On October 25, 2013, the last day of classes for the 2nd quarter, the 4th year students gathered at the High School Multi-Purpose Hall for a talk on Social Entrepreneurship. Speakers such as Mr. Tony Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga, and Jesuit Social Entrepreneur, Fr. Xavier Alpasa, S.J., visited the school to share their experiences regarding this topic.
Mr. Tony Meloto, being a social entrepreneur himself, shared his experiences and gave examples of what it means to be a social entrepreneur. Being the founder of Gawad Kalinga and Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, he talked about how Social Entrepreneurship came to play in his line of work. Beginning with Gawad Kalinga, Mr. Meloto explained that one should be an entrepreneur for the poor. To emphasize this, he said that when the students grow older and start their own businesses, they should not forget the poor. Moving on to Mr. Meloto’s projects in Gawad Kalinga Enchanted Farm, he stressed on the importance of creating businesses in the Philippines and using homegrown, local, and natural resources for manufacturing products.
To end his talk, Mr. Meloto left the students with some words of inspiration that really capture the essence of Social Entrepreneurship and what it means to be “great.” Mr. Meloto told the 4th year students, who will soon be graduating, “Success is only about yourself. Greatness is what you do for others.”
Following Mr. Meloto’s talk was Jesuit Social Entrepreneur, Fr. Xavier Alpasa, S.J. During his talk, Fr. Alpasa gave important points on the aspect of creating businesses. He mentioned that as social entrepreneurs, one should create businesses that connect the rich and the poor. Fr. Alpasa also stated the importance of creating organizations that benefit the poor. He also mentioned that in Social Entrepreneurship, it is important to ask yourselves, “Why? And what for?” Ending his talk, Fr. Alpasa told the 4th year students, that “you don’t have to wait to make a difference.”
Both talks were followed by open forums wherein the students could ask questions regarding the topics that were talked about by the two speakers. There were a number of students who participated in the open forum, asking questions which showed their great interest in the movement of Social Entrepreneurship.
The event raised awareness on the issue of poverty and how this can be alleviated through Social Entrepreneurship. The students were able to gain valuable insights on how businesses are capable of helping the marginalized, and the talks were able to capture one of the school’s most cherished ideals as a Jesuit institution—being men for others.