Letter from the Executive Director

FSSI Enters Its 26th Year: It’s Not Business As Usual

Sixto Donato C. Macasaet

Last September 6, 2021, FSSI entered its 26th year, but it is not business as usual.

Celebrating our 25th year anniversary in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic signals one thing about FSSI as an organization: we are never just business as usual. FSSI has kept changing and evolving to meet the demands of an ever-changing world – demands which our partners and members face at the forefront. In our silver anniversary year, we were reminded of that reality with a global phenomenon that definitely pushed us to our limits – and beyond our limits we have kept moving forward.    

This past year, FSSI has gone more and more online as it continues to seek alternatives to cater to the needs of partners and members, especially the pandemic-hit social enterprises. Pandemic restrictions did not hold us back from helping each other: our bayanihan has gone digital. Under our Digital Bayanihan capacity building initiative, we have been helping 15 of our partner social enterprises (SEs) fast track their digitalization efforts. 

Through online platforms, we have been able to reach out to members and partners, and organize online forums relevant to how the rest of the world has adapted to this pandemic such as digital transformation, data privacy, and investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. We have also looked at the specific role that the social enterprise sector can play in terms of COVID-19 recovery.

In this issue, we have also put together an updated briefer on the government’s COVID-19 support containing information and implementation updates on government programs for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), farmers and workers, the poor, and marginalized sector.

We have also participated in the 2021 Renewable Energy Congress and co-organized a session on the application of renewable energy for communities. You will find below summaries and key information from the Congress.

Further, in an effort to be more conscious of our commitment to gender equality as part of the triple bottom line strategy and our support to women-led enterprises, we have established within FSSI a gender team. Through the newly-organized team, we are currently developing the gender strategy and action plans of FSSI, with support from our partnership with Investing in Women, an initiative of the Australian Government.

We also continue to gain partners in the field, as we welcome First Agrarian Reform Credit Cooperative (FARCCO) in Sumilao, Bukidnon as an FSSI partner.

Finally, we invite you all to download our 25th Anniversary Book, entitled “FSSI: 25 Years of Growing Enterprises.” We hope that as we have put together the milestones that FSSI has reached all these years, we may also be encouraged to move forward, never just business as usual.

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