Reaching the Farthest First - The State of Social Enterprise in the Philippines

Date of Publication: 
November 2017
Publication Type: 
Published by: 
British Council, PhilSEN

REACHING THE FARTHEST FIRST  -The state of social enterprise in the Philippines

“Social enterprise is gaining ground in the Philippines. Anecdotal evidence from the emergence of social start-ups, incubators, accelerators and social finance prove this. Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) are also now looking at social enterprises as an organizational model to ensure longer-term sustainability of their operations.

Nevertheless, there is little quantitative evidence of social enterprises in the Philippines, including details about their operations and their impacts. 

The new study published by the British Council and PhilSEN, support from the EU and UNESCAP to improve this situation".

“This study presents initial quantitative information obtained from a survey of 206 participating social enterprises in the Philippines.

According to the result of the study, it is estimated that there are around 164,473 social enterprises in the Philippines. Most of their objectives are to generate employment, alleviate poverty, improve a local community and empower marginalized groups.

(They favour the inclusion of the most vulnerable and marginalized and provide a platform for voice and economic participation for those left behind.)” 


The main research results can be summarized as follow.

- Social enterprises are empowering women by providing employment opportunities and improving the leadership skills of social enterprises.

- Young people are becoming active in the sector particularly in the newer startups.

- Social enterprises are creating new pathways to better livelihoods and supporting inclusive growth.

- Of the 34% growth in jobs in the Philippine economy, it is estimated that 5% come from social enterprises.

- Concerning sectors, social enterprises are mostly in agriculture. This support is welcome and critical to alleviating the conditions of Philippine farmers, producers and cooperatives. Some sectors have very little representation such as fisheries, energy, housing and justice and rehabilitation.

- Social enterprise activity in the Philippines is taking off – the number of social enterprise start-ups has more than tripled in the last decade alone.


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