SHBPAI Prospers from CEST to SETUP: How a Social Enterprise Thrived through Innovations
As part of the 2021 National Science and Technology Week Virtual Kickoff last November 11, 2021, the DOST-NCR awarded innovation-enabling fund support through the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) for the Southville 3 Home-Based Producers Association Inc. (SHBPAI), a women-led social enterprise in Brgy. Poblacion, Muntinlupa City and a community reared under the Community Empowerment through Science and Technology (CEST) Program since 2013.
Tucked in the sub-urban part of Muntinlupa City, Southville 3 is a relocation area for almost 7,000 families who used to live along the railways. Members of the SHBPAI recalled that during their early years of having been relocated, it was really a challenge to look for new sources of income opportunities, until the National Housing Authority (NHA) initiated the formation of the group.
In 2013, the DOST-NCR enrolled Southville 3 under the CEST Program where they were provided with S&T interventions focusing on livelihood and enterprise development, health and nutrition, human resource development, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation, and environmental protection.
Through CEST, the DOST-NCR provided equipment for sewing and food processing. With this, the women-led group was able to capture clients contracting their services on a per-piece basis. They used this as a springboard to position their products in a wider market.
Later on, the group was tapped by commercial industry partners as supplier for bags, uniforms, door mats, curtain, bedsheets, pillowcases, and rags. They supply peanut-based products in the community as well.
From meager subsistence production, they were able to upgrade their production further and, later on, supplied their products to institutionalized markets. With this continuous expansion, they were able to employ a total of 30 personnel. In 2019, the community was awarded as Best CEST in the NCR.
In 2021, they decided to upgrade their production even more through the SETUP allowing SHBPAI to acquire a unit of bench type slicer, meat grinder, induction sealer and four units of sewing machine. With the project, SHBPAI looks forward to increasing their capability to produce garment products, improving product quality, and expanding their current markets.
From relocatees to now entrepreneurs, SHBPAI proved that challenges that came with poverty and relocation can be won over through science, technology, and innovations.