The BPI Sinag Synergy 2023 Social Entrepreneurship Challenge: Awarding the Top 10 Social Enterprises

Posted on
October 16, 2023
Written by:
Trish Lim Francia
The BPI Sinag Synergy 2023 Social Entrepreneurship Challenge: Awarding the Top 10 Social Enterprises

The BPI Foundation, Inc., in partnership with Bayan Academy , Alagang AyalaLand, BPI Direct BanKo, StartUp Village, The Society for the Advancement of Professional Social Entrepreneurship (SAPSE),  and Villgro Philippines, presented the exciting finale of the BPI SINAG SYNERGY SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP CHALLENGE 2023 last October 13, 2023.

Welcome remarks at the virtual awarding ceremony were given by Ms. Juvylyn ‘Joy’ Reniva, Associate Director of BPI Foundation. The chairman and president of Bayan Family of Foundations, Professor Francisco ‘Jay’ Bernardo, III, also shared a special message to all the participants on behalf of the program’s partners.

“When you are at your best, the lives around you will shine for the better as well…Always remember to make community and partnership as a focal point. We are all here because we want to help the community,” Prof. Jay said. “Indeed, synergy would not be possible without bonds or fellowship, without communication. Let us continue to work towards synergy. Synergy creates great impact.”

The ceremony was hosted by Mr. Allister Roy ‘Aloy’ Chua, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Roots Collective , which was a participant of the Sinag program in 2017 and 2020.

From numerous applications, 59 social enterprises were shortlisted and invited to present their initial pitches. The top 25 then underwent the BPI Sinag online bootcamp and presented their social enterprise development plans. A panel of judges chose the final ten social enterprises to receive cash grants of Php 100,000, for the top 6 to 10, and Php 300,000, for the top 1 to 5. Each enterprise was also presented with custom trophies designed by 2018 BPI Sinag awardee Willie Garcia of Junk Not! Eco Creatives.

The top 10 social enterprises were Session Groceries, Punique, Sox Peppers, IKRAM Agriculture Cooperative, Pinay Boracay, Nature Kids of Siargao, D’ Bayong Art, Talalora Farmers Agriculture Cooperative, Alima Mother Support Center, and Kreations Upcycle Furniture Manufacturing.

Special awards were also bestowed upon select social enterprises by the various partners. The BPI Direct BanKo NegosyoKo Award was given to Capilli; the Startup Village Mentorship Award was given to Island Harvest and Dulche Chocolates; and the Villgro Philippines Business Support Award was given to Sox Peppers and Pinay Boracay.

To end the ceremony, Mr. Ramon M. Lopez, former Department of Trade and Industry Secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Bayan Family of Foundations, and Ms. Mary Catherine ‘Cathy’ Santamaria, Chief Customer and Marketing Officer and trustee of BPI Foundation, imparted their congratulatory messages.

“As a social entrepreneur, you’re not only addressing a market gap or underserved market, you are addressing pressing societal needs or issues. You have a higher purpose and that alone brings joy and encouragement to always push forward,” Mr. Lopez said.

“A big congratulations [to all the winners]. You’ve made a mark to the judges and I’m sure your businesses will help the communities that you’re working with. Make us proud and help build a better Philippines,” Ms. Santamaria said.

The BPI Sinag Social Entrepreneurship Challenge is an annual search for social entrepreneurs whose enterprises are ready to scale-up and expand, while deepening their impact in community development. The program is intended for social entrepreneurs whose enterprises focus on sustainable business models that address social and environmental problems, particularly in agribusiness, education, health, energy, technology, and other marginalized sectors across the archipelago. The program shall continue to focus on promoting business resiliency.

In its 9th year, the Sinag theme was Synergy. Synergy is the combined power of a group of elements when they are working together that is greater than the total power achieved by each working separately. With synergy, the whole effort becomes greater than the sum of its parts.