THE Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Foundation, in partnership with the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship (ACSent), urged Davao businessmen to promote social entrepreneurship.

At a road show conducted Thursday at the Ateneo de Davao University, attended by some 80 participants from different colleges and universities and social entrepreneurs in the city, the foundation intensified its nationwide campaign in uplifting social development by encouraging young entrepreneurs to participate in "Sinag," a business plan competition, a program initiated by the foundation.

The foundation's executive director, Fidelina Corcuera told Sun.Star Davao that they are hoping the participants of the competition will come from different regions of the country, especially in Davao.

"We're doing a provincial tour, especially in large cities like Davao to invite participants to join 'Sinag' which is aimed at empowering entrepreneurs with a social mission," said Corcuera.

"Dabawenyos is undeniably brilliant when it comes to entrepreneurship because they have both passion and energy ,and incredibly briliant ideas," she added.

Corcuera noted that in spite of the high growth the Philippines has experienced in recent years, the poverty rate remains at 26 percent and there are 2.56 million who are jobless. Aside from wealth not trickling down to the poor, she said there are many social problems that need addressing.

Sinag business competition is to be participated by entrepreneurs aged between 18 and 35 who have business ideas in mind or existing enterprises for not more than three years that address social issues. The business must be financially sustainable and should not have received cumulative funding in excess of $50,000 or P2 million.

The 20 to 30 semifinalists will undergo a six-day business bootcamp at the ACSEnt on August, where they will be developed on skills they will need to propel their business. The five winners will have an access to workshops, mentorship and access to financing and will get a seed money of P200,000 while the overall winner will get an additional P300,000.

BPI Foundation as the social development arm of the BPI launched last May 21 at Taguig City the Sinag challenge.

Interested entrepreneurs may submit their entries for the competition from May 22 to July 20. For more inquiries visit www.sinag.bpifoundation.org. (ASP)