Social enterprises find new spaces to thrive

Likha Initiative in Ayala Shopping Mall Circuit

Alagang AyalaLand shines the spotlight on sustainable businesses

The current pandemic has provided many opportunities for many to pursue personal hobbies or try new ones, as well as opportunities to help solve existing problems in society.

For Michael Santos and Michael Byron Quevada, the pandemic has helped them find the time and resources to pursue their passion for plants and interior design. However, they have also seen that while they have been fortunate enough to have the privilege of starting their business, many other Filipinos are struggling with the current crisis.

Combining their passion for gardening and decorating with their desire to support a community, the two founded HandKraft PH. The company employs 43 weavers who make buri and abaca baskets for use as planters and organizers in homes.

The small business was able to offer many benefits to the local community, including the revival of the basket weaving tradition, the transfer of skills between generations, the enrichment of the local heritage and culture and the promotion responsibility and self-esteem.

Ayala Land, Inc. (ALI) empowers these businesses by empowering them to help more people in return and creating a domino effect of compassion and cooperation across the country.

The main objective of the program is to provide livelihood opportunities for social enterprises, among other initiatives, by providing these enterprises with their spaces in ALI developments nationwide where they can develop their activities.

Through its Alagang AyalaLand program, ALI strives to help the most vulnerable sectors of Philippine society, especially those with potential to create more social good. The main objective of the program is to provide livelihood opportunities for social enterprises, among other initiatives, by providing these enterprises with their spaces in ALI developments nationwide where they can develop their activities.

HandKraft PH at Glorietta

“We continue to tell our clients how the Alagang AyalaLand program has provided us with the platform to share our heritage as we help a small community. Our weavers have become more diligent and enthusiastic because they know that their works will be available not only in bazaars or shops. tiangges‘, but in an Ayala mall such as Glorietta in Makati, ”said Santos and Quevada of HandKraft PH.

Foster the spirit of bayanihan

Most of the effects of the pandemic have focused on vulnerable sectors of society, as it amplifies past inequalities to new heights. In fact, according to a World Bank study in mid-2020, 26% of companies were not operational globally.

In the Philippines, 44% of MSMEs are fully functioning, based on records from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) last June, while 46% are partially functioning and 10% have closed.

A concrete example of the impact of the crisis are the tonnes of crops produced by Filipino farmers who have barely reached their target markets due to the pandemic’s effects on the country’s supply chain.

In response, Ace and Andie Estrada founded Rural Rising Philippines, a social enterprise dedicated to harnessing the potential of the countryside and promoting rural prosperity through agro-entrepreneurship. Rural Rising PH has formed nationwide initiatives to help local farmers who are struggling to sell their produce during the lockdown, ensuring that customers who buy through Rural Rising PH directly buy produce from struggling farmers .

The group regularly conducts “rescue buys,” where they buy surplus vegetables from rural farmers – which would otherwise be wasted – and sell them in bulk to 17,000 Rural Rising members and retail consumers in Metro Manila. They also regularly have ‘instant buys’ of rare or seasonal local produce, such as chocolate rice, satsuma oranges, and dragon fruit. Nothing is wasted as vegetables that are not sold within 48 hours are donated to community pantries and feeding programs.

Through Alagang AyalaLand, ALI is allocating rent-free space in its shopping centers and estates to companies like Rural Rising PH to jumpstart their growth, in turn fueling local consumption and helping accelerate the country’s recovery.

Alagang AyalaLand is ensuring that the businesses most affected by the pandemic receive enough support to pursue their goals and create more social good in return.

In addition, as part of Alagang AyalaLand, Likha Initiative, a volunteer-led initiative that advocates for a zero waste community, is able to organize workshops and mentoring programs, establish links with potential partners. and to form groups that work for a zero waste lifestyle.

With the ongoing pandemic, the Likha Initiative’s focus has shifted from waste management to helping residents create local products that are aligned with the group’s environmental protection ethics. This allows the community to make eco-friendly handicrafts such as recycled backpacks, alcohol purses, coin purses, scrunchies, hair clips, straw bags, jars. painted, bucket hats, monokinis and many more.

“We have been fortunate enough to partner with Ayala Malls as it creates an opportunity for mothers in poor urban areas to earn additional income and alleviate unemployment and financial constraints facing families. It has also become a means of empowerment for mothers who have found their spaces for creation and income generation, ”said founder Debbie Bartolo.

The true spirit of ‘bayanihan‘is kept alive as the company ensures that its stakeholders are all supported during this difficult time.

Alagang AyalaLand is ALI’s community engagement program that focuses on creating livelihoods and jobs through social enterprises; helping communities during disasters and promoting a sustainable environment.

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