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PIA Press Release

PBSP launches competition for innovative business concepts

by Danilo Escabarte

Butuan City (19 June) -- The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) is inviting Filipinos to join the Philippine Business in Development (BiD) Challenge 2009. BiD Challenge is a business plan competition for poverty reduction. Any entrepreneur, employee, returning OFW, or organization from Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao may submit business concepts online until August 30, 2009.

A start-up capital in support of the socially-responsible, innovative business concept await the 10 prospective winners of the competition.

"Beyond the capital, finding investors for these innovative businesses will create greater impact. PBSP is committed to matching finalists and winners with investors in the Philippines and Europe as we have done in the past two years," expressed Manuel V. Pangilinan, PBSP Chairman and Chairman of PLDT and SMART Communications, Inc.

To qualify, the business concept should demonstrate that it can generate profit, has a social return, and will protect the environment. Businesses that demonstrate ability to produce these triple bottom lines will be selected. Qualified business ideas will be matched with business advisers, who will help entrepreneurs develop a full-blown business plan.

In 2008, PBSP sent BiD Challenge top winners, Rags2Riches and EchoStore to compete in the International BiD competition in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Rags2Riches won the top prize and received £20,000. It has also received offers from investors.

Rags2Riches transforms scrap cloth into bags designed by Rajo Laurel and Amina Aranaz, and produced by women from the Payatas dumpsite in Quezon City.

"We now earn more from the bags. We used to just weave rags for P8 each. Then Fr. Xavier Alpasa came to Payatas. This cloth, which we weave carefully, could have ended up as pot holders. But now it is beautiful because of the design and the help of Fr. Xavier," Anna Annipao, 41, one of the women-weavers, explained in Tagalog.

PBSP implements programs nationwide to help reduce poverty. PBSP’s Enterprise Development Program supports micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through provision of micro- and SME credit, business advice, and the BiD Challenge.

Submission of entries is now open at Deadline is on August 30, 2009. For more information about PBSP, log on to (PBSP) [top]

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