An online platform for social enterprises? Oui, oui.

Cover Art Samantha Gonzales

Words by

Digital Reporter

If you want to start a social enterprise but don’t know where to start, MakeSense has got you covered. The French-born international organization that helps social entrepreneurs learn from and connect with each other recently launched its online platform that will help you meet fellow entrepreneurs and other key players in the social enterprise space, get the latest events, and find programs that can help you launch and finetune your business.

MakeSense is also looking for interested social enterprises to join their MakeSense Academy, a free nine-month program that will coach social enterpreneurs on innovation and entrepreneurial skills. The program also comes with a monthly allowance and free use of a co-working space to help start up your business. MakeSense is particularly looking for enterprises in the health, livelihood, education, waste management, food security and energy sectors. The program is slated to start this July.

“We advocate citizens, we show them that they can take action, and we equip them so that they can take action, and we support social entrepreneurs,” says Léa Klein, MakeSense Head of Corporate Partnerships & Development in Asia. She gave a heartfelt speech during the MakeSense Non-Gala last March 22 at Batala Bar, Makati, where they announced the online platform and future plans for the Philippines. The gala was attended by volunteers, social entrepreneurs, artists and impact investors. “We also provide incubation support to very young social entrepreneurs thanks to our ecosystem of changemakers… We want to scale the development of social entrepreneurship in the Philippines because we need much more of them in the country.”

Since MakeSense established its office in the Philippines three years ago, the organization has grown to a network of approximately 2,500 volunteers and 1,000 entrepreneurs and 50 startup social enterprises. It has recently gained the support of the French Embassy.

But why is this French organization so keen on helping Filipino social enterprises grow? We turn to no other than French Ambassador to the Philippines Nicholas Galey for the answer. “In 2017, social enterprises represented 225,000 businesses, or 50% of jobs in the French private sector,” Galey told attendees of the MakeSense Non-Gala. “Employment in social enterprises is growing faster in the rest of the country. So maybe such businesses is meeting social needs that correspond to a new and more popular approach that people have towards economic activities.”

“Here in the Philippines, organizations like MakeSense bring an indispensable initiative towards humanitarian assistance,” Galey said. “Helping those who want but can’t enter the economic system to do it and find their place in society and develop projects that make them autonomous citizens is the only way to really reduce poverty and change people’s lives.”