ISEA President speaks for Social Enterprises at 5th APFSD Opening Plenary

ISEA President Marie Lisa Dacanay, representing the Social and Community Enterprise Constituency of the Asia Pacific Regional Civil Society Mechanism (APRCEM-SCEC), proposed social entrepreneurship as a major pathway to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals at the Opening Plenary of the 5th Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development on March 28, 2018 at United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok, Thailand. 

The proposed multi-stakeholder platform shall recognize and provide enabling policies, programs and resources to mainstream social enterprises as transformational partners of the poor, working with civil society, governments, multilateral agencies and the business sector to scale up impact towards resilience and sustainability.

“ISEA and SCEC of AP-RCEM are prepared to partner with civil society, governments, multilateral agencies and the private sector to co-create Social Entrepreneurship (SE)- SDG Hotspots demonstrating resilience and sustainability in the medium term and use these as springboards for mainstreaming SE-SDG Platforms to transform the lives and livelihoods of a critical mass of women and men among the poor and marginalized sectors in the region to achieve resilience and sustainability as enshrined in the SDGs”,  said Dr. Dacanay.

Exemplifying the power of social enterprises and social entrepreneurship in engaging the poor to achieve resilience and sustainability, she shared the story of Alter Trade and the Negros Organic and Fair Trade Association (NOFTA) in Central Philippines. Alter Trade story is a result of a partnership with national and international development agencies that transformed the poorest of the poor – assetless, powerless sugar workers who faced  hunger amidst a sugar industry crisis –to become entrepreneurial farmers enabled as leaders and members of community-based social enterprises. 

The experience of Alter Trade and NOFTA is one of the best practices in the region that became the basis for evolving a platform for promoting a set of Benchmarks for Transformational Partnerships and Women’s Economic Empowerment in Agricultural Value Chains – ISEA’s contribution in co-creating Social Entrepreneurship SDG Hot Spots demonstrating resilience and sustainability. 

Below is the full webcast of the intervention made available for viewing:

This proposition was reflected in the Draft Report (Outcome Document) of the 5th APSFD,  page 5, paragraph 7. Full text of the Draft Report is available at