maximum of 10 square meters for the first three months for the Top 10 awardees.

BPI Foundation Chairman Fernando Zobel de Ayala congratulated this year’s awardees through a recorded video message. “We recognize that this year has certainly not been easy for businesses of all sizes, given the challenges brought about by Covid-19. I commend and salute your commitment to serving our fellow Filipinos and the planet while helping drive our country’s economy during these difficult times,” he said.

124 SEs joined the Sinag Spark business challenge this year. After going through months of deliberations and two intensive boot camps, the top 25 finalists were tasked to pitch their business plans to a panel of judges, namely, BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo, Bayan Academy Chairman and President Prof. Francisco “Jay” Bernardo III, Villgro Philippines co-founder and CEO Priya Thachadi, and Coffee for Peace founder and CEO Joji Pantoja.

Other social enterprises also received special awards. Magzwheel Furnitures and TireCycling, a producer of furniture from recycled rubber, received a ₱20,000 cash grant from BPI Direct BanKo. Mayani, an impact-driven agri-technology startup, took home the Endeavor Mentorship Award with several mentorship sessions. Collaborative makers hub Creativly Studio and fresh fruit and vegetable distributor Green Habits Agri Trading obtained The Gift Mentorship Award with a one-on-one mentorship program from StartUp Village. Meanwhile, Ecoveritas Agriculture Technical Assistance Services (COSCAO Chocolate Manufacturing), which offers healthy chocolate bars, and Mayani bagged the Investment Readiness Award and three months’ worth of investment mentoring support from Villgro Philippines.

“Our efforts to support social enterprises do not stop here as this is a long-term commitment,” said BPI Foundation Executive Director Owen Cammayo. “We will continue to build and refine the program scope and interventions based on prevailing market dynamics.”

BPI Foundation will hold its very first Philippine SE Summit in November to present a National SE Strategy Paper and introduce its second Sinag book titled “How to Manage a Business That Does Good.”

Since its launch in 2015, BPI Sinag has provided a total of ₱20.5 million cash grants and welcomed 238 SEs all over the country.

To know more about BPI Foundation and its programs, visit www.bpifoundation.org.