Q: What do you call an organization that centers on human value and exists to create societal impact alongside a business model that is both ethical and viable?
A: A developmental social enterprise.
Q: What do you call the set of awards recognizing the most promising developmental social enterprises?
A: The DSE Awards.
Last week, I attended the 1st DSE Awards, in Club Filipino, Greenhills, San Juan, held by the Benita & Catalino Yap Foundation (though I had no part in organizing said event) in partnership with Isla Lipana & Co., which brings us PricewaterhouseCoopers Philippines. These awards, as mentioned, recognize the most promising DSEs in the sense that the multiplier effect they have the potential to achieve can thus multiply social progress.
Tonight, I’m featuring not a product, but an entire catalog of it – the grand winner of the first DSE Award: EcoWEB.
Short for “Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits”, EcoWEB, Inc. is a non-stock and non-profit social enterprise committed to addressing four inter-linked challenges of society today: poverty, strained social relations, degraded environment, and poor governance. Correspondingly to each challenge, it has four goals: sustainable livelihoods of communities, improved social relationships, a safe environment and resilient communities, and the enjoyment of basic human rights. Although we had the honor to meet this godsend of an organization last week here in the metro, they’re based in northwestern Mindanao, mainly Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, and Zamboanga, and headquartered in Iligan City – apt for them to carry out their activities of helping internally displaced people, especially due to the ongoing conflicts there.
Since 1996, EcoWEB has been in the business (pun intended) of, essentially, micro-nation building in their own area – a Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm in northwestern Mindanao, you might say. Former rebels have been turned into productive and responsible citizens who work for the common good. And they do business with a line of products meant to enrich the entire community, not just them.
One of their brands is EcOrganic, which provides all-natural plant care products, such as their government-accredited Soil Nutrient Enhancer, which is a granulated fertilizer that provides nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, micro-nutrients, and microorganisms that encourage plant growth, flowering, and fruitbearing.
Another, and the one I personally got to see (shame I wasn’t able to buy one!), is EcoHerbs, a line of massage and body oils that are made from 9 traditional Filipino herbs – organically-grown, of course – and essential oils and virgin coconut oil. The product range as of now consists of 3 products – the Classic (massage oil and liniment of 20% virgin coconut oil and 80% coconut oil), After Bath (skin moisturizer and fragrance with 100% virgin coconut oil) and Bedtime (massage oil with 100% virgin coconut oil). Personally, I’d choose the After Bath and Bedtime oils.
Being someone who loves going the natural and therapeutic way, I personally like this the most. From the perspective of one who wants to Live the Good Life Well, EcoHerbs is one way of pursuing said lifestyle. Though aromatherapy and others are founded on alternative – non-scientifically-proven – medicine, they do complement conventional medicine and play a very important role in the wellness campaign. While conventional medicine heals the afflicted part, these practice, like in Chinese philosophies, promote overall integrity and health, and many ingredients have indeed been studied scientifically. Coconut oil, in fact, helps with reducing protein loss in hair and moisturizing skin without negative side-effect – from the topical point of view. From the gastronomic perspective, it has many more benefits.
Furthermore, besides personal care, you’re also supporting social progress where it is needed, and buying products that are sustainably made – and, if you’re Filipino, buying your own. In helping yourself, you help others help others. And it’s not just a charity thing where proceeds are donated – this enterprise is serious when it comes to helping. They’re working to bring a peaceful, fair, and prosperous life not just to their employees, but to entire communities.
Congratulations, EcoWEB, and more power to you for the greater glory of God!
EcoWEB, Inc.’s official Web site may be found at http://www.ecoweb.ph.
EcoHerb products are available online here.
Distributorship is available on a consignment basis. To apply, or for wholesale pricing queries, EcoWEB, Inc. may be contacted:
Physical Address: #009 ToribiaLluch St. Lluch Compound, Camague, Iligan City
Landline: +63 63 221 0322