Mark Ruiz

Year founded: 

Hapinoy, a programme of MicroVentures, creates sustainable distribution channels and business development strategies to empower the marginalized last-mile micro-retail sector of the Filipino economy. Focus: Enterprise Development, Women Geographic Area of Impact: Philippines Model: Hybrid Non-Profit Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 10,000 Annual Budget: US$ 470,000 Percentage Earned Revenue: 60% Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Asia, 2011 Background More than 20 million Filipinos live below the poverty line, and are isolated from the formal economy and society. This isolation has led to a growing economic chasm in which a sizeable population lacks market access, basic services, efficient product distribution channels, and business development opportunities. The informal economy flourishes with hundreds of thousands of small-owner ?sari-sari? stores, which represent an untapped potential to integrate millions into the formal sector. These ?mom and pop? stores usually operate from the homes of women micro-entrepreneurs who are trying to augment their family income through micro-enterprise. Innovation and Activities Hapinoy aggregates and organizes the Philippines? massive network of informal sari-sari stores into a network and community. By creating alternative distribution channels for essential products, it links isolated communities with a variety of service providers and large businesses. Hapinoy?s bulk-sourcing approach has resulted in up to 15% discounts on certain products for small-owner stores, and enabled the distribution of quality-of-life goods such as medicine and solar products to communities. Hapinoy?s value chain development has allowed thousands to increase in their income. Serving as business partners to the poor on various levels, Hapinoy provides personal development and business training, capacity-building and community leadership programmes for storeowners, most of whom are mothers with little access to such benefits. In 2011, Hapinoy operated in 12 provinces in the Philippines, reaching 160 communities; its 10,000 stores served hundreds of thousands of customers, many living in isolated areas in South Luzon. By tapping into communities and new distribution channels, Hapinoy hopes to expand further. It aims to provide not only common products, but also other necessary rural community services, such as mobile money, healthcare, and technology solutions in partnership with local/national non-governmental organizations and companies. Additionally, the network will eventually serve as a platform for reverse integration into the value chain for goods produced at the community level by micro-producers. The Entrepreneurs Mark Ruiz is a graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, and a former executive at a consumer goods company. In the mid-2000s, he began to work with Bam Aquino, Co-Founder of MicroVentures, on social enterprises; their third effort resulted in the formation of Hapinoy. Ruiz deepened his knowledge of social enterprise practice through the INSEAD Social Enterprise Program (ISEP), and as a fellow of Santa Clara University?s Global Social Benefit Incubator (GSBI) in 2011. He currently serves as a Social Entrepreneur-in-Residence in INSEAD, and is a GSBI Online Mentor for 2012.