Innovators of the New Normal

Young entrepreneurs prove that great ideas can make for stronger tomorrows

While the whole world faces unprecedented challenges due to the pandemic situation, there are young Filipinos who’ve formed social enterprises focused on finding solutions that will help uplift lives in local communities.

FWD Insurance PH, with its focus on technology and innovation, fully supports Filipino start-ups whose founders’ ingenuity, resilience, and entrepreneurial spirit can jumpstart the economy during and post-pandemic and, at the same time, make a difference in people’s lives. In fact, as one of the investor-judges in CNN Philippines’ The Final Pitch: Heroes Edition, FWD’s President and CEO Li Hao Zhuang often gives his take on the pitched ideas plus offers invaluable tips to these young entrepreneurs.

Here are some of the social enterprises that pitched in the show. Let’s take a look at their game changing ideas. And if you want to see more great ideas, just tune in to The Final Pitch: Heroes Edition on CNN Philippines, every Sunday, 8:00 pm, with replays every Tuesday, 8:30 pm and Saturdays, 11 am.


Founding Team: Paolo Herras, Co-Founder, Festival Director, and Head of Publishing; Mark V. Navarro, Co-Founder, Festival Director; Sandy Beltran, Corporate Secretary and Events Head; Rome Sale, Managing Director and Operations Head; and Noel Santos, Treasurer and Finance Head

Komiket is the Filipino Komiks and Art Market launched as an affordable art market to serve as entry point for comics creators on April 2015 with a vision to help nurture and grow the Filipino komiks community. With the restrictions of the pandemic, Komiket organized the 1st Philippine International Comics Online Festival on September 2020, promoting creator's rights, encouraging adapting their IP, and bridging Filipino komiks to international festival directors, publishers and creators. It plans to hold the Philippine International Comics Festival, which will publish ten world-class Filipino-made English graphic novels that will be chosen by an international jury as winners of the Komiket Awards. This raises the value and perception of Filipino komiks to convince local readers to purchase an original Filipino comic book. All of the books will be sold in monthly Komiket events, at the Secret HQ Bookstore which the group also runs and will also be available through online sellers. 

Satori Lifestyle

Founder: Samantha Kapunan

Satori was first founded as a means to bring yoga and wellness into the corporate world. With the need to bring wellness and balance to a greater number of people in this pandemic situation, it opened the door for coaching on holistic wellbeing and initiating the conversation on holistic health. Satori aims to be a platform, using the founder’s experience in tech innovations along with health and wellness, to provide a space for a more well-rounded approach to health.

The fast pace of life has affected our health both physically and mentally, and the fragmented approach to health and wellbeing that can be debilitating in the future for our population. Satori Lifestyle Satori provides services for holistic wellbeing, as well as becoming a space where stakeholders in the industry, both customers and service providers to come together through special programs, online courses, conferences, podcasts, and search and booking services.


Proponent: Daryl Cielo

Homebased food businesses became a source of income for many who were affected by the pandemic situation. However, smaller sellers are at a disadvantage because they cannot leverage their sales on the existing platforms. They have to cope with the stress of handling orders, responding to inquirers and customers, consolidating records and payments, and planning deliveries. Dealing with all these, most sellers don't find the time anymore to prioritize marketing their products, leaving them unable to expand their market reach. Customers craving a certain food would have to seek it out online and then may have to shoulder the burden of booking a delivery service to bring to their doorstep. There is also no repository for previous orders so the customer will have to search for it again.

Basky aims to bridge this gap as an online marketplace and food delivery platform that will exclusively showcase home-based online sellers and MSME's. Through Basky, a typical customer can explore various homemade food being sold online, place orders, and book the delivery. They can also access a record of all previous transactions they made through their account and earn points for their orders which can be used as promo vouchers. Basky takes care of the selling process for the merchants and even provide them with a personalized URL which can act as their own e-Commerce page. Through their merchant account, they can also access analytics of their customer demographics, which can help them make more informed decisions regarding their business. Lastly, Basky can be a powerful platform that can help them expand their market reach.

UX+ University

Founder: Christian San Jose

There is no affordable and accessible way of learning UX in the Philippines. User Experience is a growing industry, and UX Design is a highly sought after profession. LinkedIn has UX in the top 5 of in-demand skills for professionals in both 2019 and 2020. The average attention span of consumers decreases every year and they have little patience for products that aren't intuitive. Organizations need more expertise to help them build more human-centric products and experiences. As start-ups, corporations, and technology ecosystem in the Philippines and Southeast Asia matures and grows, so does the demand for well-trained and highly skilled UX professionals.

UX+ University is a learning platform designed for aspiring UX designers in the larger Asian market. This learning platform would teach accepted students everything they need to know about UX, from UX Research, UI Design, Prototyping, User Testing, how to work with teams, how to deal with clients, and how to get their UX career started. The project invests heavily in its students. Getting into the course requires no upfront cost, and graduates pay tuition only when they get hired: 16% of the monthly salary for 2 years.

The Dutiful Teachers PH

Founders: Sarah Jane A. Cortes, CEO and Founder, Education Consultant; Emily A. Abling, COO and Researcher; Hanna E. Blas, Joy Villafuerte and Jennel Tamayo, Lead Online Facilitators and Educators

In 2018, Teacher Sarah thought of having an on-demand education service that globally connects Filipino parents, students, and teachers as an answer to the challenges of online learning. After much research and legwork her idea came into fruition because of the pandemic situation. She turned this current problem into an opportunity to help learners, their parents, and educators to adapt through online support like coaching, consultation, and online curriculum facilitation from the Philippines to several countries in the Middle East like Saudi Arabia, Oman, UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain.

TDT has also given free online educational support to children with special needs. It likewise provides job opportunities to displaced Filipino private school teachers and online educational support to busy and struggling OFW homeschooling parents in the Middle East. It is a mutual partnership wherein both parties benefit from each other. TDT offers online educational coaching and consultation for the parents and online facilitation of curriculum and tutorial for the homeschooling children.


Proponent:  Abu Md Rahman

There is a gap for businesses in reaching out to customers through exposure. Traditional media is seen as expensive and unreachable for smaller business owners but there is no dedicated platform for them where they can talk about their business, find right people for their company through job listings, or publish promotional materials.

Abu Md Rahman aims to create a business news platform with directory functionality, job postings, a resume bank, with corporate blogging and corporate public relations aspects. It can service any business in the Philippines who need online presence for promotions or for job hiring and it seeks to inspire its readers with success stories.