Achieving just, sustainable, empowered communities through social entrepreneurship

In light of the recent international talks on the post-2015 goals, Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) continues to present triple bottom line social entrepreneurship as an effective way of helping the poor develop sustainable communities.

In a recent forum on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and ways forward, Jeffrey Sachs, special advisor to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the MDGs, said that alongside economic development, governments and development institutions must also adhere to socially inclusive and environment sustainability goals.

Triple bottom line, coined as kita, kapwa, kalikasan, is the integration of economic, social, and environmental goals in solving pervasive societal problems such as economic crisis, inequality, and environmental degradation.

“For the past 20 years, FSSI demonstrated that development must come from the poor and this we do by maximizing their capacities to participate in economic activities, resulting to jobs, income, and protection of natural resources from which the poor communities get their livelihood,” FSSI Executive Director Jay Lacsamana said.

In its 20 years of existence, FSSI has helped more than 200 social enterprises or organizations of farmers, fishers, persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, women, and other marginalized sectors in areas of organic agriculture, crafts, industrial raw input production, aquatic production, microfinance and cooperative development for the past 20 years.

To date, there are around 30,000 social enterprises in the country taking the form of cooperatives, micro-finance institutions, and fair-trade organizations, among others.

In Luzon, one of FSSI’s partners is the Malaya Development Cooperative (MDC), a social enterprise producing dairy products like fresh milk and yogurt sold to walk-in customers, small groceries, and schools in Isabela and nearby provinces. Once beset with problems on debt to traders and typhoons, some farmers in Mallig now earn a daily added income of Php 660 out of milking three cows provided by the cooperative.

Founded in 1995, FSSI was established following a successful debt-for-development agreement between the Government of the Philippines and the Swiss Confederation.

The agreement paved way to Switzerland’s cancellation of the Philippine’s outstanding export credit debts amounting to 42 million Swiss Francs (approximately USD 34 million.) Following this, a counterpart fund, equivalent to fifty percent of debt amount, was put up and was channeled to FSSI to finance sustainable development projects for the marginalized sectors.

Aside from financial services, FSSI supports enhancement for entrepreneurial capacities, engages policy makers and facilitate the participation of poor communities in policy development and implementation and acts as facilitator, partner, advocate and implementer where appropriate.

Through social enterprises built with triple bottom line, FSSI hopes to continue building just, sustainable, and empowered communities with the poor benefitting the most.

The Foundation for a Sustainable Society (FSSI) is a social investment organization committed to support the development of sustainable communities through social entrepreneurship. Since 1995, we have developed 200 social enterprises with triple bottom lines in marginalized communities that are owned, managed and operated by the poor, economically sound and environmentally-friendly. We are a network of dynamic organizations in the field of social and economic work. This year marks our 20th year anniversary.

(Archived –

Leave a Reply