Paolo Benigno “Bam” A. Aquino IV (born May 7, 1977) is a former TV host, former Chairperson of the National Youth Commission of the Philippines, and currently the President of MicroVentures, Inc. which runs the multi-awarded social enterprise, The Hapinoy Program (www.hapinoy.com).
Bam was born on May 7, 1977 in Manila, the son of Paul Aquino, the youngest brother of the late Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. and Melanie Aguirre.
After graduating valedictorian and summa cum laude with a BSC in Management Engineering from Ateneo de Manila University in 1999, he worked at the ABS-CBN Foundation in their special projects group.
In 2001, Aquino was appointed to the National Youth Commission of the Philippines as commissioner-at-large. The National Youth Commission (NYC) is the sole national policy-making and coordinating body on youth affairs. In February 2003, Aquino was upgraded to chairperson of the NYC, becoming the youngest person in Philippine history to head a government agency.
As a host, Aquino was featured in youth-oriented shows on Studio 23’s “Y-Speak” and “Breakfast” then later on in ANC’s entrepreneurship show “Start-Up”. He has also starred as his uncle, Ninoy Aquino in the August 2009 documentary-film “The Last Journey of Ninoy”.
In late 2006, Bam co-founded MicroVentures, Inc., a social enterprise that services micro financing organizations and their clients through the Hapinoy Program. Aside from being a Board Member of MicroVentures, Inc., he is the President of MicroVentures Foundation.
He was awarded as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and was chosen to be part of Asia Society’s pioneer batch of Asia 21 Fellows also in the same year.
Sometime in 2007, he joined the board of Rags2Riches, Inc., another social enterprise that helps underprivileged women with their livelihood.
Alongside business partner, Mark Ruiz, he was one of the finalists of the 2010 Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award as well as one of the PLDT SME Bossings and GoNegosyo’s Inspiring Young Entrepreneurs for their work in the Hapinoy Program. He was also chosen as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (TOYM) in the category Social Enterprise and Community Development that year.
In 2011, The Hapinoy Program won the UN’s Project Inspire Award besting over 400 social enterprises from all over the world. Again with business partner, Mark Ruiz, Bam was named as the Asian Social Entrepreneur of the Year by the World Economic Forum’s Schwab Foundation for Social Enterprises.
Bam is also the current President of the TAYO (Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations) Awards Foundation, the country’s premier youth award-giving body for youth organizations.