In a study conducted by the Caucus of Development NGO networks (CODE-NGO) in the Philippines, at least 30% of Filipinos continue to be mired in poverty, with inequality rating at 0.4822 at the start of the 2004-2010 Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) between socio-economic classes and geographical regions – ranking as one of the highest in Asia. Filipinos considered to be “poorest of the poor” comprise the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) who live on less than $2 USD a day, based on international standard.
This percentage of the Philippine population living on marginal income daily is constantly challenged by various political, social, economic and environmental constraints. As a result, a significant number of the population especially those in the bottom of the economic hierarchy enter into alternative ventures in order to support their meager subsistence. However, individual effort to rise above poverty and shift away from survival measures by engaging into an informal, micro or small enterprise will never be sufficient to address their situation.
 Development and Reform Agenda for 2010-13 Summary, Page 3. A primer summary of agenda paper developed by the Caucus of Development NGO Networks and its partner organizations. Report released in October 2009.
Specifically, opportunities at the informal economy, while may be seen as an alternative or additional source of income for the unemployed and economically marginalized, do not help alleviate poverty, provide decent work opportunities and improve the standards of living due to the constraints of the nature of their enterprise and business Enviroment. While entrepreneurial activities are proven to fuel economic growth especially at the micro level, there are special constraints that muddle with growth potential and success of the micro and small enterprises, most especially those at the informal economy.
Our mission thus started with this – with a strong desire to address the challenges faced by small market players at the base of the pyramid. It all started with the desire to challenge the status quo, a passion so strong that we cannot just let pass the social injustice that continues to afflict the poor.
We found the need to pro-actively address poverty issues and increasing inequality in the country. Such requires not only government intervention and financial support but also a reinvention of a society with a business environment that nurtures micro-enterprises through institutional support, capability-building and fair access to resources, thus making the markets work for the poor.
Assist entrepreneurial women at the base of the pyramid, particularly street food vendors operating informally in urban centers in the Philippines by developing an inclusive, empowering, scalable and sustainable business partnership through a micro-franchise business incubation program.
ChangeLab builds business partnership with women micro-entrepreneurs at the informal economy to help them develop more sustainable, scalable, profitable and formal enterprises.
It is a micro-franchise business incubation program that would include: capacity-building and mentoring on business management and bookkeeping, culinary, kitchen and sanitation management; store beautification and facility upgrade (water and sanitation); access to market opportunities, supply chain and support network;… (read more)