The team of Switotwins Inc. From left: Angely Chi, Lovella Naces, Gloryrose Dy, Marben Picar and Glorypearl Dy


When twins Glorypearl and Gloryrose Dy joined the British Council’s I am a Changemaker Social Enterprise Ideation Camp in 2013, what they had was just
an 'idea'. Little did they know, that was the beginning of the exciting journey of the Switotwins creative enterprise.
Swito in a Philippine local dialect means skilful. The enterprise has evolved from focusing digital storytelling; expanding to architecture and book publishing.
The social enterprise has won various awards, some of which are from Smart PayItforward, Google Business Group Stories, Universities and Councils Network on Innovation for Inclusive Development South East Asia, Great Impact South East-Asia and ITU World Young Innovators Challenge 2015.
Berns Uy, Social Enterprise Manager, interviewed these young social entrepreneurs and this is what they have shared with us:

Tell us about your social enterprise.

Switotwins Inc runs as a profit-based enterprise with a social mission. Switotwins provides services to improve professional, business and organisational development and lift social impact in communities.

Switotwins Inc has grown into a creative social innovation hub holding various programs. We now aim to become the accelerator of other social business ideas that are related to art and technology:

Swito Digital Storytelling and Peacebuilding workshop for survivors of armed conflict in Koronadal City. The workshops have been turned into modules replicated by other organisations that also advocate peace and conflict resolution. We have created a premier digital storytelling venue for people to express themselves using multimedia and this program has been commissioned by several institutions who advocate digital literacy, child participation and psychosocial recovery using art.

Balud Books fulfils dreams and empowers Filipino families from poor communities in developing barangay of Mindanao by guiding them into becoming professional artisans of our locally produced products like books, zines, journals, bags, writing instruments, reading accessories, dedicated to our 'balud' identity or ‘whatever the wave carries to our shore.

Swito Architectural Designs program uses a holistic approach in imparting people-centered design, educating communities with design standards, promoting sustainable and eco-conscious designs and methods, and ultimately building with a heart.

BalayBalay 3D Architecture partners with design experts into to create our very own toy puzzles of Filipino architectural landmarks, traditional houses, and vernacular architecture made for adults and children. We felt that it’s high time for our fellow Filipinos to embrace our local culture through Architecture and thus harness our nationalism this way.

Balud Art Network program is an artist residency project. Part of the aim of this project is also to gather funds to put talented local artists into a scholarship program in order to bring the same opportunity to individuals from the marginalized sector of our country. 

When you joined the camp in 2013, what were your expectations?

Coming into the camp last 2013, we really didn’t have any idea that a social enterprise business model was workable and sustainable. We thought that we can just do these passions as side projects. But then we realized that if we didn’t turn our ideas into a social business, we would have been drained by now and moved on jaded with the thought that we can’t live with art. 

How has the social enterprise boot camp/business planning training provided by the British Council helped you in your journey as a social entrepreneur?

The social enterprise boot camp/business planning training provided by the British Council was the driving force for us to really register our company as a corporation.  The training led us to meet like-minded individuals with the same driving force but only went into the road before us. Winning the British Council really motivated us to feel that we are on the right track. 

What are your aspirations for your social enterprise?

After turning six programs into sustainable initiatives for the past three years, I see Switotwins Inc as being an accelerator for businesses related to art and technology with a social mission. My team and I have planned to do the following to make our efforts reach higher impact and also maintain operational longevity:

  1. Develop a gamefied collaborative online space for aspiring artists to create a digital story and meet other artist from different parts of the world in the process. 
  2. Develop a digital 3D version of the physical Architectural toys with Philippine Indigenous Designs.
  3. Turn Switotwins,Inc as the premier accelerator social enterprise for art and technology related social businesses;

The UK can assist in funding and mentoring us further on these agenda.

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