A large part of Conscious Impact Business involves taking care to impact the lives of people around us positively. We believe that wherever a business operates, it should improve the lives of people in the surrounding community. It should work in harmony with its surroundings, and give back as much as it takes. A synergy that works to everyone’s benefit.
That may seem easier said than done, but when your business has community welfare in it’s DNA, making a difference would be given as much importance as making a profit.
That’s where social enterprises come in. While social enterprises aim to make a profit, they also typically have a social cause as their primary mission, whether it’s the alleviation of poverty, the empowerment of single mothers or the preservation of the environment and so on.
This week we want to highlight social enterprises in Malaysia. There are so many people who are doing good in Malaysia, and we are so proud of our people’s wonderful hearts and passion.
Like Unseen Tours KL, which is an initiative by Yellow House KL , a small community centre/backpackers hostel. Founder Shyam Priah wanted to help the homeless in a way that was more sustainable than just providing handouts or food. Through Unseen Tours, people are lifted off the streets and given training to act as tour guides showing tourists around Kuala Lumpur. There are currently five tour guides running Unseen Tours KL, who earn an average of RM500 monthly. More than money however, they now have dignity.
The Batik Boutique aims to empower women (mainly single and low-income mothers), giving them a chance to earn a fair and sustainable income. These women are given training to produce gifts and fashion accessories from batik, our traditional Malaysian fabric. They work with people from all backgrounds—from batik artists to seamstresses who work in their sewing center set up in low-income housing areas. More 150 artisans gain a fair, sustainable income in this way, with each purchase directly benefitting the artisan who made it.
The indigenous peoples of Malaysia are probably among the most marginalized and poverty stricken, with their culture constantly under threat of being forgotten or simply twisted beyond recognition. Gerai Orang Asal is a business that aims to document, revive and revitalize the heritage crafts of the Orang Asal. They are a nomadic stall, selling things like heritage crafts, books, CDs and DVDs about or by our indigenous people. And 100% of the sales monies is returned to the artisan, their businesses or NGOs.
Even the Arts could use a helping hand. Kakiseni believes that everyone should have access to the Performing Arts and make it their mission to expose more people to different types of arts. The work they’ve put in to the nation’s performing arts scene include monetary grants, talent development programs, annual performing arts festivals and more.
And then there’s Do Something Good which matches willing volunteers to the NGOs of the nation. All sorts of volunteering activities can be found throughout this site, from animal welfare, orphanages, flood victims and old folk’s homes. So for those who are willing but have no idea where to start, Do Something Good offers a good headstart.
There are so many ways to do good, in our very own backyard, if only we had the heart for it. Do you?
If your business is doing something good, we want to hear about it. And we want to help you tell everyone about it too! Get in touch with us, let’s talk.
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