December 13, 2014 12:10 AM
An enterprise aiming to provide livelihood to indigenous peoples in the island province of Guimaras through the creation of fashionable charms has won a P200,000 international seed funding for start-up social enterprises.
The team behind Maruyog Charms, which produces amulets made by the Ati community in Sitio Kati-Kati, Barangay San Miguel, Jordan town, had gone through a rigorous screening and eventually bagged the grant during the Social Entrepreneurship Venture Day on November 28 in Ortigas Business Center, Metro Manila.
Social Entrepreneurship Venture Day is a business plan competition that seeks to identify, support and recognize start-up social enterprises in the Philippines and Asia. It was organized by the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), Ateneo De Manila University, and the Madrid, Spain-based IE Business School.
PEF is a non-stock, nonprofit organization that supports the work of the civil society in ending poverty and social inequality in the Philippines. The foundation helps nongovernment and people’s organizations and cooperatives, through financial and technical assistance, provide opportunities for the poorest of the poor.
Along with the cash grant is an opportunity for Maruyog Charms to further expand the enterprise and help more members of the Kati-Kati Ati community, the founders said.
In the long run, using revenue from the enterprise, the team envisions of providing permanent residences, a “tribal hall,” a school, and a clinic, among other basic facilities, to sustain the Kati- Kati indigenous peoples community.
Fueled by the belief in the existence of natural and supernatural forces, and with promoting Philippine resources and culture in mind, the charms are created using indigenous materials, including, among others, dried roots locally known as salindugok, enchanted stones like Diamante Negra, and coconut oil, or lana. These and other natural materials are believed to bring health, abundance, and positive energies to the wearer.
Hablon, a special fabric handmade by weavers in Iloilo, is also used, giving the charms an appeal that can complement any type of clothing, from casual to designer.
Included in the Top 10 finalists were Akaba Ltd. Design Co., Association for Women in Small Business Assistance, BeHearty, Friggies Inc., Gourmet Keso, Kape del Sol, OurCityLove, Save The Day, and Sprout Agriculture Business Plan.