Power to the Nano: How SEDPI is shaking up economic norms for the better

The SEDPI Group of Social Enterprises is a Philippines-based organization that operates with the aim of alleviating poverty among Filipinos worldwide. Since its inception in 2004, it has grown to include eight collaborative organizations executing three key programs: SEDPI KaSosyo, SEDPI KaNegosyo, and Usapang Pera. These programs focus on social investments, nanofinancing, and financial education respectively.
SEDPI programs
The SEDPI KaSosyo program attracts social investors who prioritize people and the environment over profit. These investors support nanoenterprises, social enterprises, and development organizations through a profit-sharing scheme known as Joint Venture Savings (JVS).
The SEDPI KaNegosyo program provides sustainable finance for nanoenterprise development. This includes providing livelihood capital, promoting a savings culture, providing social safety nets, and even creating affordable and inclusive housing communities through various sub-programs.
Usapang Pera, the financial education program, provides a comprehensive suite of financial empowerment services that include online trainings, live events, and publications. The program uses real-life examples and practical applications to improve personal financial habits and foster positive social change.
Over the years, SEDPI and its founders have received several recognitions and awards for their work. They remain committed to their vision of empowering Filipinos worldwide to support sustainable nanoenterprises.
Social and solidarity economy: The SEDPI approach
Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) encompasses a range of organizations and enterprises that prioritize social objectives and uphold principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and social justice. In the Philippines, one of the organizations embodying these values is the SEDPI Group of Social Enterprises (SEDPI). Their model provides a roadmap for implementing Social and Solidarity Economy principles in practice.
Empowering Nanoenterprises through KaNegosyo
SEDPI’s KaNegosyo program follows six foundational principles that reflect a commitment to the values and practices of the Social and Solidarity Economy.
Financial Education: SEDPI prioritizes intensive savings mobilization, universal insurance coverage, provision of investment opportunities, and liberation from oppressive loan products. By offering financial education, SEDPI empowers nanoenterprises to make informed decisions and contribute to a more equitable economy.
Capital Infusion, Not Loans: SEDPI forms joint ventures with nanoenterprises, establishing a co-ownership business partnership, offering an alternative to loans that require perpetual interest and penalty charges. This innovative approach fosters economic resilience and promotes shared prosperity.
Profit and Risk Sharing: SEDPI’s strategy includes a profit-sharing mechanism that favors labor and participation. Risks are equally shared, fostering collaborative problem-solving and economic resilience, central tenets of the SSE model.
Loss Follows Capital: SEDPI’s model ensures that losses, defined as bankruptcy or the nanoenterprise’s decision to liquidate assets, are proportionate to the party’s capital contribution. This system upholds the principles of mutual aid and fairness central to the SSE.
Non-Profit damayan:SEDPI provides a non-profit insurance product that places solidarity and protection above income generation. This model strengthens collective resilience and reflects the ethos of SSE.
Partnership and Cooperation: SEDPI aims to establish partnerships with government agencies and like-minded organizations. This collaboration aims to bring basic services closer to low-income groups and advances the SSE’s mission of poverty eradication.
Social Protection through KaTambayayong
SEDPI’s KaTambayayong (KT) program addresses the unique needs and challenges faced by nanoenterprises, emphasizing the importance of providing adequate, accessible, affordable, and efficient social safety nets. This approach reflects a deep commitment to social protection, a key element of the SSE framework.
Understanding the vulnerability of nanoenterprises to natural disasters and the growing impact of climate change, SEDPI KT aims to provide a robust support system. The program offers benefits that cover basic costs or assist in disaster recovery, ensuring that these small businesses can withstand crises and remain operational.
SEDPI KT departs from the often tedious and lengthy claims processing typical of traditional for-profit insurance companies. Instead, the program is dedicated to providing near same-day delivery of benefits through a simplified documentation process, ensuring efficient and prompt support.
In keeping with the principle of solidarity, SEDPI KT is committed to offering social safety nets that are affordable and within the financial reach of nanoenterprises. This enables more businesses to access the program and enjoy its benefits, enhancing their resilience and stability.
SEDPI KT complements existing government social insurance programs – SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG, bridging gaps in coverage and providing additional support where needed. This cooperative approach underscores the core SSE values of partnership and mutual aid.
Fostering a new economic paradigm
SEDPI’s programs embody the principles of the Social and Solidarity Economy, demonstrating that social objectives can be pursued alongside economic goals. By prioritizing mutual aid, shared prosperity, and social justice, SEDPI is contributing to the creation of a more equitable and resilient economy. Their work offers an inspiring model for other organizations seeking to implement SSE principles in their operations.

Leave a Reply