Bayan EDGE was born out of a strategic shift in the microfinance program of the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation (ABFI). ABFI went into developing, growing and evolving the livelihood pursuits of its borrowers into micro and small or even medium scale enterprises. ABFI retooled and retrained its loan officers to upgrade them into business assessors, advisers and assistors.
Although Bayan Academy and Bayan EDGE (Enterprise Developers, Growers and Evolvers) are two separate entities, both evolved from the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation (ABFI) and the symbiotic relationship has continued.
Bayan EDGE was born out of a strategic shift in the microfinance program of the ABS-CBN Bayan Foundation (ABFI). From a mere lender and collector, ABFI went into developing, growing and evolving the livelihood pursuits of its borrowers into micro and small or even medium scale enterprises. ABFI retooled and retrained its loan officers to upgrade them into business assessors, advisers and assistors.
The measure of success shifted from financial returns to growth in assets and net worth of its enterprise customers and an increase in the number employed in their enterprises. Family welfare in terms of better health, housing and education were also monitored as part of the social impact measures.
ABFI was renamed Bayan EDGE in January 2014. It is today, a microfinance organization with the heart of an NGO, that handholds micro and small entrepreneurs in developing, growing and evolving their enterprises into small and medium-sized businesses with the following outcomes: increase in family wealth that manifests in social outcomes such as better education for the children, better health and nutrition for the family, better housing and work environment, better family relationships as they work together for a brighter common future, and better values instilled in both parents and children.
In this new track, Bayan EDGE works in tandem with Bayan Academy. Under a Citi Foundation grant, Bayan Academy provides training, coaching and mentoring services to EDGE entrepreneurs and their employed family members. On the other hand, selected directors and managers of Bayan EDGE serve as trainers and mentors of Bayan Academy’s clients in its grassroots, management and executive programs sponsored by Citi Foundation, JP Morgan and Chase and other corporate clients.
From 2009 to 2015, Bayan EDGE achieved spectacular results in developing, growing and enabling entrepreneurs in the country. As of December 2016, Bayan EDGE has assisted a total of 1,212 enterprises in manufacturing, trading and services, of which 347 businesses have created 2,457 jobs. They have increased their net worth from a minimum of 6% to a maximum of 761%. Forty-six enterprises grew; 42 from micro to small, two enterprises from small to medium and two from micro to medium.
Those in the executive level account portfolio (with higher loan levels due to constant growth) saw their net worth increase by an average of 225% after joining the Bayan EDGE program.
Former clients who have dropped out of the program are doing just as well. Out of 56 executive accounts surveyed, 21 have increased their assets and net worth significantly, 12 accounts are self-sufficient and no longer borrowing, while 11 accounts have transferred to banks and other financing institutions. Only seven accounts have closed shop due to illness, death, and mismanagement. These former EDGE clients have created a total of 1,686 jobs in their enterprises.
BayaniJuan (BNJ) is a community development program of the ABS-CBN Foundation’s (AFI) five community outreach programs: Bantay Bata 163, Bantay Kalikasan, E-Media, Sagip Kapamilya and Bayan Foundation. AFI leads the private sector in this Private-Public Partnership (PPP) between NGOs and government institutions.
Launched in 2007, BayaniJuan builds on ABS-CBN Foundation’s extensive experience in various rehabilitation and development programs in education, child protection, microfinance and environment. AFI synergized these efforts into one project for the holistic development of sustainable communities.
In 2009, AFI opened BayaniJuan in Southville 7 in Calauan, Laguna where 1,217 families from informal settlements along Estero de Paco in Manila were relocated. They were later joined by other informal settlers who were relocated from Marikina and Pasig after they lost their homes to Typhoon Ondoy and others who were relocated by the National Housing Authority.
Bayan Academy and Bayan EDGE worked together in Southville 7, building the community and community capital by organizing the market vendors into a cooperative, supervising the construction and management of the market, and providing microfinance advice and services.
In 2013, Bayan Academy was tapped by AFI to handle a four-day Entrep-Eskwela program for 52 Southville 7 entrepreneurs engaged in small businesses such as market vendors, caterers, fruit vendors, dry goods and RTW sellers, and operators of services, sari-sari stores, and other micro-enterprises. Funded by the Asian Development Bank, the Entrep-Eskwela program trained the small sellers and service providers in various aspects of entrepreneurship, marketing, operations and human resources management, and financial management.
Part of the ADB assistance is a Community Innovation Fund (CIF) managed by Bayan EDGE, an interest-free loan scheme made available to small entrepreneurs in BayaniJuan after they finish the Entrep-Eskwela training course. The CIF has helped 100 beneficiaries set up small livelihood enterprises in the BNJ community. Repayments amounting to Php 4.8 million (as of October 2016), are turned over to the community cooperative as seed fund.
Building Community Capital
Bayan EDGE is also the fund manager (on behalf of ALKFI) of the ADB-Community Innovation Fund, an interest-free loan scheme that supports small enterprises in ALKFI’s BayaniJuan Southville 7 resettlement project in Calauan, Laguna. As such, it supports the livelihood enterprises of 100 loan beneficiaries in the community. Repayments amounting to Php 5 million (as of December 2016) are deposited intact in the bank account of the BNJPA (Bayan ni Juan Producers’ Association) to be turned over to selected community beneficiaries. Bayan EDGE also designed a Personal Financial Wellness course for selected beneficiaries in the BayaniJuan community.
Bayan EDGE invested Php 250,000 in Woven Crafts, a social enterprise start-up dedicated to uplifting the lives of weavers, embroiderers and sewers in Basey, Samar by supporting the production of the tikog banig as an economically and culturally relevant livelihood.
Working with Woven Craft, the community social enterprise, Bayan EDGE provides raw materials, designs and markets for the handwoven mats that Basey is famous for. As of December 2016, Woven Craft had sales of Php 743,843, a net worth of Php 304,085, and was directly engaged with 26 weavers, six embroiderers and two sewers.
Woven Crafts is working to fundamentally change the economics of Basey’s banig industry for a more equitable sharing of profits between the capitalists and the actual producers, and thereby build community capital.
Initially funded by the Lopez Group of Companies, Bayan EDGE is now a self-sustaining institution.