Editor’s note: CommuniCart is BrandRap’s new project aimed at helping micro, small and medium enterprises get an online platform for their stories.
In this article, we look at social enterprises that continue to serve communities as they do business even as the pandemic lingers, and how we can help them when we shop online.
Doing business by doing good is the mission of any social enterprise. Unlike most businesses, social enterprises seek to help communities solve a development problem and earn income to continue operating in a sustainable way. In the Philippines, they are estimated to represent 15% of the total micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). And along with the rest of the world, they have been hampered by the global pandemic.
Social enterprises are an integral part of the economy because they fill gaps that government, business, or other groups may not be able to fill. They help provide livelihoods to communities, preserve the environment and much more.
Kevin dela Cruz, head of entrepreneurship at non-profit organization PhilDev, shares that thanks to lockdown restrictions enforced to keep COVID-19 at bay, social enterprises have been affected as the passage of goods has been choked off , employees were laid off and partnerships were reduced.
“As the country has been ravaged by this pandemic in more ways than one, there is a need to develop and sustain innovative solutions and approaches to ease the financial burden and enrich the lives of Filipinos in need,” he said. Dela Cruz said.
One of the ways social enterprises have explored to recover lost business is to register with online marketplaces so that everyone can find them more easily. By making their products more accessible, they are once again able to give back to communities with your help.
And while there are thousands of social enterprises you can support, here are some recommendations you can already add to your cart and check out.
Honeycomb packaging by The Bamboo Company
The world is largely dependent on plastic packaging. And while some may argue that plastic is better for preserving and protecting the products they enclose, other forms of packaging have definitely followed suit. This honeycomb wrap from The Bamboo Company is made from bamboo kraft paper, is compostable and can replace bubble wrap for your packaging needs. Profits made by the Bamboo Company help various bamboo farmers and communities in Rizal and Laguna, including one run by nanays (mothers). This social enterprise also sells other bamboo products that help people transition to a zero waste lifestyle.
Bambuhay Bamboo Straw Set
While replacing plastic straws isn’t the answer to plastic pollution, the movement has brought the zero waste agenda back to mainstream channels, and showing support for plastic-free solutions sends a message to companies that create plastic that the public is hungry for more sustainable options. . Bambuhay’s bamboo straw set also helps indigenous farmers in Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
Plantsville Health Natural & Organic Cinnamon Coconut Sugar
If you haven’t had cinnamon powder and coconut sugar in the coffee, you’re missing something. Plantsville Health, also known as Home Organic PH, is on a mission to make superfoods accessible to Filipinos, especially cinnamon grown in the Philippines. This combination is a great way to wean off processed sugar while keeping cinnamon growers alive. Plantsville Health has helped farmers in Negros Occidental who once felled and burned cinnamon trees to turn them into charcoal.
Cleaning Lady PH’s Bamboo Fresh – Antibacterial Room Spray
Cleaning Lady PH is a social enterprise known for employing women in underserved areas of Metro Manila to help condo dwellers with their sanitation needs. Although they are particularly known for their cleaning services, they have also started selling products online like this room spray.
Disinfectant aromatic spray Messy Bessy
This herbal blend of lemon, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, rosemary and ethyl alcohol sanitizes any surface in seconds while leaving it smelling amazing. Every purchase also helps at-risk youth who Messy Bessy supports with scholarships and job opportunities.
Theo and Philo Mini Sampler Box
Theo and Philo chocolates have come a long way since entering the mainstream market. Although their products are now more widely available, they have retained their identity as an artisan chocolatier who helps cocoa farmers in Davao and sugar producers in Bacolod. Theo and Philo are adventurous when it comes to mixing flavors. Good tip: their chocolate with siling labuyo (Filipino bird pepper) is deliciously confusing.
Social enterprises once thrived through mall kiosks, trade shows, and other in-person avenues. The pandemic has certainly slowed down their activity, but their teams are not yet despairing and continue to persevere in these difficult times. As you browse your online purchases, we hope you’ll consider adding them to your carts and hearts. –Rappler.com