Vikas is a staff writer for the Sustainable Development news and editorial section on Justmeans. He is an MBA with 20 years of managerial and entrepreneurial experience and global travel. He is the author of "The Power of Money" (Scholars, 2003), a book that presents a revolutionary monetary economic theory on poverty alleviation in the developing world. Vikas is also the official writer...
Social Entrepreneur in Philippines Promotes Sustainable Development
Wilmer Lopez is one of those exceptional individuals who decided to give up a cushy corporate career to take a plunge into the challenging world of social entrepreneurship. He joined Human Nature, which is a fairly new but highly promising social enterprise operating in the Philippines. With six children to support, the transition was far from easy for Lopez, who now owns a Human Nature concept retail outlet in Metro Cebu.
Lopez says: "I realized that this can be God's option for me to help the country and my fellow Filipino. What moved me was the company's "pro-Philippines, pro-poor and pro-environment" advocacy." The Human Nature line of organic and natural personal care products and cosmetics is a part of Gangdang Kalikasan Inc. (GKI), a company that was founded in 2008.
Lopez came to know about GKI while he was working with his previous employer. He met one of the founders of GKI, Dylan Wilk, which gave him insights about the mission of GKI, and encouraged him to join it. Wilk's personal life story of giving up a life full of personal comforts and riches to take up the cause of poor Filipinos moved Lopez enough to take a leap of faith.
According to Lopez, the strength of GKI lies in optimizing local capital, local technology and local raw material to create superior quality organic beauty and personal care products. These products are made with natural ingredients grown in GK communities across the country. Human Nature's product line is growing fast and already boasts of more than a hundred unique products.
Lopez invested his own capital to launch Human Nature outlets in Fuente Osmena and Lapu-Lapu City. His aim is to achieve a sustainable distribution network for the products of Human Nature throughout Metro Cebu. His stores also promote natural and organic products from other social entrepreneurs apart from Human Nature. The expanding sales of these products go to help the local farming communities.
Lopez says there are a number of "backyard industries" in the Philippines that need support and funding to become profitable businesses. With an active support from social entrepreneurs, these industries can become effective drivers of social change in the country.
Source: Sun Star
Photo Credit: Leonardini