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John Joshua Go Camu and Enrico C. Osi

Understanding the experience of Filipino SMEs' Entrepreneurs who use plant-based food as a Sustainable Value Proposition: a qualitative study using Thematic analysis

The global trend towards sustainable, healthy, and ethical consumption has resulted in an increased demand for plant-based food products. This presents a valuable opportunity for entrepreneurs in the Philippines to enter and contribute to the growing US$84.8 million market. Using a qualitative approach, this research aims to understand the experiences of 12 Filipino SMEs’ entrepreneurs who adapted plant-based food as a Sustainable Value Proposition. Guided by the Business Model theory, a thematic analysis found four themes using semi-structured interviews: Entrepreneurial motivation, Personal lifestyle and beliefs, Sustainability advocacy, and Challenges in business. Sub themes includes business opportunity, promoting plant-based food, business resiliency, personal advocacy, ethical concerns, veganism, health reasons, environmental concerns, animal protection, supporting local community, regulatory compliance, financing the business, food pricing, shortage of resources, training management, lack of awareness, differences in beliefs, and duplicating meat-taste. By gaining insights into their experiences, entrepreneurs can work towards creating a more sustainable future for the plant-based food industry in the Philippines.