Giving back on its 25th year, hygiene products company Sanitary Care Products Asia (SCPA) invests in local startups to champion decades of their people-first philosophy. Together with the Asian Institute of Management-Dado Banatao Incubator (AIM-DBI), they launched the social accelerator program called the "Human Investment x Impact Grant for Entrepreneurship and Empowerment" or the Hiigene Program.
The Hiigene Program pioneered the very first collaboration of a local company and a business incubator. It was crafted according to the company owners, the Sio family's initiative to support local entrepreneurs with human investment infused in its business gene. Through this, SCPA aspires to help build an industry of people-first enterprises, boost the economy, and improve the lives of many through innovation.
Qualified startups from the AIM-DBI pool went through a rigorous selection process led by SCPA executives, members of the academe, and the corporate industry. Eleven startups presented their innovations, purpose, and their future plans through a pitch presentation before they were trimmed down to five finalists.
The selection committee admitted that choosing from these five was such a challenging task for they have all proven themselves worthy of the grant. That is why during the awards ceremony on June 24, not just one but three of the startups emerged victorious. SCPA Chairman and Founder Renato Sio together with SCPA President and CEO Ven Sio presented the three winners, namely Payruler, Eskwelabs, and Mayani.
Cebu-based Payruler is a comprehensive and customizable human resource (HR) management system built for Philippine businesses. It is an end-to-end solution that automates, integrates, and streamlines HR processes that cover the entire employee lifecycle from hiring to retiring.
Meanwhile, Eskwelabs delivers affordable outcome-focused online education for workers and teams.
It is an online data upskilling school with the mission of driving social mobility in the future of work through data skills education. Eskwelabs has reached 4,000 learners, where majority of them have found placement within 90 days and experienced a salary increase.
Finally, Mayani is currently the Philippines' fastest-growing, impact-driven, agri-technology platform that connects rural smallholder farmers and consumers, both retail and commercial. They envision a Philippines where over 10 million smallholder farmers lead better lives through technology.
The three startups received equity-free cash grants of up to P500,000 each to help expand and sustain their companies. Not only that, from July to September, they will participate in a six-session mentorship program with the SCPA executives themselves. The Hiigene curriculum features enrichment topics based on real-life experiences such as establishing the business purpose, strategies, operations, finance, sales and marketing, and people management to inspire their organization's practices. To top it all off, SCPA decided to provide mentorship even to those who didn't make the cut, so everybody wins in the end.
Updates on the progress and achievements of the three winners will be monitored by the AIM-DBI milestone monitoring program. These will be presented during the culminating SCPA's silver anniversary celebration, which will take place in October.