Sunday, November 9, 2014
COOPERATIVES ARE SOCIAL ENTERPRISES
"...Can the economic system based on markets be reshaped so that it can also help "the slow, the weak or the less talented" to find opportunities in life?
Fortunately, there are increasing evidences that the answer is Yes.
Although still a very small minority in the business world, there are now social enterprises whose founders are using the structure of a business organization in order the meet the needs of the vulnerable and to achieve other societal goals...
In the Philippines, there are already social enterprises that help workers to organize themselves into cooperatives, that offer their services to agribusiness plantations, retail stores and other labor-intensive industries.
Traditionally cooperatives in the granting of credit, marketing, rural electrification, and the raising of agricultural crops can all be considered social enterprises because they also make use of the profit-and-loss approach of business.
(This is) not only to produce goods and services for sale to consumer, but also to address the human need for cooperation, which requires great effort to help the average Filipino to overcome his deeply-rooted individualistic an clannish style of behavior.
We can say that cooperatives are also addressing the social, cultural and even spiritual needs of the human being, in adition to providing goods and services to their consumers..."
Excerpts from the column of Bernardo M. Villegas, Ph. D. ("Social enterprise in human development," Manila Bulletin, Nov. 10, 2014, page B-4).