Local social enterprise bags award from Google
A DAVAO-based social enterprise is one of the three winners of the 2017 Google Business Group (GBG) stories.
Virtualahan is a social enterprise that trains People with Disability (PWDs) to become digital professionals using Google platforms such as Google Classroom, GSuite, and Chrome in order to break employment barriers that are usually the problems faced by PWDs.
“The six-week skills training transformed scores of family-dependent and unemployed PWD to self-earning and dependable members of the family and the community. After the skills certification, Virtualahan then provides jobs by employing their graduates and/or by placing them with their outsourcing partners. They are employed as virtual assistants, customer service representatives, transcriptionists, data managers, and other online jobs,” Virtualahan said in a statement.
For the past two years, Virtualahan had been of assistance to 127 beneficiaries from 20 different countries in the Philippines.
It has represented the country in different international competitions which includes the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Impact Challenge in Singapore. Virtualahan has also represented the country at the Social Enterprise World Forum in Hong Kong, was among the fellows in the DO School in Germany, and The Global Good Fund in the United States, and the The Youth Assembly at the United Nations in New York.
“At Virtualahan, we equip PWDs with digital skills and provide employment opportunities. Our mission is to restore human dignity to our beneficiaries and reintroduce them to the community as worthy members,” said Virtualahan Founder Ryan Gersava in a statement.
Out of the 150 countries that vied for the top spot, only nine entries made it to the finals and only three were declared the winners.
The two other winners were Riliv.com of Indonesia, an online platform that provides counseling, and Yagam, a coffee shop/ restaurant in Baguio City that serves authentic Cordillera cuisines and coffee.
Khalti from Nepal, a fin-tech company with the objective of making Nepal’s economy a cashless economy, won the People’s Choice Awards via online voting. This is the first time that entries from the Philippines won the said competition.