The Philippine Alliance (PA) represented by five (5) management staff of LinkBuild Inc., and a community leader-cum regional coordinator of the Homeless Peoples’ Federation Philippines Inc. (HPFPI) underwent a five (5) – day course entitled “ Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship Course” provided by the Ateneo de Manila School of Governance (ASoG) and the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia ( ISEA) last 22-25 November 2016 at the SDC Conference Hall, Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City. The course was designed to constitute either a stand-alone executive course or an elective under the Master in Public Management Program (MPM) of ASoG. Participation in the course is among LinkBuild Inc. and HPFPI’ s identified strategies to achieve institutional and strategic HR Development, and social enterprise development objectives.
The course sought to provide the course participants with an appreciation of the various perspectives on social entrepreneurship, including evolving social enterprise (SE) frameworks, tools and models that are responsive to the context of the Philippines and other developing countries.
On Day 1, ASoG lead faculty and ISEA founding President Maria Lisa Dacanay, Ph.D. provided the general orientation on the course and divided the class of 35 into learning groups. Ensuing discussions on the concepts on social entrepreneurship and social enterprises globally and in the Philippines emphasized social entrepreneurship as innovative solutions to social problems, and as global phenomena (US, Europe, developing countries, and the Philippines); while social enterprises are hybrid organizations that traverse both market and non-market spheres of the plural economy. The discussions also delved on the emergence of social enterprises with the poor as primary stakeholders (SEPPS) in developing countries and in the Philippines as organizations that: (a) are social mission-driven; (b) wealth creating; (c) have a distributive enterprise philosophy; (d) take on and provide transactional and transformational roles and services (that include social inclusion schemes) to target stakeholders.
A further topic presented SEs in the shift towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) characterized by the elements of (a) social equity; (b) quality growth; and (c) integrity of environment and development. Included in this topic were points on the need to transition from conventional towards ecological economics, and the need to mainstream the sustainers that temper the over consumers and reduce the excluded.
Day 1 ended with a brief film showing on and an interaction with the Alter Trade Group as an introduction to examples of social entrepreneurship in the Philippines in the context of the transactional and transformational partnerships in agricultural value chains.
Day 2 started with a brief recap of the key points discussed on the first day and followed by a film showing and case discussion on the National Federation of Cooperatives with Persons with Disability (NFCPD). The class then conducted a comparison between NFCPD and Alter Trade case as empowerment models of owner-workers and suppliers respectively. This was followed by a lecture-discussion on the life cycle and life forces of social enterprises, then highlighted by an interaction with a social entrepreneur in the person of Ms. Ana Meloto-Wilk , President of Gandang Kalikasan/ Human Nature as an example of an inclusive business model.
Another highlight of the day was the team and individual exercises on Non-Profit Entrepreneurial Quotient (NEC) and the Personal Entrepreneurial Competency (PEC) which assessed organizational and individual potentials for social entrepreneurship. Day 2 ended with a discussion on the social entrepreneur as the primordial life force in SEs, focusing on the types and qualities of successful social entrepreneurs in managing the triple bottom lines.
Day 3 started with a film showing and discussion on the Aravind Eye Hospital case as an example of a social inclusion model for SEs, providing quality, yet free cataract eye treatments to indigents in India. The case involved a cross-subsidy scheme that combined transactional - steady income streams ( i.e. charging premium treatment rates for regular patients, sale of mass produced eye lenses), and transformational services to the poor (i.e. community-based eye screening through eye camps, free transportation to and from hospital, free eye treatment and recovery in the hospital).
A role play with a case discussion on the IFMA and partner bamboo craft communities followed. The case showed the collaborative and convergence models in SE and highlighted the potentials and requirements for government agencies (TESDA, DTI and local government units) to become effective institutional social entrepreneurs or enablers of social entrepreneurship.
A discussion followed on the challenge of measuring outcomes of SEs and the tools that can be used for the purpose. First, a discussion and group exercise on Development Indexing (DI) was conducted, followed by a brief walk though on Social Return on Investment (SROI).
Day 3 ended with Dr. Lisa assigning specific portions on the Poverty Reduction Through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) bill for study and presentation on the last day by the students of the ASoG Masters in Public Management Program (MPM).
The last day started with a discussion on the Poverty Reduction Through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) bill where the ASoG students of the MPM program gave presentations with insights on specific provisions thereof. The PRESENT bill is a concrete proposal to institutionalize an enabling policy for developing and supporting the SE sector in the Philippines. This was followed by a film showing and class discussion on the Mondragon Cooperative experiment case as an example SE in building local economies.
The course ended with the LinkBuild Inc. - HPFPI team and other groups sharing their respective takeaways and insights in applying the key concepts and tools taken up in the course to their institutions and stakeholders.