Saturday, June 20, 2020

From co-working space hub to e-commerce platform: Young entrepreneurs go online

Wazzup Pilipinas!

With the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila, most businesses have to suspend their operations, or their employees have to work remotely at home. The restrictions also forced many to go digital in their everyday lives: from working, to paying bills and buying necessities. It is no wonder that web stores and online groceries are thriving today.

In May, Roots Collective, a community of young social entrepreneurs, launched their digital platform to market their products such as home care, food and drinks, zero waste goods, and spread the message of achieving an inclusive and sustainable growth through entrepreneurship.

According to Allister Roy “Aloy” Chua, Roots Collective general manager for business development, their website has provided them a way to stay alive and thrive amidst the pandemic.

“But more than being an e-commerce store, we set up the site na in a way na hindi siya webstore lang. We set the website up to eventually become a digital platform for our entrepreneurs,” he said.

The root of Roots

Roots Collective started in 2016 when a group of entrepreneurs came together to create a more structured and stable physical community for them.

“We decided to have a proper dedicated workspace, selling space and storage space. And by night, it will be an events place,” Aloy said.

The group was first named as Roots Katipunan, since their office is in that area.

“We wanted to have a space - physical and psychological space - where social entrepreneurs and young local entrepreneurs come together to show the excellency of Filipino craftsmanship, sustainability, creativity, and for social enterprises, their social missions.”

Get Rooted!

The Roots webstore sells products such as Tsaa Laya, which sourced their tea from farmers in Calauan, Laguna; Banana Chief’s from plantations in Zamboanga; and organic products like coconut sugar and quinoa from Green Tummy. Other products that are essential to promote hand hygiene are natural disinfectants from Happy Helpers as well as Chlorine Dioxide from Pro-Organics.

The group is also open to collaboration with other local entrepreneurs who wish to have their products displayed on their website.

“We are very much open to having new merchants coming in. Just shoot us an email at We’ll send you a memorandum of agreement with the details and you may send us a product list and the items so we can safely store them in our warehouse,” Aloy added.

In October 2019, Roots Collective with the support of the Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF) and the Forest Foundation Philippines (FFP) launched the Sibol (growth) Program Fund, a special grant facility that will facilitate collaborations among young social entrepreneurs and grassroots communities that PEF and FFP support.

“The fund will focus on the collaboration between Roots Collective and our traditional partner communities in product development and design, marketing and distribution,” PEF Knowledge Management Officer Anna Brillante Vibar said.

The partnership between PEF and with then Roots Katipunan kicked off in 2018 for the leadership development of young social entrepreneurs. Tagged as Collective Community Program, this community of practice provides entrepreneurial capacity building, market access and impact funding. The program hopes to strengthen the network of aspiring and seasoned social entrepreneurs supporting each other and at the same time create a positive impact to the local communities involved.

For inquiries, comments, or suggestion, contact Aljan Quilates at 09297748534

The Peace and Equity Foundation aspires to drive positive change in poor Filipino household communities by investing in social enterprises that will provide them with viable livelihood and better access to basic services. We work with partners who share this vision by developing models and best practices that will steer social enterprises to scale up. Founded in October 2001, our Foundation is the steward of an endowment fund and registered as a non-stock, non-profit organization based in Quezon City, Philippines.

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  1. The better way to get your firm online is to use the services of web development companies. Thankfully, it's easy today since there are tons of companies which offer such services. For instance, I use services of this organization Not only they can make a website but also they can develop a CRM, an app, integrate different services and so on.

  2. Going online nowadays is the only way to prosper

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. No wonder that more and more entrepreneurs go online these days. This pandemic changed too many rules and conditions. It's a must to adapt to new life, to adjust, to change. I decided to dive into web development. It's quite an interesting and profitable field. Take a look at a blog about an anonymous social media app Someday I'll build such an app on my own.

  5. It's hard enough now to break into the online world without having your own website. As a marketer, I tell you this. Many people now choose affordable and convenient website builders. For example, rolled out its update with templates for an online store. You can use it if you already use the designer or create a website from scratch based on new templates for a local store


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