Last November 18 and 19, 2019, APYExPHL graduates participated in the Youth Co:Lab as both facilitators and participants. The Youth Co:Lab is one of the biggest social entrepreneurship movements in the Asia - Pacific Region and is lead by both the United Nations Development Program ( UNDP ) and Citi Foundation, and during the event with the help of Make Sense and their wonderfully crafted canvases that really helped the participants in the program.
The First day was geared on teaching budding and established social entrepreneurs alike about the idea of Social Inclusion which was given the tagline: “No one gets left behind.” This idea circulated for the entirety of the program with some of the different groups even incorporating the tagline into their own specific social enterprise ideas.
Design Thinking and it’s methodology was introduced to the participants as the whole program was based on it. They said that it will play a key role in creating sustainable and effective social enterprises. The activities began when select entrepreneurs started to pitch their different social enterprises or ideas upfront and the remaining participants were told to select one that they are most interested in.
The participants were able to experience being a farmer by means of a game which emphasizes empathy as people are able to see how much a farmer earns in a year, the game also introduces 3 different and existing social enterprises that help farmers to Reduce Cost ( Abundance ), Increase Output ( Cropital ) and to increase Market Price ( E-Magsasaka) and these combined allowed for the farmer to get an increase in daily income.
Just after the game the participants were then tasked with filling out canvases by Makesense, the first canvas was about identifying the problem and getting to the root of it as to why this problem exists. The next canvas was about empathizing; it aims to profile those who are affected ( Micro ) and to state some key figures about the problem ( Macro ). It then concluded by drawing a story of how the problem is being experienced by these people.
The participants were then given a canvas on searching for projects that are similar to theirs and eventually they were given time to brainstorm and ask pertinent questions about their social enterprise such as: “What is innovative about your idea?”, “How will you earn money”,”Who will benefit from your solution and how will they benefit?”, and etc. They were then able to conceptualize their solutions and place them as a storyboard where they tell the story of how their solution plays out.
The first day ended with the meeting of the groups with different mentors and the mentors giving them advice and some even partnering and exchanging details for further discussion.
The second day started with a recap of the first day and proceeded with the final and arguably the most difficult canvas which was the creation of their business model, where they must identify things such as “costs, revenues, relations to customers, value added” and the like.
The final and longest part of the program was the pitches, the different groups prepared long and hard for the pitches which shows how professionally they delivered all throughout the 3 hour time period for the overall pitching session. The judges were impressed by a lot of the different ideas and innovations by the different groups on their social enterprises. However there could only be five winners and these five winners will be moving on to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia for the Youth Co:Lab regional summit and this time they will be competing with different entrepreneurs across the Asia - Pacific region.
The five winners were the groups: Accessiwheels, #Ethnicoco, Transkonek, Project Ka-sama, and Greenhows respectively. For more information the UNDP Press release can be seen here: https://www.ph.undp.org/content/philippines/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2019/young-filipino-innovators-gather-for-undp-youth-social-innovatio.html?fbclid=IwAR1Ux3oZl3TNcqdOUnE-TYFE8qEgBgSKmnBpRhpB3AVI6ApU_u6oaWy4JHw
Overall, it was a wonderful learning experience for us graduates of the APYE to see such young and talented entrepreneurs who really strive to make significant change through their social enterprise ideas and really bring to life the essence of Social Entrepreneurship. APYE is proud of these youths and their accomplishments, here we truly learned that Social Entrepreneurship has a bright future indeed!