There has been a rapid rise in the number of social enterprises in Malaysia. With the ever changing economy, greater awareness and societal consciousness among citizens – businesses are including social and environmental impact into their bottomline. There are a number of reasons why profit-making enterprises are wanting to pay it forward.
According to Deloitte, the environment is ripe for social enterprises. There is growing individual power to participate in social change; higher trust in the private sector than government; and the advancement of technology helps to facilitate this shift.
Some of Malaysia’s most innovative thinkers, creative leaders and skilled business people are putting their skills to use by bringing change to communities and the environment. The following are 6 innovative social enterprises that will inspire you to do good.
#1: Changgih Designs
A brain-child of two passionate mothers who have been dreaming of making adorable crafts for their kids during nap time turned into an idea of immortalizing pieces of culture by blending them with modern fashion. Changgih Designs is a social enterprise dedicated to empowering mothers through skill development and opportunities.
The “Give10toSabah” program was started as an initiative to give back to the communities in Sabah. Every purchase made with them would go to impacting the community as they pledge to use 10% of their profits. Among their community projects are food bundles for needy families, flood disaster relief activities and job training courses.
Head over to Changgih and give back to the Sabahan community.
#2: Langit Collective
It all began when the four founding members worked as rural community organisers — travelling extensively in rural areas of Sabah and Sarawak building gravity-fed water systems. While in Lawas, they developed a strong familial bond with their host family and as they lived among the community, they were enlightened by the plight faced by the rural communities. For the good of the community, the Langit Collective materialized — creating a sustainable economic ecosystem in the rural areas.
Langit promotes unique agricultural produce by small farmers of East Malaysia to the larger market. On top of that, 35% of their retail proceeds goes directly to the farmers. Since 2015, they have impacted three rural communities, nine villages and 69 farmer partners with RM 320,000 worth of direct payouts to farmers — and it is still going on.
They also arrange experiential trips to these villages so that consumers can understand and appreciate the beauty behind the products they buy and consume.
Learn more about their initiative by paying them a visit here.
#3: Pit Stop Community Cafe
The Pit Stop Community Cafe was founded by Andrea Tan and Joycelyn Lee with three objectives in sight. The first is to create a platform for anyone who would like to give back to the community but does not know where to begin. Pit Stop also aims to reach out and help the communities that are sidelined through the provision of food and services, helping them reintegrate back into society. The third objective is to ultimately reduce food waste.
Their objectives are translated into actions via the programs they have like their Pay-What-You-Can dinner service, job training, food redistribution and volunteerism.
In the year 2017 only, they have successfully served 50,450 people with 80,685 portions of food amounting to 11,000kg of rescued food. That’s a whopping 6,723 portions a month!
Interested in giving back but do not know where to begin? Find out more on how to.
#4: #Wat Academy
Listed as a community college on their official Facebook Page, #WAT Academy is a provider of accessible and affordable consultancy, recruitment and training services so that young adults can strive to realize their dreams regardless of where they come from.
Based in Miri, Sarawak, this social enterprise provides both soft and hard skills education which are industry-relevant for the community here in Sarawak. They realized the need for young adults to be exposed to the right career opportunities hence they serve as the bridge that links these adults to potential employers.
Visit them on their Facebook page to see what they are all about.
#5: Teach For Malaysia
A social enterprise with a mission to end education inequality, Teach for Malaysia is an organization that recruits, trains and supports Malaysia’s prospective leaders. Their Fellowship Program allows Fellows to teach in high-need classrooms all over the country. Fellows are recruited and trained through a 2-year Fellowship program which upon completion, will be sent to teach students in low-income communities, empowering them. This builds a movement of education champions which in turn promotes collective impact. The end goal? To transform the education ecosystem and the society within.
As of writing, they have more than 400 Fellows placed in schools, impacting over 130,000 students.
Read what Teach For Malaysia‘s alumni has to say about their past experiences.
#6: Gerai OA
The Gerai Orang Asal (Gerai OA) is just any ‘gerai’ at all. Started in 2004, Gerai OA is a volunteer-run, nomadic stall that sells handicrafts done by the indigenous people or Orang Asal. On top of that, 100% of the sales profit is paid to the named artisan of the craft they sell.
Driven by the mission of preserving heritage, Gerai OA strives to document and reinvigorate the heritage crafts of the indigenous people. They do not just stop at the selling of these crafts but also promote them via workshops, publications and social media postings.
Interested in finding out what you can get your hands on? Head over to Gerai OA now!