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Teching-up the Bangsamoro Youth

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(From left) Jove Tapiador, Fintech Co-Founder and President; Cong Bai Sandra Sema, Mother of BOL; and Roy Miclat, 1 Cooperative Insurance Systems of the Philippines. Talking about on how together- technology and the youth, the community through innovations, concepts and new ideas to create opportunities in the Bangsamoro region can pave the way for a progressive and successful youth.

(From left) Jove Tapiador, Fintech Co-Founder and President; Cong Bai Sandra Sema, Mother of BOL; and Roy Miclat, 1 Cooperative Insurance Systems of the Philippines. Talking about on how together- technology and the youth, the community through innovations, concepts and new ideas to create opportunities in the Bangsamoro region can pave the way for a progressive and successful youth.

With the recent ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL)  and new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) established, Bangsamoro champion and acknowledged mother of the BOL Rep. Bai Sandra Sema has begun engaging and mobilizing the youth of Mindanao through the “Coop Kicks” technology and entrepreneurship program.

Done in partnership with the One Cooperative Insurance System of the Philippines (1CISP), the largest cooperative insurance organization in the Philippines, Coop Kicks features entrepreneurship and technology bootcamps, pitching competitions, mentorship, incubation and marketplace support, and access to financing for innovative business ideas and models.

“Now that the Bangsamoro Organic Law has been ratified by the people and the BARMM established and in place, it is time to work for the youth by empowering them and creating more opportunities for them to take part in charting the new course of the region towards peace, unity, and prosperity,” Rep. Sema stressed. “The Coop Kicks program aims to tech-up the youth and encourage them to take an active role in shaping the future of Mindanao,” she added.

Coop Kicks is an ongoing project by 1CISP launched in October of 2018. The Bangsamoro Coop Kicks, which is the program’s second leg, was launched on March 6, 2019, at in Cotabato City.

Keynote speakers during the Cotabato City launch included Rep. Sema; Roy Miclat, president of 1CISP; and Jove Tapiador, co-founder and Chairman of Fintech Philippines Association—a non-profit association representing and promoting the Philippines as a premier financial and technological innovator in Asia.

Cooperatives, teams, or individuals who are residents of Mindanao and who have breakthrough business solutions, products and/or services awaiting a kickstart can join the Coop Kicks pitch fest. Duly registered cooperatives in Mindanao may also become part of the program as business proponents or finance providers.

Short-listed proponents can avail of free registration in entrepreneurship and technology bootcamps, and a chance to become one of the finalists in the Coop Kicks final round.

Winners in the final round will be awarded Php100,000.00 seed funding support; free use of a fully supported co-working space for up to one year in Cagayan de Oro City; a highly qualified mentor during the incubation period; support for business registration, processing and development; and access to Series A funding during the full development phase.

“I have always believed that our youth are the future of the Bangsamoro. Now that the BOL has been ratified, we will be relying on you to provide a better future for yourselves and for your elders,” Rep. Sema stressed, addressing the Bangsamoro youth. “The BOL is now in your court,” she added.

Enterprising contingent of the youth sector in Cotabato City showed up to the announcement of a pitch-fest at the D and M Hall in Cotabato City to explore the opportunities for the youth.

Headed by Cong Bai Sandra Sema, the mother of BOL, this coming together to make the future brighter is a first step for the Bangsamoro youth.

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