‘Pitch YES’ to transform out-of-school youth into social entrepreneurs

The Pag-Asa Youth Association of the Philippines (PYAP) has been devolved to local government units in Cebu by implementing entrepreneurship program for the out-of-school youth (OSY) in the province.

The office of Provincial Board Member Miguel Antonio A. Magpale and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) held a series of consultation and assessment with OSY last February 6-8 at Cityscape Hotel in Cebu City.

The activity involved rapid assessment on the previous implemented livelihood projects. It recognized the need for an innovative approach in implementing a socio-economic intervention.

Pitch YES Overview

Pitch YES is a government-sponsored program through the office of Magpale and PSWDO and in partnership with the Enfants du Mekong (EDM) Entrepreneurs and The Dream Project Philippines.

This innovative program needs to be participant-led since it is designed for the participants to become pro-active, engaged, and confident so that they can learn the essential skills of the business. The OSYs are challenged to create successful social enterprises in just four months.

The program has a strong positive response from all involved and it will serve as the ground for spreading the Pitch YES program across the Visayas. As a new program model where beneficiaries are more than passive recipients, Pitch YES aims to both unleash the potential of OSYs and spark social innovation across the Philippines.

PITCH Yes Structure

The program establishes the youth network among the identified youth groups in the province.

PITCH Yes is a unique concept for a livelihood project that is strength-based, youth-oriented, outcome-based and sustainable.

The program was first implemented in five municipalities and three cities in the province, including Lilo-an, Compostela, Carmen, Catmon, Minglanilla, Danao, Talisay, and Naga.

Over the course of this four-month program, teams are challenged to design, launch and run their own social enterprises.

PITCH Yes Challenges

Each project must have a social impact at its core (respond to a problem in its municipality, be ethical, eco-friendly, and local) and be sustainable (make money).

The participants should complete the workshop and training which is composed of nine modules. Arriving with no experience with social entrepreneurship, participants begin with a comprehensive three-day session of workshops and activities in which they map out community resources, identify a social need and design a solution for a business.

Approximately every two weeks thereafter, the group returns to Cebu City to develop one specific aspect of their business (product/service design, operations, etc).

In the upcoming midterm session, groups have the opportunity to win seed money to kick start operations so that they can have functional businesses by the final session.

On the side, program coordinators are working constantly to develop market linkages to ensure the success of their businesses far beyond the end of the program.

The program aims to teach OSYs basic skills for food and product services as livelihood opportunity.

Meanwhile, Governor Hilario P. Davide is committed and willing to support the entrepreneurship program for the OSYs in the province.

Food Production, Livelihood and Entrepreneurship Support Program is one of the priority projects of the Davide administration

The Cebu Provincial Government allocated P2.6 million budget for the livelihood project of the PYAP members in the province.

PITCH Yes is open to all OSYs residing in the province of Cebu.