The Roles of Social Enterprise in Philippine Real Estate Development

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The Philippine real estate industry is a dynamic and ever-evolving sector that plays a significant role in the country’s economic growth and development. Amidst the diverse range of players in this field, social enterprises have emerged as key contributors, bringing a unique perspective and a strong commitment to social impact.

In this article by Bria Homes, we will explore the important role of social enterprises in Philippine real estate development and delve into their distinct characteristics, contributions, and innovative approaches. Whether it’s addressing social inequalities, promoting environmental sustainability, or fostering community engagement, social enterprises in the real estate sector are making a tangible difference in shaping the future of Philippine cities and communities.

But first, let’s gain a deeper understanding of what social enterprises are. These entities go beyond the traditional notions of business and combine entrepreneurial practices with a social mission. Unlike conventional for-profit businesses solely focused on maximizing profits, social enterprises have a dual bottom line: generating revenue and creating positive social change.

Understanding Social Enterprises

To truly grasp the significance of social enterprises in Philippine real estate development, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of what social enterprises are and how they operate. Social enterprises are unique entities that blend business practices with a social mission, aiming to achieve both financial sustainability and social impact.

Unlike traditional for-profit and revenue generating business that seeks to prioritize maximizing shareholder returns, and selling goods while bound by corporate social responsibility, social enterprises are primarily concerned with addressing social problems and creating positive change. The most basic examples of social enterprise are sustainable businesses. While they do generate revenue from their commercial activities, their primary goal is to reinvest the profits to advance a social objective.

What sets social enterprises and sustainable businesses apart from nonprofit organizations is their focus on generating income through a sustainable business model rather than relying solely on charitable missions. This financial sustainability allows them to become financially independent, make long-term plans, and have a more significant and sustainable impact on the communities they serve.

Social enterprises in Philippine real estate development play a crucial role in driving inclusive and sustainable urban development. They adopt innovative approaches to real estate projects that address social and environmental challenges while also meeting market demands. These enterprises seek to create affordable housing, revitalize urban areas, and promote environmental sustainability in the context of the Philippine real estate landscape.

By incorporating the principles of social entrepreneurship into their business models, social enterprises in the real estate sector align their objectives with the environmental and social goals of the communities they serve. They are driven by a deep sense of social mission, aiming to uplift disadvantaged communities, promote sustainable practices, and address specific social objectives such as providing access to affordable housing for low-income individuals or preserving cultural heritage.

Moreover, social enterprises actively collaborate with government agencies, financial institutions, and community organizations to achieve their objectives. They leverage partnerships to access funding, navigate regulatory frameworks, and engage stakeholders in the decision-making process. By integrating the perspectives and expertise of various stakeholders, social enterprises foster collaboration and create more holistic and impactful solutions.

The Importance of Social Enterprise in Real Estate Development

Social enterprises play a crucial role in shaping the landscape of Philippine real estate development. Let’s explore their contributions in key areas:

1. Promoting Social and Environmental Innovation

Social enterprises spearhead the integration of social and environmental goals into real estate projects, leading the way toward greener and more socially responsible developments.

These enterprises drive innovation by seeking novel solutions to address pressing social issues such as affordable housing scarcity and inadequate living conditions.

By incorporating sustainable building practices and environmental sustainability measures, they demonstrate the possibility of creating vibrant and sustainable communities that prioritize social welfare.

2. Addressing Affordable Housing Challenges

Social enterprises in Philippine real estate development play a pivotal role in tackling the persistent challenge of affordable housing.

They employ inclusive business models and innovative strategies to ensure that housing remains accessible to low-income individuals and disadvantaged communities.

By striking a balance between affordability and livability, social enterprises bridge the gap and provide opportunities for underprivileged individuals to improve their quality of life.

3. Fostering Social Impact and Community Development

Social enterprises actively engage with community organizations to drive social impact and community development.

Through collaborations with local stakeholders, social enterprises gain insights into the specific needs of marginalized communities, enabling them to develop tailored and sustainable solutions.

By improving access to essential services such as healthcare, education, and livelihood opportunities, social enterprises empower communities and contribute to their overall well-being.

4. Driving Financial and Business Sustainability

While social enterprises have social and environmental goals, they recognize the importance of financial sustainability to ensure their long-term viability and scalability.

These enterprises explore innovative business models aligned with their social missions, leveraging partnerships with financial institutions and the private sector to secure funding and resources.

By creating self-sustaining models, social enterprises continue to generate positive social and environmental outcomes while ensuring financial independence.

Social Enterprises in Philippine Real Estate Found in the Philippines

The country is a vibrant and friendly market for social enterprises and businesses. Below are some of the examples that created positive environmental impacts, and transformed marginalised communities while being able to earn income and push their business strategies.

  1. My Shelter Foundation
    • My Shelter Foundation is a social enterprise based in Metro Manila that focuses on addressing environmental sustainability and social impact in real estate. They promote the use of environmentally friendly and sustainable building materials, including recycled materials such as textile waste. My Shelter Foundation also provides access to affordable and environmentally friendly housing solutions for low-income communities, particularly in Metro Manila.
  2. Gawad Kalinga
    • Gawad Kalinga is a social enterprise dedicated to poverty alleviation and nation-building in the Philippines. They actively engage in real estate development projects, particularly in Metro Manila, to create sustainable and inclusive communities. Gawad Kalinga builds homes and provides livelihood opportunities for marginalized communities, fostering social and economic empowerment. Their initiatives aim to address social problems, uplift disadvantaged communities, and promote social entrepreneurship.
  3. Center for Community Transformation (CCT)
    • The Center for Community Transformation (CCT) is a social enterprise that focuses on real estate development for disadvantaged communities in Metro Manila. They provide affordable housing solutions for marginalized populations, including small farmers and low-income individuals. CCT’s primary goal is to address issues such as homelessness and inadequate housing while promoting community development and financial sustainability.
  4. Habi Housing Cooperative
    • Habi Housing Cooperative is a social enterprise in Metro Manila that offers cooperative housing solutions for communities. They aim to address social objectives by providing access to decent and affordable housing for their members, particularly in Metro Manila’s urban areas. Habi Housing Cooperative operates on the principles of self-help, mutual aid, and the generation of earned income, ensuring that members actively participate in the development and management of their housing projects.
  5. The Good Trade
    • The Good Trade is a social enterprise that focuses on sustainable and ethical living, including aspects related to real estate. They promote eco-friendly and socially responsible practices in the real estate industry, encouraging developers to prioritize environmental sustainability and community well-being. The Good Trade advocates for social causes such as environmental conservation, fair trade, and inclusive urban development. Through their platform, they raise awareness and support for sustainable real estate initiatives in Metro Manila.

Bria Homes’ Sustainable Real Estate Initiatives

Bria Homes, a leading real estate developer in the Philippines, has also established groundbreaking initiatives aimed at creating a positive social and environmental impact while providing affordable and sustainable housing options to Filipinos. Through this initiative, Bria Homes combine business practices with a strong social mission, addressing various social objectives and contributing to the overall well-being of communities.

  1. Inclusive Housing Solutions: Bria Homes’ social enterprise real estate initiative focuses on developing inclusive housing solutions in Metro Manila. They prioritize the creation of housing projects that cater to the needs of diverse communities, including low- to middle-income individuals and families.
  2. Financial Accessibility: Bria Homes implements innovative financial programs and partnerships to enhance the affordability of homeownership. They offer flexible payment options, affordable financing, and assistance programs, ensuring that aspiring homeowners can overcome financial barriers and achieve their dreams of owning a home.
  3. Community Development and Empowerment: Bria Homes places a strong emphasis on community development and empowerment within their social enterprise real estate initiative. They engage with residents through various community activities, empowerment programs, and capacity-building initiatives, fostering a sense of belonging and empowering individuals to actively contribute to their communities.
  4. Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Practices: Bria Homes integrates sustainable and eco-friendly practices into their real estate projects in Metro Manila. They prioritize energy-efficient designs, utilize nature-friendly materials, and incorporate green spaces and amenities to create environmentally friendly living environments.
  5. Social Partnerships and Collaboration: Bria Homes actively collaborate with social enterprises, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to maximize their social impact. By forming strategic partnerships, they leverage resources, expertise, and networks to address social problems, promote social causes, and create a meaningful difference in Metro Manila communities.

Bria Homes’ social enterprise real estate initiatives exemplify its dedication to creating sustainable, inclusive, and socially impactful housing solutions in the Philippines. By prioritizing inclusive housing, financial accessibility, community development, sustainability, and collaboration, Bria Homes try to attain its social goals while addressing a wide range of social objectives while positively transforming the lives of Filipinos.

Overcoming Challenges and Ensuring Success

Although social enterprise is a noble cause and a growing trend in the Philippines, many still considered it a “risk-taking” venture. Here are some valuable factors that you need to consider should you plan to engage in this kind of business model.

  • Financial Stability: Social enterprises need to establish reliable funding sources and secure financial long-term stability. This may involve strategic partnerships with philanthropic organizations, and impact investors who align with their social objectives.
  • Legal Structure: Choosing the appropriate legal structure is crucial for social enterprises. They must consider options such as limited liability companies (LLCs) or hybrid models that allow them to operate effectively and fulfill their social missions.
  • Collaboration and Stakeholder Engagement: Collaboration with government agencies, community organizations, and private sector partners is essential for the success of social enterprises. By building strong relationships and aligning interests, they can leverage resources, expertise, and support to amplify their impact.

Future Perspectives and Opportunities

Looking ahead, there are promising opportunities for the growth and expansion of social enterprises in Philippine real estate development. These opportunities include:

  • Technological Advancements: Harnessing technology and innovation can further enhance the social and environmental impact of real estate projects. Examples include the use of smart infrastructure, renewable energy systems, and data-driven solutions to optimize resource usage and improve efficiency.
  • Policy and Regulatory Support: Government policies and regulations play a crucial role in facilitating the growth of social enterprises. By fostering an enabling environment, policymakers can incentivize and support socially responsible real estate development, ensuring its long-term sustainability.


In conclusion, social enterprises are instrumental in Philippine real estate development, championing social and environmental causes alongside business profitability. Through their innovative approaches, these enterprises address affordable housing challenges, foster community development, promote sustainable practices, and drive positive social impact. As the real estate industry evolves, it is imperative to recognize and support the role of social enterprises in creating a more inclusive and sustainable future. By embracing their unique business models and collaborative spirit, we can unlock the immense potential they hold in transforming Philippine real estate for the betterment of society and the environment.