Social Enterprise Action Research (SEAR) Report
Before the pandemic, there was a growing recognition that social enterprises (SEs) in the Philippines and Asia were potential game changers in accelerating the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This was manifested by an evolving partnership between the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship in Asia (ISEA) in co-convening a conference in March 2020 that was going to develop and launch Social Entrepreneurship-SDG Acceleration Platforms. However, the gains achieved by SEs in showing models for leaving no one behind, which was the spirit behind the SE-SDG Acceleration Platforms, had been set back by the negative impacts of the pandemic on social enterprises and the poverty sectors they serve.
SEs now face the challenge of reimagining how to sustain serving marginalized groups while the sector itself recovers. Hence, the COVID19 Social Enterprise Action Research (SEAR) was undertaken to inform the development of a responsive relief and recovery effort for the social enterprise sector in the Philippines and an agenda for the sector to make a significant contribution towards building back better. SEAR was aimed at: (1) determining the effects of the COVID19 health pandemic on social enterprises and the marginalized stakeholders that they serve; (2) finding out how social enterprises and their stakeholders are responding to the COVID19 health pandemic and gather suggestions on developing a responsive social enterprise relief, recovery and rebuilding effort; and (3) developing strategies and recommendations on how social enterprises and their resource/support institutions could work together to effectively cope and recover from the impact of COVID19, including possible programs, initiatives and policies that resource institutions, government and the private sector could adopt to assist the sector as a significant player in building back better and achieving sustainable development.
SEAR was an action research that sought to provide a venue for SE stakeholders in the country to identify programmatic actions to rebuild SEs.