The Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship Coalition
PhilSEN serves as secretariat to the PRESENT Coalition which is an alliance of various social enterprise practitioners, advocates, NGOS, support institutions and members of the academe who have joined together to advance social entrepreneurship as an approach to poverty and economic development. It was formed in 2012 as an initiative to unite what was once a fragmented sector. It now serves as a microcosm, voice and action network of the emerging Social Enterprise sector. The Ateneo School of Government (ASoG) and Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) are Co-Conveners. Its bases of unity and action are to:
- Push for the enactment and implementation of the PRESENT Bill;
- Undertake a nationwide education campaign on SE as vehicles for poverty reduction;
- Develop standards and benchmarks for self- regulation and development of sector.
The Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship Bill
This proposed legislation first and foremost recognizes Social Enterprises or SEs in the country as an effective mechanism to encourage grassroots participation and to support the “entrepreneurial poor.”
This Bill defines Social Enterprise (SE) as social mission-driven organizations that conduct economic activities providing goods and/or services directly related to their primary mission of improving the well-being of the poor, basic and marginalized sectors and their living environment. SEs explicitly declare and pursue poverty reduction as their principal objective by purposefully rendering both transactional and transformational services. SEs engage and invest in the poor to become effective workers, suppliers, clients and/or owners and ensures that a substantive part of the wealth created by the enterprise is distributed to or benefits them. In addition to reinvesting its surplus or profits back to the enterprise to sustain the fulfillment of its social mission, SEs also uses it surplus or profits and mobilizes other resources to assist the poor to become partners in the enterprise or value chain management and governance and to become partners in community, sectoral and societal transformation.
The proposed legislative measure mandates the establishment of the National Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) Program and makes it a flagship program of the government. It seeks to progressively improve the position and benefits of a significant number of the poor, marginalized and basic sectors derived from economic subsectors’s development and growth. It promotes sustainable programs that support the development of inclusive value chains in key economic subsectors, towards reducing inequality in incomes and increase self-reliance among the poor.
This Bill identifies strategic economic subsectors with the potential for growth and where the poor are concentrated or could be major players. In the process, it shall identify and develop key SEs and resource institutions as partners in providing transactional and transformational services towards poverty reduction.
The proposed law seeks to provide priority support and incentives to SEs which are:
- Provision of accessible non-collateralized loans guaranteed by a pool of funds set up for such purpose;
- Setting up a comprehensive insurance system to reduce their vulnerability to climate change and natural calamities;
- Provision of resources for comprehensive capacity development;
- A proactive SE market development program promoting the principles of fair trade;
- A research and development program involving strategic economic subsectors, appropriate SE technologies and innovations in democratizing access to quality basic social services.
- Mainstreaming of social entrepreneurship in the educational system at all levels to ensure strategic human resource development.
- Preferential treatment in government procurement including coverage of their performance bonds;
- Cash incentives equivalent to at least 25% of the minimum wage for social enterprises employing persons with disability