Romulo Café in Makati’s bustling Jupiter Street was the venue of the launch of the third edition of “Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World,” and the awarding of an additional $25,000 grant to past grand winner Hapinoy, no less.
Co-organized with UN Women Singapore (an organization which functions as a National Committee of the United Nations Development Fund for Women or Unifem), “Project Inspire” is a digital and social media-driven program that encourages young people worldwide to empower disadvantaged women and girls in Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (Apmea).
This year’s winner will receive a $25,000 grant from MasterCard, dahlings.
Flying in from Singapore for the event was Georgette Tan, MasterCard Worldwide group head of communications, Apmea. She said, “This project is a tribute to the women who put the needs of their children, husbands, families and communities ahead of themselves.”
Also present was MasterCard Worldwide Philippine vice president for marketing and client relations Judith Dayrit. She welcomed the guests, including Hapinoy co-founder and president Mark Ruiz, natch, executive director TJ Agulto and managing director Erika Tatad, palanggas.
Ruiz told the story of how Hapinoy was founded in 2006, “out of the desire to tap the sari-sari store industry. Through the Project Inspire grant in 2011, his team was able to roll out a micro-entrepreneurship training program, which allowed them to reach out to more women sari-sari store owners. Today, Hapinoy has 1,300 listed beneficiaries, and there are now 7,000 stores under its network in the South Luzon area.
Très visible were Hapinoy “good mothers” (women beneficiaries) Maribel Tolentino, Joy Sallan and Marina Reyes, who shared the good business practices they learned through the micro-entrepreneurship program.
This year’s Project Inspire has MasterCard welcoming more of such transformative and sustainable ideas to support women empowerment.
Interested participants are encouraged to visit www.5minutestochangetheworld.org to know more about Project Inspire 2013. Deadline for submission of entries is June 30.