19 September 2017

Berjaya Hotel Makati

Social Enterprises: Solutions for a Sustainable World

The UK government defines social enterprises as businesses with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximize profit for shareholders and owners. 

The first policy dialogue provides a learning space to engage government leaders and business stakeholders in the ARMM on social enterprise concepts. While most are exposed to anecdotal social enterprise stories in the region, in the Philippines and even in the global arena, a foundational ‘crash-course’ on social enterprise is needed if the engagement with these various stakeholders is seen in the long term. 

As a region which literally was left behind in terms of poverty and human development with current challenges on human security, economic development and social equity, social enterprises may be considered as solutions, moving forward. 

The objectives of the policy dialogue are:

  1. Introduce social enterprise concepts (theory) and working models (practice) to ARMM stakeholders.

  2. Show best practices and examples of social enterprise policies across the globe.

  3. Show the various existing policies affecting social enterprise in the Philippines.

  4. Explore an initial policy paper to address current legislative gaps in support of social enterprise practice in ARMM.

Expected outputs from this policy dialogue include (1) mainstreaming social entrepreneurship in the different programs and activities of the various offices composing the regional economic cluster; (2) creating a conducive policy environment in support of social enterprises in the region which may start from enacting a regional policy through the Regional Legislative Assembly, and; (3) gathering support from the business sector on social enterprise promotion, inclusion in their value/supply chains, among others. 

The Bangsamoro Social Enterprise Advocates 

A team of government representatives from the Department of Trade and Industry and the Cooperative Development Authority in ARMM with civil society leaders representing organizations from different provinces in the Bangsamoro region working on cooperatives, children and youth, indigenous peoples, Muslim affairs, governance, among others embarked on a study visit to the UK (London and Belfast in Northern Ireland. The team was exposed to social enterprise practice relating to peace, social inclusion, community cohesion etc. 

On August 28, 2017, representatives of the CSO-SEED project management team (British Council, PhilSEN and FSSI) met with Bangsamoro Social Enterprise Advocates in Davao City as a follow up activity to the UK Study Visit. The group decided that a platform to advance the social enterprise advocacy in the region was imperative. A strategy paper was developed outlining the direction and initial plans of the platform. 

The outcomes of this policy dialogue are expected to feed into the strategy paper of the Bangsamoro Social Enterprise Advocates to ensure alignment. This will also aid in determining critical next steps of the advocates in relating to the various government agencies and offices in the ARMM.

Participants

From recommendation of DTI-ARMM, the participant list includes representatives of the economic cluster of the regional government, members of the Committee on Trade and Industry of the Regional Legislative Assembly and officers of the provincial chambers of commerce and industry. 

The CSO-SEED co-implementers are also expected to join the activity to ensure integration and alignment of the other components of the project.