The giving presents

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SARET Organic Farmville is a social enterprise founded in 2013 that works with poor upland farmers in Bulacan. Paul Gerard Saret, son of the founder, thought that lending a hand to the farmers may have an impact not only on the business but also for the community.

“When I started investigating, I wanted to know what was going on in social entrepreneurship. I had no idea before. When I became exposed, I found out that farmers are paid a daily wage of P150 to P200 per day,” he said. “It became my responsibility to try and do something that will help them.”

SARET Organic Farmville educates farmers about organic farming and creates products with minimal processing that provide maximum benefits. Their products — which include organic cacao bars, herbs and spices, and honey — will be among the many sold at this year’s BPI Sinag ng Pasko bazaar.

A social innovation platform of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Sinag ng Pasko’s products are “curated to serve as a platform to showcase social enterprises, or businesses with triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit.”

“We at BPI Foundation take very seriously our role of creating this ecosystem that continuously supports the community of social entrepreneurs. In the last five years, we really believe that it has grown into not just being a business competition, but into an ecosystem that connects these different sectors of the social enterprise community,” Sarah Brillantes Alli, BPI Foundation program manager for entrepreneurship, said of the project during last week’s launch at the BPI head office in Makati City.

“This is all a continued effort to provide support for these social enterprises. And part of this… is helping them overcome what we think is a challenge that many start-ups [face],” Ms. Alli added, citing the “continuous hurdle of connecting their business to the market.”




On Dec. 5 and 6, 56 social enterprises from around the country will showcase their products at the fourth BPI Sinag ng Pasko bazaar at the activity center at Glorietta 2 in Makati city.

The products at this year’s bazaar are divided into three categories: food and beverage, fashion and accessories, and arts and crafts. Participating social enterprises include Accents and Petals, Button’n’things, CustomMade Crafts, Edaya Cordillera, Jacinto & Lirio, Akaba, Habi Lifestyle, Xabukid, Auro Chocolate, Puto ni Papa, SARET Organic Farmville, and Uproot Aquaponics.

“Christmas is truly a time of giving and it’s a time of thinking beyond ourselves. So, we thought it was an opportune moment during the year to connect these social entrepreneurs who have so much to offer to a wider audience,” Ms. Alli said. — MAPS









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