By Chelsey Keith P. Ignacio, Special Features and Content Senior Writer
A community of social entrepreneurs and creatives came together to mark the 10th year anniversary of The Spark Project last February.
The celebration looked back at The Spark Project’s undertakings through the years, unveiled the new services on its platform, and recognized some individuals and their projects in its community.
The Spark Project was initiated back in 2013 with a belief in Filipinos’ talent. Eventually, it developed from being a crowdfunding platform to an enabling platform, providing tools and resources to support entrepreneurs and creatives who want to make a positive impact.
“We want to use technology for good to usher in a new generation of entrepreneurs who are creative, innovative, socially conscious, and driven with passion. And that’s what we exactly did through the crowdfunding website that we launched 10 years ago,” The Spark Project Founder and Chief Executive Officer Patrick Dulay said during the event held last Feb. 25 at the Clock In by Ayala Land Offices in Ayala North Exchange in Makati City.
Throughout the 10 years, among the successes that The Spark Project community has created were the launch of 133 crowdfunding projects; 21 million funds raised for the projects; 105 enterprises incubated through the programs from the nine collaborations it made with large-scale organizations; the conduct of over a hundred community meetups and workshops; and inspired thousands of aspiring and emerging entrepreneurs.
“All these projects that we’ve sparked have really created an impact that has trickled down or created a ripple effect — creating economic opportunities for those that are marginalized, giving voice to the voiceless. We promoted the arts, celebrated and preserved our rich cultural heritage, and also cared for the environment through these projects that we’ve done together,” Mr. Dulay said.
Along with the celebration of The Spark Project’s 10th anniversary was the launch of its three solutions, which include Crowdfunding, Learning, and Entrepreneurship.
The Spark Project’s Crowdfunding Platform enables creatives and entrepreneurs to launch and raise funds for their projects. They can also get support in setting up, launching, and running their campaigns with the help of like-minded creators through the Spark Launchpad, a cohort-based crowdfunding accelerator program.
As for the new Learning solutions, the Spark School has been created, a learning hub that offers online courses and get educated by The Spark Project and its network of social entreprenuership experts. An on-demand business consultancy service is also available for creatives and entrepreneurs through Spark Consulting, where they could learn from experts about developing their businesses.
The Spark Project’s community events will also return, such as the monthly meetups, where entrepreneurs could connect and collaborate with each other, as well as its flagship conference Spark Fest, which would also bring together aspiring and emerging founders.
On the side of Entrepreneurship, The Spark Project created a dedicated page that comprise grants, events, and other opportunities in the Opportunities Platform. It also offers Small Business Services, an online marketplace where entrepreneurs could go to outsource from reliable suppliers and service providers for their projects.
Additionally, Impact Labs was also launched for organizations and corporations that want to harness their large-scale platforms to equip, empower, and enable social entrepreneurs by way of a customized incubator and funding programs.
Also launched under Entrepreneurship was the Venture Studio, which will further support social entrepreneurs in growing their businesses and building up their impact by providing them access to capital, expert support, community, and network.
Spark Impact awardees
The Spark Project also honored 10 projects and the people behind them in the first Spark Impact Awards held during the anniversary celebration.
The recipients were Ann and Louie Poco of Gouache Bags; Rio Cuervo of RIOtaso; Ian Sarra of Vitrum Bottles; Carla Pulido Ocampo of Habi Collective Media; Jamie Naval of TenTwenty Kids; Jude Gitamondoc of Kadasig; PumaPodcast; Kirk Damasco of ASSES; Jal Mustari of Aretes Style; and Stephen Co of Nipa Brew.
“These [people] are true testaments to the spirit of what The Spark Project is and a true testament and inspiration to us that it is possible to be able to create something that is meaningful, at the same time sustainable and impactful,” Mr. Dulay said.
The Spark Project works on promoting creative consciousness and empowering entrepreneurs to bring their project ideas into reality.
“Whether you are a creative, an entrepreneur, an innovator, or anyone who just wants to do something good in society and help your communities, The Spark Project is the platform and community for you to reach your full potential and get your projects off the ground,” Mr. Dulay said.