Rene Guarin has been working with communities on enterprise development since the 1990s. His initial job brought him to the upland areas of South Cotabato in Mindanao where he helped establish a corn buying station that served the Indigenous People in the area. Over a period of more than 25 years, he has worked with small farmers, SMEs, Social Enterprises and cooperatives in areas of market research and development, product development, enterprise and value chain development. He also started a marketing organization that distributed products from small producers/processors, cooperatives and community based enterprises in major supermarket chains in the Philippines. This company helped grew the market for organic rice and muscovado sugar in the country.
Prior to joining Agriterra, Rene also worked with INGOs that include the Inter-Church Organization for International Cooperation (ICCO), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Oxfam Great Britain. He served as a program manager and adviser on value chain development and Private Sector engagements during his work with the INGOs. Rene also provided business development services to government programs and local NGOs. He has a bachelor’s degree on Business Management and earned his Masters Degree in Social Entrepreneurship at the Asian Institute of Management.
Even outside of work, Rene still has a keen interest on social enterprises and volunteers his time to help business with a cause to get started. He also has his own business ventures that include business consulting, processing and trade of coconut sugar and chocolates. During his free time, Rene likes to travel around the countryside with his family, cook a new dish, do carpentry work, plant herbs and vegetables in his small garden or listen to all genre of music from classical to rock and roll.