Leo AlforteDirector of Social Business
A passionate worker for people empowerment initiatives since 1980. Have vast experience in organizing community-driven proactive actions to address sectoral concerns. Gained expertise in participatory methodologies in crafting environmental advocacies, livelihood projects and appropriate training programs in collaboration with various government, private and academic institutions. A champion in networking to gain synergy of multi-stakeholders for collaborative undertakings, towards the development of sustainable agriculture and social business innovations.
Leo started working in an NGO focusing on farmer’s organising and rural community development in 1989. This led to the formation of a farmer’s cooperative to gain fair trading benefits and promote sustainable agriculture practices in Quezon Province, Philippines. In 2001, this grassroots network was instrumental in electing progressive local politicians, wherein Leo was the designated Municipal Information Officer promoting active people’s participation in local governance.
Passion for community-driven development steered Leo to set up GENADEV a local NGO, it pioneered multisectoral action on disaster relief and rehabilitation after the North Quezon mudflow disaster in 2004 which buried hundreds of families and greatly damaged livelihoods. Active networking was the key to accessing support for relief & rehab from universities, civic organizations, and international NGOs. Leo’s initiatives were recognized and gained a P1M grant from the World Bank (2006) to implement a community rehab project using bio-engineering to rehab riverside communities.
De La Salle – College of St. Benilde harnessed Leo’s expertise to integrate community development work in the University’s social action programs, which led to sustained collaboration with adjacent urban poor communities and establishments of a non-formal education platform for out-of-school youth.
Leo was a founding member of Grameen Australia Philippines (GAP) in 2014 which started microfinance in urban poor communities in Metro Manila. Pioneered in building capacities of individual borrowers towards organised micro-business that gained new markets and sustained income. He contributed significantly to GAP’s journey, overcoming challenges and constraints to evolve into Grameen Pilipinas Microfinance NGO.
Leo now leads Dana Asia’s social business development, facilitating multisectoral partners in establishing community-based sustainable enterprises.