Social enterprises is becoming more relevant in the business landscape. Its growing popularity is caused by the fact that people are now becoming more socially aware and are seeking sensible ways to address these issues. The digitization has also contributed to heighten the awareness and encourage the public to support advocacy-driven businesses.
According to a study published by the British Council and the Philippine Social Enterprise Network (PhilSEN) with support from the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), there are more than 160,000 social enterprises operating in the Philippines that has the following objectives:
- Generate employment
- Alleviate poverty
- Improve a local community
- Empower marginalized groups
- Preserve the environment
A social enterprise is a two-pronged venture. Not only does it profit the owner, but it also benefits the community it is relevant to. That is what sets them apart from other businesses—they do it to promote positive social change.
Here are some of the social enterprises in the Philippines that you can support.
Jacinto & Lirio
Coining its name from “Hyacinth” and “Lily”, Jacinto & Lirio is a social enterprise that transforms water hyacinth into eco-iconic and multi-functional leathergoods. Their lifestyle pieces target individuals who want to create a strong patriotic, environmental, and socio-ethical statement. On top of that, it also provides livelihood to the families affected by the water hyacinth infestation by employing them to do the company’s handcrafted products.
Human Nature is a fastest-growing all-natural beauty brand from the Philippines. It offers a wide variety of cruelty-free cosmetics, wellness, and home products that are also available in different countries. Part of its vision is to provide sustainable livelihood through high value organic crops to farming communities all over the country that would lift them out of poverty. In addition, its products are mostly sold through direct-selling to provide extra income to its resellers.
Formed by a small group of friends, Funk Trunk is a pro-environment company that sells a suite of sustainable products such as bamboo straws, tumblers, utensils, and more, made from recycled wood. It aims to promote a sustainable lifestyle and replace the use of single-use plastics and other non-biodegradables. The great thing about this shop is that when you buy any of their products, a tree is planted on your behalf. And so far, Funk Trunk has planted roughly 50,000 trees through this initiative.
Are you into handmade pieces? Might as well check out Mori Notes, a social enterprise that designs and creates innovative purses, bags, decors, and accessories. The company hires stay-at-home mothers in Apolonio Samson, Quezon City to beautifully handcraft all of its products. Mori Notes also collaborates with artists to make distinct, stylish, and functional items.
First Harvest sells homemade treats such as peanut spread and coco jams that are made by the mothers from the Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm. Aside from providing livelihood to the community, it also aims to empower agricultural industries by purchasing locally sourced products from nearby farms and markets. First Harvest also reinvests some of their profits into its college scholarship program that helps encourage the local youth and become future business leaders.
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Bloom Coffee by Henry & Sons
Drinking coffee has never been this impactful. Henry & Sons targets to improve its consumers’ coffee experience and one of its ways is to offer Bloom Coffee. This product line does not only satisfy one’s caffeine fix, it also uplifts the lives of the local coffee growers in the province of Benguet. Proceeds of every Bloom Coffee variant go to different initiatives dedicated to the said beneficiaries.
The rise of social enterprises across the world only denotes that more and more entrepreneurs are now considering how they will be able to empower the community. Whether they are small or big businesses, they have one goal – and that is to create positive changes in the society. So when you stumble upon a social enterprise, do not hesitate to buy! Because your every purchase sustains the causes that these ventures uphold.