Thursday, October 10, 2013

Gawad Kalinga’s 10th Year Anniversary

Hybrid Solutions Founder and Ernst & Young 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Jim Ayala

On 10th year, GK showcases Bayanihan blueprint to end poverty

MANDALUYONG CITY – Ever since the beginning, Antonio “Tony” Meloto and his army of change-makers believed that if Filipinos were to ever succeed in carrying the heavy load of social transformation, every Filipino, rich and poor alike, must go beyond oneself, link arms with others and ensure that nobody getsleft behind.

In a span of ten years, Gawad Kalinga has transformed 2,000 impoverished localities and squatter colonies into organized and dignified communities. Now pursuing the second phase of its vision, GK believes bayanihan can still be applied in the realm of business and industry. GK is currently working with young social entrepreneurs who can create sustainable employment opportunities by investing in the talents and skills of GK beneficiaries.

The GK Anniversary was held October 2-5, 2013 at the Enchanted Farm in Barangay Encanto, Angat, Bulacan. Dubbed as the “Silicon Valley for Social Entrepreneurship,” the Enchanted Farm is a unique, sustainable community where social entrepreneurs can experiment with innovative social business ventures using the capital and business knowledge of GK funding partners.

These are then sustained by the Kapitbahayan members of the GK community, formerly menial laborers who have now learned to become skilled and productive citizens.

A Social Business Summit on Oct. 2-5, highlighted Gawad Kalinga’s celebration which gathered 400 social entrepreneurs from around the world. Said entrepreneurs were taught and exchanged enterprising ideas as well as explored opportunities for synergy so as to create businesses that will center not on profit but on giving viable opportunities to empower the Filipino worker.

“Entrepreneurship shouldn’t just be about getting rich and living a comfortable life. It should also be about creating jobs and, ideally, contributing something to benefit society,” says Fabien Courtielle, a French student who came to the Philippines two years ago after learning of GK’s Enchanted Farm. Courtielle is just one of fifty foreigners who attended the Social Business Summit.

Meloto came up with the idea of holding the summit after attending the Davos World Economic Forum. Meloto longed to have a similar gathering for those who would benefit from it most. “If we couldn’t bring the poor to Davos, then we could bring Davos to the poor instead.”

Among those who shared their expertise were prominent leaders from the world of social development including Stephen Groff, Vice President of Asian Development Bank, Marco Collovati, CEO of Orangelife Industria, Jean-Marc Debricon, CEO of Green Shoots Foundation, Jean-Francois de Lavison, President of Ahimsa Fund.

Senator Bam Aquino, Jaime Ayala of Hybrid Solutions, Mark Ruiz of Hapinoy and Reese Fernandez of Rags2Riches talked about their experience of social entrepreneurship in the Philippines.

GK believes in the potential of social business to bring inclusive growth to emerging economies like that of the Philippines.

Guest-of-honor during the opening of the annual GK Expo which was held on Oct 5 was Vice President Jejomar C. Binay. The GK expo was the culminating program of the
4-day anniversary event. GK Expo is a celebratory way of looking back of what GK had accomplished for the past years and re-affirming commitment to its vision of ending poverty for five million families by 2024. # # #
Hybrid Solutions Founder and Ernst & Young 2012 Entrepreneur of the Year Jim Ayala meets Gawad Kalinga (GK) Founder Tony Meloto and other GK partners.  

Fr. Javi Alpasa and Mark Ruiz of Hapinoy and Anna Meloto-Wilk of Human Nature answer questions from the Social Business Summit delegates especially concerning their decisions of pursuing social businesses.

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