Noreen Marian Bautista is not just your typical social entrepreneur. This young woman in her 20’s has a long list of accomplishments under her belt, and she has no plan to stop.
While she was still in college, she co-founded EcoIngenuity Inc.
It is a social enterprise that aims to increase the competitiveness of Philippine indigenous materials.
EcoIngenuity also aims to support communities that produce them, by hooking them up with global design brands.
Through this company, Noreen has established a flagship brand, Jacinto & Lirio. It is a line of fashionable leather bags, journals and gadget accessories made from stylish and sustainable plant leather.
The brand won the Business in Development Challenge Philippines in 2009 and represented the Philippines in the International BID Challenge in the Netherlands.
Noreen’s work with social enterprise communities fired up her passion to catalyze entrepreneurs, in order to address the wealth inequality in the unevenly distributed economy of the Philippines.
Last 2012, Noreen co-founded the company SlashIgnite Inc. to pursue this mission. SlashIgnite Inc. catalyzes the entrepreneurial spirit of the Slash Generation.
It is for individuals who value collaboration, interdisciplinary skills and who have a passion to make a positive impact in society.
Noreen, together with her SlashIgnite colleagues, helped launch the Filipino crowdfunding site http://www.thesparkproject.com and the online advocacy EntrepsBuildPH (which is now under the BCYF Institute for Social Enterprise Development) to support a community of social entrepreneurs and innovators in the Philippines.
One of the biggest lessons people can learn from Noreen is that whatever one decides, they should commit to the task with all that they have.
“If you desire it, go for it,” she suggests. One effective way to do this is to be with like-minded people.
For 24-year old Noreen Bautista, age is but a number. When you hear her speak, you think of anything but her youth. For this young social entrepreneur speaks of achieving great things in the world with such conviction that you can’t help but feel inspired, especially when she speaks of her chosen career path with such passion.
Those of us in our early twenties can relate to feeling a bit unsure of what to do with our lives, especially as we debate between taking traditional career paths or starting our own business.
Hang With The Crazies
“I hang out with the crazies!” Noreen admits. “We need to assure ourselves there are other people with us. There are a growing number of young Filipinos who want to do something with meaning.”
Noreen graduated with honors at the John Gokongwei School of Management, Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Management major in Communications Technology, minor in Enterprise Development.
Growing up in Iloilo City, she is also a Global Shaper from the Manila Hub of the World Economic Forum and the youngest member in the Board of Directors of the Philippine Science High School National Alumni Association.
At the end of the day, Noreen considers herself as just a simple girl who loves music, and who has always dreamed of making a difference in even a small part of the world.
Noreen has proven that you can make a profit and still do good for the community. She also knows that you can choose what to work for and how to work.
“We have a site called Entrepsbuild where we exchange ideas and host events. It’s a collective thing and it’s not limited to someone starting on their own,” she shares.
She believes that qualifications do not lie within the limits of your education, your classes, or the classified ads.
Noreen assures aspiring social entrepreneurs that there is a support community waiting for them online.
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