Curated Story
3 Ashoka PH Fellows of 2020 side by side
Source: Ashoka Philippines
This article originally appeared on Daily Tribune

Before companies modified their business models to incorporate more socially relevant causes because of the recent tragic events, Ashoka Philippines has been championing benevolent business models since the 1980s.

 

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Ben Abadiano opened opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to have decent education through the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies. / Photograph courtesy of twitter.com/updpolsci

Most villains in films are the business-minded ones — those who are willing to put others down to gain profit. The ever-changing facets of our world, however, have modified this image of business with more entrepreneurs seeking social good whilst profit-making.

Renowned economist Adam Smith believes that pursuing one’s best interests can still guide one toward decisions to benefit others. Hence, if one is motivated by generating profit, it doesn’t mean that creating positive social impact is impossible.

Before companies modified their business models to incorporate more socially relevant causes because of the coronavirus crisis, Ashoka Philippines has been championing benevolent business models since the 1980s.

With 3,500 current fellows who are all social innovators around the world, Ashoka recently added Ryan Gervasa, Ben Abadiano and Scott Stiles into its impressive roster.

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Ryan Gervasa established Virtualahan to give access to opportunities to persons with disabilities. / Photograph courtesy of virtualahan

Economy for all
Gervasa, youngest among the three, created a portal for socially excluded populations to access their dream jobs through Virtualahan.

The is a cost-effective enterprise that coaches, empowers and provides opportunities to Persons with Disabilities.

As of 2019, majority of the Virtualahan graduates have obtained more confidence, sense of belongingness and self-sufficiency.

Inspired by his own experience of not getting opportunities due to his Hepatitis B, Gervesa maintains an outlook that “everyone can be a changemaker.”

Uplifting domestic workers
Tragic employment experiences are not exclusive to persons with disabilities, but also to blue-collared migrant workers.

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Scott Stiles-led Fair Employment Foundation safeguards migrant workers across Asia through ethical recruitment and trainings. / Photograph courtesy of fairemploymentfoundation.org

Stiles addresses the issue of 11.7 million people forced into labor by establishing the Fair Employment Foundation. Since 2014, the enterprise has been building training center models and crafts protocols for ethical recruitment processes.

It targets the holistic protection for Filipino domestic workers across Asia who are prone to maltreatment.

Inclusive education
Preparing the next generation from all walks of life, Abadiano made education inclusive to the indigenous Peoples (IP) by mounting Pamulaan Center of Indigenous Peoples Education.

This is the first-ever tertiary level program for IP in the Philippines that offers four-year degree programs that equip them for jobs in the community, government and even in private sectors.

In the end, industries thrive because of solid collaboration of workers whatever background they have so genuinely empowering people with equitable policies is the best investment any company should have.

Read the article on Daily Tribune