How can serving the poor make business sense?

How do businesses that exist to serve the poor keep growing? At the 2nd Green Business Forum, Filipino social entrepreneurs will be sharing how “businesses with a heart” tackle growth challenges.

Co-presented by Human Nature, the country’s largest and fastest growing social enterprise, this year’s Green Business Forum has been dubbed “Servants & Stewards: the Two Faces of Sustainable Business”. The forum is slated on September 24, 2015 at SMX Convention Center.

The forum highlights that tomorrow’s thriving enterprises will be led by “servants & stewards” – entrepreneurs who serve the poor to the best of their abilities while being stewards of the environment. It is part of the 3-day 5th Green Philippine International Total Green Movement Exhibition and Conference (Green Philippines 2015). Green Philippines 2015 is organized by Global-link MP Events Int’l.

Challenging norms

Human Nature believes merging profit and solving social ills is only possible when businesses challenge the status quo.

In a country with rampant contractualization and underemployment, Human Nature’s parent company Gandang Kalikasan Inc. chose to put its warehouse personnel, merchandizers, cleaners, and factory workers at the top of its agenda. GKI rank and file employees enjoy 72 percent above minimum wage, full benefits, and the company’s strict no firing policy.

The company has since reaped the benefits of its “more for others” policies. Today, Human Nature has grown from 5 employees in 2008 to over 350 employees. It has 30 branches nationwide, an expanded international reach, and has opened its own manufacturing facility in Canlubang, Laguna.

The Green Business Forum gathers organizations and enterprises who are driven by a compassion for the poor and whose growth has been fueled by constant innovation. They will be sharing their brand stories and the steps they have taken to close sustainability gaps on all fronts.

Speakers include Jourdan Sebastian of TACLOB, a company that makes upcycled backpacks in partnership with Typhoon Yolanda survivors; Jamir Ocampo of Tsaa Laya, a tea brand that is a source of livelihood for displaced women in the countryside; Mara Sebastian-Marza of MARSSE Tropical Timber; Jaime Paraiso of Treehugger, and Mark Rivera of bamboo toothbrush-maker MINKA Inc. Patricia Paterno of  PAPEMELROTI will be delivering the event’s keynote message.

Forum tickets are priced at 100 pesos. To get a complimentary pass, please register online before September 18 at http://www.globallinkmp.com/greenphils/reg-forum.php.

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