The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), RFM Foundation, and The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Alumni Community (TOSP-AC) have partnered together to create Project Pagsulong – a P1 million (US $23,800) initiative that encourages young entrepreneurs to come up with new business ideas that could help alleviate poverty in the Philippines.
The challenge calls on youth ages 18-30 to form teams of 3-5 people, regardless of socio-economic status or educational attainment, to propose a feasible business idea that addresses a societal need or issue that could eventually turn into a social enterprise.
Entries will be screened and shortlisted, and those making the shortlist will be asked to submit an expanded version of their proposal for another round of evaluation. Ten teams will be selected from there and will be assigned with mentors and coaches to guide them in executing their business plans.
The top three teams will receive grants of P500,000, P300,000, and P100,000. A People’s Choice winner will be chosen by online voting through social media and will receive P100,000 cash.
Organizers see this competition as an avenue for youth to become “changemakers” and create benefits for generations to come.
“This affirms our commitment in the social enterprise approach to help reduce poverty in the country,” said Esther Santos, PLDT-Smart Foundation President. “We believe in investing in our youth and their ability to take part in finding novel solutions to our [social] problems, some of which, in fact, were the same problems encountered and remain unsolved by generations before.”
Project Pagsulong has enlisted the backing of social movers representing today’s youth in sports, governance, technology, arts, and entrepreneurship on this endeavor to launch a long-term ecosystem that would trigger and nurture the social entrepreneurship spirit among the Filipino youth.
“Sharing our entrepreneurial experience to young people, and helping motivate them to dream bigger, is truly a privilege,” said Bam Aquino, co-founder of social enterprise Hapinoy. “We hope to spread the strong message that young people can be enablers of change and contributors of poverty-alleviating solutions.”
The deadline for submission of entries is August 31, 2012.
Photo from Project Pagsulong.
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