AT LEAST 28 entrepreneurs are expected to receive P25,000 grant each in the six week program by the UK based Balloon Ventures Fellowship Program in cooperation with the British Council.

The program will be the first in the Philippines which aims to help startup business to innovate and introduce to the key tools and methodologies in improving their chosen endeavor.

Social Enterprise Manager Bernadee Uy of the British Council said the program will cover six weeks of fellowship by 20 volunteers coming from the United Kingdom who are part of the Balloon Ventures that will partner with local businesses in attaining sustainable economic development.

Founded in Kenya in 2012, Balloon Ventures have recruited 252 International Fellows who have supported over 1000 entrepreneurs and invested £108,000 in local enterprises creating 100’s of jobs all over the world.

Uy meanwhile said the program welcomes startup businesses to enroll for a chance to receive the P25,000 grant but interested applicants may apply at the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Benguet which started April 15 and ends on June 3.

Applicants will then be screened based on the feasibility of the business idea and leadership ability of entrepreneurs. Applicants who passed the first screening will be interviewed and after which, will be included in the mentorship program.

During the mentorship program, entrepreneurs will be working with the UK volunteers assigned in their business for 8 to 10 hours per week from July to August.

Towards the end of the five weeks, entrepreneurs are required to submit pitch documents in preparation for grant pitching before the grant will be given. Grant recipients will then be required to submit monthly status reports to the British Council for the next three months.

Disbursement for the grant will be in two tranches: 50 percent after winning the grant and the other 50 percent after the submission of the first status report.

DTI-Benguet provincial director Freda Gawisan meanwhile welcomed the opportunity for local entrepreneurs as it will be a huge help in uplifting the status of small scale business in Baguio City.

“The British Council partnership transcends beyond Asean integration because our local entrepreneurs can now have a hands on training on how they can be globally competitive,” Gawisan said. (RDO)