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My SAP Social Sabbatical Journey with Hapinoy / Microventures

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During my 1 month sabbatical project, I will work for an amazing organization named Hapinoy / Microventures led by a very talented young entrepreneur: Mr. Mark Ruiz. I would like to tell you about this unique organization and the project scope of work.

Co-founders of Hapinoy / Microventures  –

Mark Joaquin Ruiz and Paolo Benigno A. Aquino IV

Mark is Co-founder and President of Hapinoy / Microventures.

In his own words: Social Entrepreneur, TechGeek, Innovator with Soul; An Eternal Fanboy of A Better Tomorrow, trying his darnedest to help make it happen Today 🙂

Watch Mark’s impressive TED Talk here:

WHO IS HAPINOY? – Organizational Description
The name Hapinoy, is a play on the words Happy and Pinoy, the colloquial word for Filipino. Thus, put together, Hapinoy simply means Happy Filipino! It celebrates the remarkable ability of Filipinos to be happy in the midst of any circumstance. Hapinoy is a Hybrid Social Enterprise consisting of two parts: Hapinoy MicroVentures Inc and Hapinoy MicroVentures Foundation. Hapinoy supports women microentrepreneurs who own and run sari-sari stores. Sari-sari stores are make-shift local community convenience stores that serve the vast underprivileged majority of the Philippines. There are about 800,000 of them scattered around the nation and virtually all of them are individually owned. With hundreds of thousands of sari-sari stores present in the Philippines, these stores have become a major part of Filipinos’ way of life.

Watch Bam Aquino’s eloquently put Hapinoy overview video here:

See a brief review of Hapinoy by ‘World Economic Forum’ institution: Policy Guide to Scaling Social Innovation 2013 – Reports – World Economic Forum

For years, ambitious local entrepreneurs have dreamed of consolidating this massive retail category. Hapinoy seeks to become a “preferred business partner of the poor” by partnering with local microfinance institutions to provide women borrowers with top credit scores a Hapinoy sari-sari store franchise. Hapinoy provides value by serving as a retail consultant, brand marketer and merchandise consolidator (it deals with manufacturers directly). The company makes money by getting a percentage of the merchandise, which ties its long-term interests with each individual store’s sales growth and inventory turnover. Because of the network effect and economy of scale achieved by being under one Hapinoy brand, store owners still end up with higher margins compared with traditional unbranded sari-sari store owners.

Hapinoy store owners also learn best practices on key retail essentials such as inventory management, store efficiency and branding. They achieve better negotiating power for merchandise, financing and even technology. Some stores are already planning to install internet kiosks to provide their communities with much-needed online access. The social community factor has been retained as well: stores allocate space on the walls for posters promoting local events and seminars.

Products, Services, Programs

To date, the Hapinoy MicroVentures Foundation has trained 4,000 Hapinoy Stores, providing core training to women microentrepreneurs in basic recordkeeping, visual merchandising, credit management, and more. Additionally, Hapinoy has helped sari-sari stores develop linkages with microfinance institutions and expanded business opportunities through training in mobile financial services. With newfound confidence and strengthened zeal, our Hapinoy Sari-Sari store owners are now better equipped to face the challenges of running and expanding their stores.

The Hapinoy Sari-Sari Store Program aims to empower Nanays (mothers), the typical owners of sari-sari stores, by providing them with three main resources that they need to successfully run and grow their businesses:

  • Education: Hapinoy’s business management and personal development emphasizes imparting best practices through skills training.
  • Access to capital: If sari-sari store owners business plan involves securing additional capital, Hapinoy can link and educate her of different options
  • New business: To weave the program together, Hapinoy focuses on assisting Nanays in expanding her business while introducing higher-value products and services to the community, through her sari-sari store.

Hapinoy’s Market Research & Insights (MRIS) aims to aid companies understand the base-of-the-pyramid, enabling them to develop products, services, or communication strategies that will properly capture and benefit the market. The program partners with Hapinoy’s community of Nanays and network of stores to provide companies with the best and most direct medium to understanding consumers and retailers in low-income markets. Working directly with Nanays allows them to gain first-hand information and insight regarding their mindsets and behavior as resellers and consumers, which they then turn into actionable recommendations to aid companies in developing and growing their products and services for this segment.

Objective of Assignment

Hapinoy is seeking expertise and insight into improving its backend operations to support its women microentrepreneurs. The SAP team will work with Hapinoy to map out key processes within Hapinoy’s Mobile Financial Services operation and then recommend an operations management tool or system to help guide Hapinoy in its efforts to scale from 100 Mobile Money Agents to 5,000 in 3 years.

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