Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be a Changemaker and Win

Changemakers are agents of change in a society who seize opportunities that others may miss in order to improve systems, invent new approaches and create solutions to improve society and uplift the conditions of the citizens of a nation.

The British Council, UK's international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations, in partnership with Starbucks and in collaboration with Social Enterprise Development Partnerships Inc. (SEDPI) and the Ateneo de Manila University, has launched the I am a Changemaker competition which is now running on its 2nd year.

The I am a Changemaker is a business competition that aims to look for young entrepreneurs who can make an impact in their communities by spotting social problems and issues and finding innovative ways to address them.

Filipino citizens, aged 16-28can form teams to join.Teams will be asked to submit an enterprise proposal that addresses a social problem. It must have demonstrable financial viability, whether it is for profit or non-profit. Finalists will travel to Manila to pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges. The competition will have a total of four (4) winners (1 winner each from NCR, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao). Each winning team will receive PhP 100,000. Another PhP 100,000 is also at stake for finalists who meet the special criteria set by Starbucks.

Details of the mechanics can be found HERE.

One of the winners last year of the British Council grant was Cheenee Otarra whose idea has now bloomed into a product called Sumilao Corn Coffee. I just found out that corn can be made into coffee!

Sumilao Corn Coffee is organically grown because the corn is the native variety. It is also caffeine-free and roasted in San Vicente, Sumilao, Bukidnon. The farmers have been roasting corn coffee for some time now but it is only now that it is being packaged and marketed in a more professional manner to get their coffee out into a wider market. At least the Sumilao farmers are getting help from some people!

If you or anyone you know (aged 16-28) has a bright idea to make life better for our fellow Pinoys, join this competition. Who knows, your proposal may just make it and help change lives.


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