A humanitarian project enjoins young entrepreneurs to transform their business ideas into reality and at the same time help in addressing social problems.

Organized by PLDT KaAsenso, PLDT-Smart Foundation, The Outstanding Students of the Philippines Alumni Community, and RFM Foundation, Project Pagsulong is a youth challenge that will award cash grants, mentorship, and training programs to the business ideas that will alleviate poverty or solve a social issue in the Philippines.
One of Project Pagsulong’s faces is Tacurong City’s Elma Alboleras whose invention, the intelligent bus utility system or iBus, won a gold medal for the consumer category of the British Invention Show.

By supporting dynamic youth like Elma, the Project aims to help reduce poverty in the country, to provide a concrete avenue for the youth to be enabler of social change, and to promote the use of innovative ICT solutions for young and budding Filipino social entrepreneurs.

In her message through Facebook, Ms. Arboleras enjoins Tacurong’s youth entrepreneurs to answer the challenge.

The Project accepts business proposals from a group with a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 5 members who are Filipino citizens, 18-30 years old. Each team can only submit one proposal that must be operated independently on its own, and not as a sub-project or operation of a non-profit organization (international or local), a private company or a subsidiary. Existing start-ups may be considered, provided that these have not participated and won monetary prizes from similar grants or competitions.

Proposals will be selected according to Social Impact, Innovation/Invention, Feasibility, and Team Leadership/Management and Community Participation.
Winners will be awarded with the following to aid the implementation of their business idea: Php 500,000.00 for the first prize, and Php 300,000.00 and Php 200,000.00 for the second and third prize, respectively. People’s Choice award will be given Php 100,000.00.

            Submission of project concepts is until August 31, 2012. For the mechanics, visit www.projectpagsulong.ph. Follow the Project on /projectpagsulong on Facebook, or follow @projpagsulong on Twitter.

Jezereel Louise C. Billano