DOST provides P2.1-M grant for mental healthcare startup

4 January 2022 — The Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Industry, Energy, and Emerging Technology Research and Development (DOST-PCIEERD) announced on Tuesday, Jan. 4, that it has provided a P2.1-million grant to a mental healthcare startup funded by a Gen Z entrepreneur in 2020.

Through DOST-PCIEERD’s Women-Helping-Women: Innovating Social Enterprises or WHWise Program, the department intends to provide funding assistance to Filipino women social entrepreneurs yearly.

In total, the DOST awarded P30-M in grants to nine women-led businesses, including Empath.

It also gave early-stage funding, training, skills development, mentorship, and business incubation.

Steph Naval, Empath Corporation’s 24-year-old chief executive officer, said the funding will go to expanding the startup’s business and operations, improving its consultation services, streamlining booking processes, and expanding its reach via the Empath mobile and web application.

Naval launched Empath as a social enterprise that envisions communities where mental healthcare and education areas are readily accessible.

According to her, the company also aims to build a nation that fosters genuine empathy and care for the well-being of Filipinos.

Empath offers online consultations, workshops, webinars, and wellness classes for individual clients, schools, corporations, and nonprofit groups.

(Article was first published by Manila Bulletin authored by Gabriela Baron)

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