THE Bank of the Philippine Islands Foundation has launched Sinag Challenge, a social business plan competition for young social entrepreneurs.

During the event’s launch in Baguio City, Tuesday, Executive Director Fidelina Corcuera said the Philippines is enjoying phenomenal economic growth, but its benefits have not reached the grassroots.

Corcuera said that through the Sinag Challenge, the foundation could spur the younger generation to use business to solve such social problems as unemployment, underemployment and poverty.

"The BPI Sinag Challege is a social business plan challenge. We're seeking young entrepreneurs with socially oriented businesses - the so-called millenials are as creative as they are critical-thinkers, and they have the passion, the heart and the skills to change the world through business," she said.

The last day for joining the event is July 20.

Applicants must be 18 to 35 years old, a resident of the Philippines who has been running a social enterprise for not more than three years that benefits marginalized communities or social sectors.

The business should be financially sustainable but has not received cumulative funding in excess of P2 million.

Those without a social enterprise can still join as long as they can present a concept.

As many as 30 semi-finalists will be selected, and they will take part in a boot camp conducted by the Ateneo Center for Social Entrepreneurship from August 24 to 29.

On October 6, the 10 finalists who will undergo mentoring from October 2015 to March 2016 will be announced.

Five winners will be awarded a six-month mentoring and access to the Ateneo incubation center and P200,000 each. An additional P300,000 will go to the grand winner.

For more information about the BPI Sinag Challenge, visit www.sinag.foundation.org or follow updates on their Facebook at www.facebook.com/bpisinag and on Twitter. Giovani Joy Fontanilla