Hapinoy - Empowering Women in the Philipines.

by Heath Dewey on November 10th, 2011

Hapinoy is a Philippines based organization that received a reward recently from the Schwab Foundation for exemplifying many of the qualities that Kapoks embraces. Kapoks believes that local entrepreneurs who are empowered to make their dreams a reality can facilitate positive and lasting change in their communities.

Since 2000 the Schwab Foundation has been identifying the worlds leading social entrepreneurs. Hapinoy was among the five social entrepreneurs from Asia recognized by the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship as “Asian Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2011.”

Hapinoy realized much of the microloan funding being obtained in the Philippines was used to expand facilities or purchase more products for existing Sari-Sari stores. Sari-Sari is the Filipino word for “many kinds” and is the term used in reference to small locally owned convenience stores. The founders of Hapinoy, Bam Aquino and Mark Ruiz, saw an opportunity to further benefit the more than 10,000 Sari-Sari’s.

By creating a regional Sari-Sari to work as wholesale provider to all other Hapinoy Sari-Sari’s they were able to decrease product costs by five to fifteen percent and expand the product line. Hapinoy Sari-Sari’s are now able to provide many items that would otherwise have been difficult to sell including mosquito nets and over-the-counter medicines. Hapinoy also provides business coaching from the “store doctors” who help each storeowner identify their “path to prosperity.” Store doctors also provide leadership training and branding advice.

Hapinoy decided early on that they would provide business opportunities exclusively to women. Aquino and Ruiz’s decision are following in the footsteps of many other microloan and aid organizations that believe that women owners will not only manage their business but will care for their family and their community as well. Each of the business owners are referred to as Nanay, the Filipino word for Mother. A profile of each Nanay, including photos can be seen on the Hapinoy website.

Kapoks applauds Hapinoy for a business model that is consistent with Kapoks’ methodology:

Development of a network of like-minded business-people that work together to achieve new levels of success.

Provision of mentoring to business owners provides ongoing personal and business growth opportunities.

Empower local women to improve themselves, their families and their communities.

Uses local intelligence to address local issues with a minimum of external influence.

Creates long-term viability through a profitable business model.


Posted in Entrepreneurship, Economic development, Social Entrepreneurship    Tagged with entrepreneurship social entrepreneurship empowering women Philipines


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