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Social enterprises: Vehicles for poverty reduction and inclusive growth

Social enterprises with the poor as primary stakeholders have emerged as innovative responses to social problems

One out of four Filipinos continue to live below the poverty line. The Philippines will not be able to achieve by 2015 its commitment to cut in half those who are living on USD1.25/day or the threshold of absolute poverty.

Such bleak picture from the Philippine government’s own assessment of the country’s development performance is in sharp contrast to the glowing figures of economic growth over the past 6 years. If we add the glowing figures about the increase in assets of the richest Filipinos, one could easily make the conclusion that our country’s economic growth has not been inclusive.

The Philippines is not the only country that is not going to reach its development target of cutting in half their population living below the poverty line. But despite this, the UN High Level Panel of Eminent Persons that was commissioned to study and recommend the world’s post-2015 development goals has made a call for new global partnerships to transform economies, eliminate poverty and achieve gender equality by 2030.

It is in this context that social entrepreneurship is being proposed and explored as a strategy by the First Social Enterprise Advocacy and Leveraging Conference in Asia (SEAL-Asia).

Social entrepreneurship is all about innovative and sustainable solutions to social problems. And in the context of poverty and inequality, social enterprises with the poor as primary stakeholders or SEPPS have emerged as innovative responses to these problems.

These social enterprises engage the poor not only as workers, suppliers and clients but also as partners in their development. At their best and over time, the poor are enabled to become pro-active stakeholders in value chains and economic subsectors; co-owners, managers and decision makers of their own social enterprises; as well as empowered citizens in their communities and society at large.


Credits to MARIE LISA DACANAY and RAPPLER. Click HERE to view the original article.

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