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Conference to highlight enduring social enterprises, newest players

 

(Published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer, October 9, 2011)

 

It was an unmistakable problem and the nuns wanted to help fix it.



 

 

All over the Cordilleras, a growing  army of dropouts was about to envelope the region like the vast uplands shrouding their mission sites. Thus, in the name of sending thousands of  poor girls to school, sisters of the Good Shepherd convent retreated into their kitchen and whipped up what became the closest thing to a miracle recipe.

 


Photo: Sr. M. Guadalupe Bautista, left and several bottles of Good Shepherd products.


Handed down and perfected across two generations, their concoctions have lorded over the market for many years. Heavenly tasting Mountain Maid strawberry and ube jams are unmatched to this day as Baguio's signature product and Northern Luzon's biggest homegrown brand.

 

 

 

Around the world, people's hearts sank in the early 80s as stark images filtered out from Negros island. They were the photographs of famine-stricken kids in sugar plantations hit hard by a global. crisis.

 

The resolute women who founded the Association of Negros Producers (ANP) in 1986 launched a rescue mission to create emergency employ ment for the suffering farmers and their families. Since then ANP has never stopped innovating and adding value to sugar cane by-products.

 

 

On Oct. 20 and 21, the civil society and business sectors will sit down to examine different social enterprise models during a conference at Intercontinental Hotel in Makati City. The Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) is spearheading "Social Enterprise: The Next Business Model" as part of its 10th year celebration and new program focus.

 

 

The organizing bodies are the League of Corporate Foundations, Management Association of the Philippines, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and PinoyME Foundation.

 

Those who will share their enduring success stories include Sr. Mary Guadalupe Bautista from. the Religious of the Good Shepherd; and Millie Kilayko, co-founder of the Association of Negros Producers.

 

For the keynote address, Ramon Uy will narrate how his original farm waste management idea, while son Ramon Jr., will follow with a presentation on how he extended the business into Veggie Eden, a brand of organic vegetables.

 

Former corporate CEO Jim Ayala will talk about his latest passion for environment-friendly businesses. Insol Development Foundation president Gavin Bunker will describe how his group develops the management capacity of micro entrepreneurs.

 

 

The conference is chaired by PEF director and Chit Juan.