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PIA Press Release

67 students, teachers undergo social entrepreneurship orientation program

by DE Doguiles

Koronadal City (17 February) -- Some 67 college students and teachers from schools in General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat, and Davao del Sur provinces underwent orientation on Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) early this month.

The two-day familiarization activity, sponsored by the Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI), was aimed at introducing the concept of SIFE and encouraging students and their mentors to make a change and become leaders in social entrepreneurship.

SIFE is a global network of students from over 1400 colleges and universities in 44 countries around the world. Founded in 1975, SIFE has grown to become one of the largest university-based organizations in the world. SIFE teams are active in more than 40 countries around the world.

Working together as a team, and through the mentorship of faculty advisers, SIFE students apply their classroom experiences to develop and implement educational outreach programs that teach individuals in their communities the principles of market economics, success skills, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, environmental sustainability, and business ethics. It encourages partnerships between academic institutions, local business firms and the immediate communities to provide sustainable economic opportunities in their communities.

SMI partnered with SIFE Pilipinas and will serve as local business advisory board to the SIFE schools that will be formed in South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, and Davao del Sur.

SMI aims to increase its level of engagement with the youth sector and the community where it operates; involve the youth in developing sustainable community-based enterprises; and develop leadership of the youth through entrepreneurship, community outreach programs, and participation in local and international competitions thus broadening their worldview and appreciation of the global market economy.

"Community assistance is not dole out; it's teaching them the basics of business, it is about empowerment," Dr. James Loreto C. Piscos, SIFE national program director, explained to the students during the orientation.

Engr. Rodolfo Solomon, SIFE faculty adviser of the Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU), shared that their team's winning as national champion in 2004 to 2005 and first runner up in 2007 to 2009 gave them a great deal of prestige and honor.

Among SKSU team's innovative business initiatives are mud crab fattening, rice hull cement bonded blocks, bio-organic gardening and gabi noodles.

SIFE-enrolled schools and universities will compete nationally for the best entrepreneurial practice in July 2010. The national champion will represent the Philippines in the annual SIFE World Cup slated on October 10 ? 12 this year at Los Angeles, California, USA.

This process provides teams with the opportunity to present their educational outreach efforts to a panel of judges who evaluate these efforts and determine which teams had the most impact in improving the quality of life and standard of living for members of their community. This competitive process creates a "best-practice" sharing environment and fosters a healthy spirit of competition, which drives and rewards excellence.

Schools represented during the orientation program were: Mindanao State University, Golden State College, South East Asia Institute of Technology, Mindanao Polytechnic College, Gensantos Foundation College, Inc., Holy Trinity College, STI College, AMA Computer College, and College Foundation, Adventist College of Technology, Gensan College of Technology, and Notre Dame of Dadiangas University in General Santos City;

Sultan Kudarat State University and Dr. Domingo Tamondong Memorial Hospital in Sultan Kudarat;

Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine Aquatic School of Technology, Agro Industrial Foundation College, Davao Oriental State College of Science and Technology, and Cor Jesu College in Davao del Sur. (SMI/PIA 12) [top]

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