Mentoring the Next Generation of Social Entrepreneurs

Friday, July 10, 2015

Academic, professor, university administrator, fomer president of Ateneo de Manila University – these are the roles that Fr Bienvenido Nebres, SJ has been known for.

But among these, being a mentor is perhaps the most interesting role that Fr Nebres has played in his illustrious career.

He helped some of the country’s top social entrepreneurs. These include Senator Bam Aquino and Mark Ruiz, who co-founded Hapinoy together, which seeks to empower sari-sari or variety store merchants.

Fr Nebres also mentored Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, the founder of Rags2Riches, who was recognized earlier this year by Forbes as a top social entrepreneur under 30. Her social enterprise turns cloth scraps and other materials into higher value items, like purses. This upcycling helps the women who make them escape poverty.

The Jesuit priest also guided Melissa Yeung, who founded both Got Heart Foundation as well as Earth Kitchen. Got Heart is a community shop for local Filipino merchants and artisans. Some of the food products are packaged and sold at Earth Kitchen, or turned into dishes there.

That Fr Nebres has helped develop so many social entrepreneurs is remarkable, especially in this day and age. Most students are not socially inclined, much less to the point that they would go forth and forge ahead their own social enterprise.

Source: Rappler (link opens in a new window)

poverty alleviation, social enterprise