The JPMorgan Chase Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of JPMorgan Chase and Co., a multinational banking and financial services firm, partners with various organizations worldwide to create pathways to opportunity for marginalized communities by supporting programs for economic growth, workforce readiness, and financial capability.

Of the unemployed persons in the country in April 2014, the age group 15 to 24 years old comprised 49.8 percent, and the age group 25 to 34 comprised 30.5 percent. By educational attainment, one-fifth (22.4 percent) of the unemployed were college graduates, 14.5 percent were college undergraduates, and 32.7 percent were high school graduates. In early 2010, the National Competitiveness Council (NCC) called for the creation of 15 million “quality” jobs in the next five years. With the forecasted 50% increase in he country’s labor force to 52 million by 2030, the economy urgently needs to create new domestic jobs. (ILO, 2009)

The JPMC Foundation began this advocacy in the Philippines by developing and enhancing the entrepreneurial skills of 500 parents and relatives of impoverished children enrolled in World Vision Philippines’ Sponsor-a-Child program in the depressed community of BASECO in Manila’s Port Area, where 97% of the residents fall below the poverty line.

JPMC’s initial goal was to provide training to 25 parents from 25 BASECO families in culinary skills combined with entrepreneurship to enable them to sustain viable food enterprises, and ensure continuous, long-term intervention to sustain community development. At the same time, it sought to engage JPMorgan employees in the community development program by encouraging the culture of volunteerism.

A Good Fit
In 2010, JPMC Philippines found a partner in Bayan Academy in the education and training initiative to develop and enhance the technical and entrepreneurial skills of the pilot community. The 37-day Technopreneurship training program attended initially by 28 BASECO parents, included Bayan’s Grassroots Entrepreneurship and Management (GEM) or Entrep-Eskwela Program, a Culinary Entrepreneurship Program and an Enterprise Development Program.

The JPMC Technical & Livelihood Center (JPMC-TLC) was established in Bayan Academy as a venue for teaching Technopreneurship in commercial cooking, beauty care, nail care and hairdressing, and eventually, its technical courses. A major partner in this endeavor is the government’s Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) which accredits technical courses and provides training scholarships to deserving indigents.

It was a good fit – JPMC’s Entrepreneurial Education Program for Community Development, TESDA’s Training for Work Scholarship Program, and Bayan Academy’s mission to build the nation from below through technical training for employment and enterprise development.

On the second year, Bayan Academy saw the need to introduce specific modules that would combine its expertise in entrepreneurship with TESDA’s technical training and thus give the beneficiaries an option to start their own business. JPMorgan funded the initial development of four Technopreneurship modules for Commercial Cooking, Beauty Care, Hairdressing, and Spa and Massage. In its first three years, the program covered 152 families in BASECO and other NCR areas.

Encouraging Outcomes
The outcomes were encouraging: an employment rate of 92%, improved self-mastery and entrepreneurial skills among beneficiaries; and growth in the business enterprises of the BASECO families. In addition, JPMC saw the development of a culture of volunteerism and corporate philanthropy among its employees who shared their skills and talents in training the beneficiaries in financial literacy, personality development, team building and conflict resolution.

The success of the pilot program in BASECO and the request of grassroots-based organizations to bring the training to the other communities prompted JPMC and Bayan Academy to scale-up and expand their reach beginning 2013. In 2014, the program reached 397 beneficiaries with the help of 19 on-the-ground partners that volunteered to mobilize participants and even shared in the expenses of the program.

In 2013, JPMC funded the development of four additional Technopreneurship modules in Food and Beverage, Housekeeping, Automotive Servicing, and Garments, in preparation for teachers’ training starting 2014.

The program has shown that a genuine Technopreneurship program delivered at the doorstep of the poor is a successful formula for uplifting the disempowered sectors. After four years, the program had trained 549 disengaged youth and adults, with an employment rate of 96%. It was also on its 4th year that the program was delivered outside the NCR - Tagaytay City, Puerto Princesa in Palawan, Bansalan in Davao.

As part of JPMC’s contribution to the rehabilitation of Haiyan affected areas, the Technopreneurship programs were also brought to Cebu City, Roxas City in Capiz, Quinapondan/Hernani in Eastern Samar, and Tacloban City in Leyte.

In 2015, the program was also offered in Naga, Camarines Sur; Calauan and San Pablo City, Laguna and reached 585 trainees. Bayan Academy forged partnerships with provincial TESDA offices to accredit the JPMC initiative as a Community-Based Technopreneurship Program whose graduates may take the TESDA assessment and receive TESDA certification along with the Bayan Academy certificates. Since 2011, the TESDA assessment passing rate of JPMC graduates has been 99%; the average employment rate is 89%.

Teacher Training: Replicating Technopreneurship in the School System
Even as the program continued to focus on technical and vocational training, the partners saw a new opportunity for entrepreneurship training in the formal school system. The K-12 program (created by the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013) required the Department of Education (DepEd) to develop the curriculum for the additional two years of high school. With full implementation scheduled in 2016, there was a pressing need to train teachers that would prepare senior high school graduates for employment or entrepreneurship.

JPMC funded a Teachers’ Training on Entrepreneurship to prepare instructors for the K-12 Basic Education Program. With the Technopreneurship modules developed under the program, Bayan Academy was able to train DepEd-NCR’s 160 public school teachers from 59 schools handling Technical and Livelihood Education (TLE) subjects. This will benefit more than 42,000 students in Grades 11 and12 in the next three years.

The teachers’ training was also brought to Haiyan areas and Region IV-A where it trained 343 teachers from 220 schools, benefitting more than 66,000 students. It has since trained 265 more teachers in NCR, Regions III, IV-A, VII and IV-A ALS from 175 schools, to benefit more than 50,000 students.

In 2015, Bayan Academy began converting Dr. Morató’s Trilogy on Entrepreneurship into workbooks, videos and a teaching manual which, together with the Technopreneurship modules, were given to TLE teachers who attend the teachers’ training on entrepreneurship. These materials have been put into the on-line Bayan Academy Learning System, bayanlearningsystems.ph, an entrepreneurship learning management system with added exercises, assignments, and other learning materials for use by teachers of entrepreneurship education. Teachers’ training in partnership with the Department of Education (DepED) is a prerequisite to using the online platform.

The website gives JPMC a more significant online presence as it broadens Bayan Academy’s reach to a larger constituency, including Overseas Filipino Workers abroad.

Transition to hard skills
After five years of solid partnership in tech-voc and entrepreneurship training for the underprivileged, JPMC awarded Bayan Academy with a two-year grant (2016-2017) that marked the transition of their Technopreneurship offerings from soft skills to high-impact high-tech courses.

This was in response to a 2015 ILO report on ASEAN competitiveness which showed the region’s economies, including the Philippines, rapidly moving away from agriculture into the higher value-added (higher skills-based) industrial and services sectors. In the Philippines, the fastest growing industries -- IT, business process outsourcing (BPO), electronics, and automotive have a high demand for skilled labor that is largely unmet.

Likewise, a 2015 report by British Council on vocational skills and technical education in the Philippines highlighted skills shortages in higher value-added BPO services such as animation and medical transcription. Meanwhile, the country’s construction sector is expected to continue growing at over 5% annually over the next decade requiring skills such as carpentry, masonry, plumbing welding and electrical installation.

Under the new JPMC grant, Bayan Academy will be training over 24 months, some 930 disengaged youth and young adults, at least 20% of them women, in IT (Contact center services, computer system servicing, 2D and 3D animation), Welding (Shield metal arc welding, gas metal arc welding), and Construction (Electrical installation and maintenance, carpentry, masonry, and plumbing).

The development of Technopreneurship modules in IT, welding and construction brings to 13 the number of Bayan Academy modules funded by JPMC.

The program puts special emphasis on providing women with support and mentoring to ensure their entry and sustainable career pathways in high-tech industries. A network of industry partners has been tapped for internships and on-the-job learning experiences for students, ranging from one to three months.

For the hard skills, Bayan Academy is focused on residents of selected resettlement sites or communities, and partnerships with the corporations and NGOs serving these areas. Wilcon, a large construction supply chain, provides the training facilities and equipment while Bayan Academy takes care of the technical and entrepreneurship courses. Bayan’s NGO partner, the Center for Community Transformation (CCT), takes care of community mobilization, value formation and spiritual development. CCT helps Bayan Academy organize the graduates into trade guilds to facilitate employer/employee contact and contracts.

Each guild is incorporated as a Community-Based Social Service Enterprise (CBSSE) where members can work and practice their craft as they earn. The training in the guilds allows them to command higher salaries when they are hired by private corporations. Linkages with contractors and construction-related companies ensure the training and hiring of trainees.

For the 2D and 3D animation courses, Bayan Academy has partnered with CIIT Philippines College of Arts and Technology. In the first year of the two-year grant, a total of 439 students were trained in 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Electrical Installation and Maintenance, Plumbing, Carpentry, Masonry, and Shield and Gas Metal Arc Welding.

Social Rate of Return

In his essay, Bayan Academy: Best Practice in Wage Employment Generation which was part of his book, A Guidebook for Designers and Developers of Livelihood Programs published on December 7, 2016, Dr. Morató wrote that the key success factors in Bayan Academy’s Wage Employment Generation are twofold: tie-ups with industry or businesses to provide training and ready employment for the graduates of the skills training courses, and partnerships with NGOs/Church groups to conduct values formation and social preparation.

Both these factors – and more – are strongly present in the successful partnership between Bayan Academy and JPMorgan.