Last 30-31 March 2023, the folks at iDEYA — the Center of Innovation and Technopreneurship at the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) — invited Lakan, Joji, and Tala for a two-day focused discussion group. Together, they worked on developing a Social Entrepreneurship training program framed in Indigenous Knowledge System and Practices (IKSP). During the meetings, they reflected on their experiences and reviewed their notes on Indigenous social entrepreneurial practices which they learned from the Talaandig Tribe of Bukidnon in the past year. They also planned two features of this project: (a) the production of an IKSP-framed training manual; and, (b) the Impact Day when IP entrepreneurs will present their social business and products to concerned government agencies, business corporations, and non-government organizations.
Expected socio-economic impact in this partnership
The partnership between Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, PeaceBuilders Community, Inc., and Coffee for Peace in facilitating social entrepreneurial incubation among the Indigenous Peoples of the Philippines can have significant socio-economic impact. Here are some possible implications:
Acknowledging the power of Indigenous Peoples. By providing social entrepreneurial incubation, the partnership can help acknowledge and amplify the power of the Indigenous Peoples to become self-sufficient and independent. They can learn how to create and manage their own businesses, generate income, and improve their standard of living.
Promotion of peace and reconciliation. PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. and Coffee for Peace are committed to promoting peace and reconciliation in conflict-affected areas. By partnering with Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, they can create opportunities for Indigenous Peoples to work together and build relationships based on trust and mutual respect.
Economic development. The social entrepreneurial incubation can lead to the creation of new businesses and job opportunities for Indigenous Peoples. This can contribute to the economic development of their communities and the region as a whole.
Sustainability. Coffee for Peace is known for its sustainable coffee farming practices. By teaching Indigenous Peoples how to grow coffee sustainably, they can promote environmental sustainability and contribute to the fight against climate change.
Cultural preservation. Indigenous Peoples have unique cultures and traditions that are in danger of being lost. By providing social entrepreneurial incubation, the partnership can help preserve their cultural heritage and promote cultural diversity.
Inspiring ideas from iDEYA
“iDEYA,” according to their website, “fosters a nurturing environment for technology-based and social enterprises in the early stages of their development. Specifically, it aims to develop entrepreneurial culture and related skills and provide a dynamic and collaborative environment.” They’re actually the first technology business incubator in Mindanao that aims “to create a progressive entrepreneurial ecosystem through various community building activities and technology-based business support services to enable budding entrepreneurs in the region to fulfill their startup dreams.”
“We’re inspired,” said Lakan, “to think beyond our familiar boxes and to plunge into new ways of thinking and doing stuff.”