Over 99% of all businesses in the Philippines are small and medium-sized enterprises and a great majority of that 99% is micro- or small social enterprises. Social enterprise is a big thing here and we should encourage it. We've seen cottage industries spring up for several decades now. Then as more Moms opted to leave the work force and stay home, the community of mompreneurs began to grow.

But one big factor has kept these micro to small social enterprises from really growing and taking off.


This is where Pharmaton seeks to close the yawning gap with its campaign, Life Changers' Challenge: Success in Numbers.

An online, video-driven, nationwide competition, Life Changers' Challenge seeks to find exceptional Filipinos whose social enterprise ideas can cause positive change in society. This challenge is open to social entrepreneurs, advocates and other relevant groups of people spearheading high-impact projects. A microsite will open up on May 12, 2015 where social entrepreneurs can upload their videos.

Tell your friends and family who may have social enterprise ideas that they can start conceptualizing their videos starting now, even before the microsite opens up.

To inspire those who plan to join the Life Changers' Challenge, we were introduced to three Life Changers.

Chef Rob Pengson, Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags2Riches, Peter "Futkalero Pedro" Amores

Chef Rob Pengson is the brains behind Global Academy, a culinary school that says in its website that it aims to make "the culinary dream a reality for millions of Filipinos". Chef Rob says they do this by pricing their courses far less expensive compared to other leading culinary schools so that it more affordable to Filipinos.

Reese Fernandez-Ruiz of Rags2Riches is at the helm of a social enterprise that creates "eco-ethical fashion and home accessories out of upcycled scrap cloth, organic materials and indigenous fabrics, and by working with artisans living in the poor communities across the country".

"Futkalero Pedro", as Peter Amores is more fondly called, is bringing the love of football to young kids especially those in disaster-stricken areas. By engaging young kids in a sport like football, he allows therapeutic healing in these kids.

If you know any social entrepreneur who will need a funding jumpstart for a great project, I'm putting the mechanics below which I got from the organizers.


Why join?

The ultimate winner receives a PHP 1 million grant to CHANGE LIVES!

Who can join?

Individuals or groups of up to 3 members who are charged with vitality, passion and the desire to create impact.

Participant/group may be independent or tied to an existing organization.

At least one member of the group must be in the Philippines on the week of the competition to present the proposal.

Participants must not be affiliated with Boehringher Ingelheim.

That Life-Changing Idea

Participants need not start from zero. Projects that have already begun implementation may still be entered into the contest for as long as the idea will:

be executed in a new area and will affect a different community;

impact lives in the areas of education, entrepreneurship and livelihood, environment, health, and public safety. Category overlaps are permitted;

the proposed project must be able to yield some tangible results within two months upon the start of execution.

Submission of Entries

All participants (all members of the team, for group entries) must like the Pharmaton PH Facebook page.

A member from each team must fill out an online form and upload their video proposal (maximum duration: 3 minutes; maximum file size: 150MB) to our microsite. The video must have a short and catchy title communicates relevance, innovativeness, and projected impact.

In support of the video, they must also submit a written proposal containing:

Concept Summary: Gist of the project that conveys its impact and excites the reader in 1-3 sentences

Projected Impact: What community the project will affect and how many people will benefit

Context: The problem that needs to be addressed and why the public should care about it

Implementation Strategy: Detailed description of how the project will achieve objectives. Must include the stakeholders that need to be involved and the roles they will play, the tools to be used, and the execution process

Budget: How the money will be spent/projected costs

Timelines: Calendar of activities and projected results. Must include projected results after two months and after a year

Submission of entries is from April 28 - June 12, 2015. Pharmaton reserves the right to reject proposals it deems exploitative or inappropriate.

The Public as Agents of Change

Entries get automatically uploaded to YouTube. Once video has been cleared, uploaded on YouTube and embedded on the website, participants and other users may start liking the video. The three videos with the most number of likes on the microsite will be added on the "featured videos" list.

To encourage engagement and discourse, we will invite the public to share their insights and suggestions on any of the projects via Facebook. Those who have suggestions must use #LifeChangers and #PharmatonPH for tracking purposes.

The contestants may revise their concept according to the suggestions which they feel will make their project more impactful, interesting, or feasible. This, however, would mean that the number of likes would go back to zero (0). Every revised version must be treated as the final copy of the video. Previous versions will be taken out of the microsite but will still be viewable on YouTube.

Recommended: Contestant can share the video on their personal pages to promote their most updated entries and encourage friends to like the Pharmaton page.

The participants must update their write-ups to reflect the changes in the proposal.

Contestants are allowed to make as many changes as they want until 12 June 2015, 11:59 PM, the deadline for submission of entries.

How they are measured?

Pharmaton will grade the entries based on the following criteria:

Lasting impact (30%)
Showing the importance of lasting physical/mental energy in the video and execution (20%)
Feasibility (20%)
Innovativeness of the project/concept (20%)
Votes made through the microsite (10%)

The 10 finalists will be announced on the microsite and on Pharmaton's social media platforms on June 15, 2015 at 6:00PM. The public may continue voting on the microsite (with the option of sharing this on social media) as soon as the results are out. Voting ends on June 30, 2015 at 7:00PM.

Life Changers Take the Stage

The finalists will present their elevator pitches (max: 5 minutes) before a panel and audience on the final event on June 30, 2015. The panel of judges will consist of the Life Changers ambassadors and other panelists.

The final score will be determined by the following:

Scores from panelists
Projected Impact (30%)
Seamlessness of the plan (20%)
Exhibiting energy during the presentation (20%)
Innovativeness of the idea (10%)
Votes made through the microsite (10%)
Positive social media mentions from the time they posted their entry to an hour before the pitch (10%)

Our winner will be awarded the opportunity to change lives.

Life Changers' Chronicles

Every important step in the implementation of the life-changing proposal will be documented on social media and the microsite to show how Pharmaton is part of one's journey to change lives.

This will have updates at least once a week and will be published as a video at the end of the campaign (August 31, 2015).

*  *  *  *  *

So there, those are all the details needed to join Life Changers' Challenge. Just some additional points for those who want to apply:

* Don't worry too much about the technical details of making a video. What will count is your concept for the social enterprise, not how fancy the video is. So you can even do your video from your mobile phone.

* The winner will be guided in the initial phase (from June to August 2015) by Pharmaton's designated people who will help in aspects necessary for starting up the business, organizational, marketing and other aspects.


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