IICPSD kickstarted Business+ in Philippines with a mission to Manila

Aug 30, 2016

From the inclusive business and in-depth interview training in Manila

Manila, Philippines- UNDP IICPSD, Board of Investments of Philippine Department of Trade and Industry and UNDP Philippines agreed to replicate Business+ baseline survey to measure the inclusiveness of Filipino companies’ core operations along with their awareness on inclusive business models. Findings of the survey will guide the Philippines Government to take policy action to incorporate low-income populations into companies’ value chains. The joint initiative has been launched in August with an IICPSD mission to Manila. Initial findings of the study are expected by the end of October.

Poverty has always remained a critical social problem to be addressed despite the good performance of the Southeast Asian economies in the last decade. According to the World Bank, poverty headcount ratio of Philippines in 2012 was 25.2%, meaning one quarter of the population was living below the national poverty lines. Developing effective solutions for addressing poverty is at the top of the Philippines Government’s as well as UNDP Philippines’ agenda.

Increasing the scale of businesses that incorporate low-income populations in their core business operations is an effective way to alleviate poverty in Philippines.

With this in mind, Board of Investments of Philippine Department of Trade and Industry and UNDP have joined efforts to reveal the current picture of inclusive business (IB) among private sector of the Philippines. The partnership encompasses the implementation of Business+, IICPSD’s quantitative survey that analyses Philippine businesses in terms of the inclusiveness of their core business operations and the awareness on IB models. The survey will diagnose the constraints and challenges holding the private sector from embracing inclusive business models, as well as the promoters and critical success factors. It will also aim to identify corresponding tools, strategies and opportunities for policy action.

As a kick off for the project, IICPSD organized a mission to Manila from 8 to 11 August, 2016 (Please click here to see Manila Times article on the mission). Meetings have started on 8th of August 2016 between the partners to discuss the work plan to follow. The largest national business associations; namely Philippine Business for Social Progress, Management Association of Philippines, Philippines Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Makati Business Club have joined the meetings to get informed about the process. Following the briefing, all of them decided to join the partnership for the implementation of the Business+ in Philippines. Partners have agreed to hold a joint press launch in October to officially announce that the initiative is underway.

Apart from establishing connections with the project partners and planning meetings, IICPSD has trained 35 participants, most of whom were government officials from several regions of the Philippines on inclusive business models and in-depth interview techniques. The goal of the training was to provide the participants with the essentials of inclusive business and to make them capable of conducting in-depth interviews that are part of Business+ research. The in-depth interviews will contribute to the research by unfolding the attitudes and perceptions of Philippine business people towards inclusive business.

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The findings of the research will be documented in the “Business+ in Philippines” report by IICPSD. The report will be revealing the capacity gaps and constraints that represent the major areas for intervention. Recommendations for policy implications and possible areas for intervention are expected to assist both policy makers and to business executives to create a road map to increase the inclusiveness level of private sector in the Philippines.