Suits The C-Suite

As a new decade begins, we reflect upon the year that just passed and look forward to what may be in store for us in 2020 and beyond.

In his article before Christmas — and his last as SGV’s Country Managing Partner — J. Carlitos G. Cruz described how an organization can sustain its purpose for the long term to ensure that its people and culture remain steadfast. In line with SGV’s efforts to sustain our collective purpose to nurture leaders and enable businesses for a better Philippines, we have successfully launched the new EY Ripples program.

EY Ripples was introduced by EY Global in late 2019 as a global corporate social responsibility program aimed to drive long-term value for EY clients, people, and the community at large. This multi-year journey is committed to create a greater social impact on the lives of others with the use of the skills, knowledge and experience of EY employees. As one of the early adopters along with the EY member firms in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, SGV focused on making a difference in two ways: supporting the next generation workforce and engaging impact entrepreneurs.

EY Ripples encourages programs on mentoring and coaching the next generation, the young future leaders between the ages of 10 and 18 who will become tomorrow’s aspiring workforce. SGV volunteers interacted with students as young as 5th graders from public and private schools in Malabon, Manila, Muntinlupa, Makati and Quezon City. The students learned about the basics of entrepreneurship and finance through workshop sessions. This was done in collaboration with Junior Achievement Philippines (JAPI), a non-profit organization created to help young people succeed professionally and personally.

SGV volunteers all underwent teaching workshops to provide them with basic classroom skills. Their mandate was to help inspire the students with knowledge about the basics of entrepreneurship and financial literacy. The SGV mentors shared the importance of earning, spending, and saving money. They encouraged young students to explore and enhance their career aspirations. Through the use of critical thinking, students were coached to develop a positive attitude in exploring businesses or careers.

One SGV volunteer recounted how it was a great experience for her to witness the children’s eyes spark with interest during the talk on the value of money. It made her realize how something so simple might just be one of the ways for us to help Filipino families improve their lives.

Besides the schools identified by JAPI, there were other occasions that allowed SGV volunteers to work with young students. These were mainly students sponsored by non-profit organizations. They were introduced to the basics of financial literacy through Supporting the Next Generation workshop modules developed by EY and localized to suit Filipino elementary school children. SGV Christmas outreach programs doubled as learning opportunities with volunteers who taught them the value of money, distinguishing between needs and wants while reiterating the importance of earning and saving. The modules included talks, games and fun activities.

EY Ripples also focuses on helping impact entrepreneurs through business clinics to help scale small, growing businesses through seminars and group mentorship. These entrepreneurs differ from other business owners through the positive social change that they generate, as well as the potential to expand that change as they scale. They may occasionally be referred to as social entrepreneurs.

SGV held the first EY Ripples business clinic in the Asia-Pacific region, co-organized with Endeavor Philippines, a non-profit organization that aims to build a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem within the country. SGV has had a sound relationship with Endeavor Philippines ever since it was established in the country. Working together on the EY Ripples program was a natural next step for both organizations.

Endeavor Philippines helped us identify start-up or small business entrepreneurs from the FinTech, production and services, and business process outsourcing industries. These entrepreneurs were looking for practical training and guidance on how to navigate Philippine business requirements and regulations.

SGV partners and senior managers became mentors, sharing practical knowledge and skills in tax and financial planning. Sessions on financing, investment options and methods, as well as Philippine taxation, were conducted with the goal of helping the entrepreneurs accelerate their growth and become more responsible players in the economy.

The new decade presents limitless opportunities not only for business but more importantly, for ways to make a difference in the lives of others. We are looking ahead at how we can create more ripples in the next 10 years. More than 1 million people from across EY member firms and their communities will be globally mobilized through EY Ripples.

In other parts of the world, EY is laying the foundation to achieve its bold ambition through relationships with impact investors and non-government organizations such as Junior Achievement Worldwide and Acumen. In 2020, some 6,000 EY professionals in the Middle East and North Africa are committed to dedicate at least one work day a year to collectively help advance sustainable inclusive growth in their respective regions.

Collaborative initiatives have also been forged with the World Bank, which joined EY in committing to positively affect the lives of 10 million people by 2022. There is also a linkage with TRANSFORM, an initiative founded by Unilever and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) that offers to scale EY support for impact entrepreneurs and help 100 million low-income people in Asia and Africa gain access to vital goods and services by 2025.

It is an ambitious program with a collective goal of making a positive impact on the lives of 1 billion people by 2030. We believe it is possible even if it takes us one ripple at a time.

In this transformative age of digital — with new knowledge, skills and tools available at our disposal and with people dedicated to our purpose — we are committed to assume a leadership role in communities using the best of our abilities to nurture future leaders and enable impact entrepreneurs to build a better Philippines that, in turn, would create ripples to help build a better working world.

I wish to take this opportunity to wish our readers a New Year and a new decade full of promise and possibilities.

This article is for general information only and is not a substitute for professional advice where the facts and circumstances warrant. The views and opinion expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of SGV & Co.


Wilson P. Tan is the Country Managing Partner of SGV & Co.