“Filipino brands that do not leave the poor behind”
Behind these words stands GKonomics – the reason why April, Rui and myself are here in Manila.
Let’s look first at some brief facts about Philippines that will help us to better understand the social and economic background.
- Philippines is a large archipelago that consists of more that 7100 islands.
- Population of Philippines was recorded at 102 million in 2015, having a growth rate of 2.36 percent annually between 1995 and 2000 and expecting to hit 142 millions by 2045.
- Almost 25.8% of the total population live below the poverty line, earning less than $386 per year.
- Although the rate of people living in poverty has declined slightly since 2006 onward, it has increased among youth and urban population the segments that are growing the fastest
Many attempts from macro strategies to programs that result in immediate reactions have been made to tackle poverty, however all of them are in close connection to the administration resulting in changes and new directions each time. In this context, one of the most innovative models has come in the form of social enterprises with the aim of providing a sustainable social development and reshaping the economic scene of Philippines. Such an organization is GKonomics.
GKonomics was formed as a result of a common dream of a prosperous and slum-free Philippines. It was the dream of 5 ladies who left successful careers behind and ventured forth upon the high seas. GKonomins acts as a platform for building scalable social enterprises in communities rebuilt by Gawad Kalinga (a Philippines based foundation established in 2003 that currently works with over 2,000 communities). It helps people from these communities to handicraft eco-friendly artisan products and develop services that will provide livelihood to fellow Filipino.
Today GKonomics is present in 75 communities. Last week we visited 4 of them and experienced the dignity, pride and modesty of the people living there. Below are some pictures taken in Pinagsama.
Our team is here to help GKonomics to move forward towards a scaled-up and more efficient ASAM – the umbrella brand of all GKonomics products and services. The brand name is a commentary on the essence behind every product, created with the purpose of promoting dignified livelihood and cultural preservation in impoverished communities. ASAM is Filipino for “yearning”; its mirror image, MASA is Filipino for “the masses”. A
It is a great challenge and privilege for us being here. To see from where our inspiration comes, check out below video:
Stay curious, great days ahead of us!