Over the past two decades, The Philippines has seen a giant boom in social enterprises. According to a study published by the British Council, approximately 30,000 social enterprises existed in 2007. Since then, changes in the local business landscape have made it even easier for individuals with humble ideas to create social enterprises here in the Philippines.
Without a doubt, the Philippines will continue to see an even stronger emergence of social enterprises in the next decade; a very exciting time for businesses and society.
Anyone aspiring to create a social enterprise will find support from almost every corner of the local business landscape—with comprehensive networks, government support, and academic institutions beginning to roll out social entrepreneurship courses and socially responsible business classes.
Many factors come into play when breaking down the reasons behind the emergence of social enterprises in the Philippines. A very tangible example would be the ease of simply creating, testing, and launching a business idea. Tech startups can easily create website mockups, pilot test their many different ideas on a small scale, and grow rapidly in the span of a few years.
The internet is a powerful tool laden with free apps, informative articles, discussion boards, and more—many of which play to the advantage of social enterprises in the early stages of development.
The past few years have also opened my eyes to just how tightly knit and highly connected the startup community is in the Philippines. Simple events bring about great conversations, which can further develop into business opportunities.
You will find huge support for social enterprises, not just within the startup community. Academic institutions are slowly starting to incorporate social entrepreneurship into their curriculum. Many universities around the Philippines, including the UP schools, ADMU, DLSU schools, PUP, and so many others are providing courses and classes related to social entrepreneurship and socially-responsible business.
The UP Open University has a free online course on social entrepreneurship which anybody can take. Social enterprise startups will also be happy to find that an array of investors, foundations, growth accelerator opportunities, and support systems are available both locally and internationally, ready to lend support to social enterprises. On top of all this, the Philippine Senate also released the The Poverty Reduction through Social Enterprise (PRESENT) Bill in 2014, which is a giant leap for social enterprises gaining government support and recognition.
Without a doubt, the Philippines is laden with the perfect mix of ingredients for social enterprises to thrive—the technology, the community, and the industry all play large roles in changing the business landscape towards the favor of social enterprises.
The Philippine business landscape is set up with as few barriers to entry for social enterprises as possible. It’s also a very tightly knit community, making it the perfect network for people to find potential partners, investors, or simply exchange ideas. This is amplified by new technologies enabling individuals and institutions to easily test and launch great business ideas, collaboratively.
I am optimistic that the people of today are empowered to begin a movement towards a better society. I am convinced that the next decade or so will see a strong emergence of social enterprises in the Philippines—individuals, groups, and institutions hungry to make this beautiful country an even better place.
Henry Motte-Munoz is the founder and CEO of Edukasyon.ph, the country’s leading education-tech startup catering to senior high school and college students, providing a comprehensive online database of schools, scholarships, courses, and study abroad programs.
On the Edukasyon.ph platform, students can search and apply to more than 13,000 schools here and abroad, more than 20,000 tracks and courses, and 4,000 scholarships. For more information, visit www.edukasyon.ph and https://blog.edukasyon.ph/