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doing good for society

doing good for society 2

Summary of the article:

Today’s article will be a very short post.

This article will share about some tips by Ms Elim Chew, founder and president of streetwear fashion and accessories retail chain – 77th Street (Khoo & Augustine, 2012). Such tips are useful for (Social) entrepreneurs-to-be.

1)      Start young

2)      Beyond textbooks

3)      What young can learn

4)      Where to start

5)      Start small and get guidance

6)      Persistence

My thoughts:

I totally agree to the six tips/pointers that were stated by Ms Elim Chew.

It is because, one should learn how to care for others from a young age. In my opinion, Singapore’s education system can strengthen on inculcating moral values to students. With this, I believe more students (starting from younger age) will be able to share and care for others. At a young age, it is good for kids to be exposed to a wide range of activities, environment, etc. This is so that, kids will be able to have a great expose to the real world and having some thoughts or emotions linked to it. For example, kids will be empathized when they visit an elder care nursing home.

To add on, I feel that businesses usually start from a small size then proceed to further expansion. Having huge capital does not necessarily mean success to the business, rather, we need to look into more aspects. For example, a mentor will play a good part in the success of the business. As someone who is experienced, he or she will be able to provide relevant and useful information.

Lastly, persistence is another factor that can contribute to the success of a business. In everything, we need to have determination, persistence and passion to succeed. If we have the will, I believe that we will be able to overcome whatever issues or problems that we are facing. If an individual has additional encouragement, I believe it will help the individual too.

 

References

Khoo, H., & Augustine, T. M. (2012, December 26). The New Paper: Doing good for society. Retrieved February 3, 2013, from The New Paper: http://global.factiva.com.libwww3.np.edu.sg/ha/default.aspx

student np

Today, I will be sharing about entrepreneurship of Ngee Ann’s students.

Summary of the article:

The front section of the article mentioned that Mr Ian Ling is running a thriving campus business – Selling hot dog(s). He has an American themed hot dog stand which sells between 120 and 150 sandwiches a day which brings in approximately $8,000 a month. He hires students at the school as part timers (The New Paper: Student, 19, earns $8,000 a month selling hot dogs, 2013). .

The later part of the article mentioned about our course mates and their ice cream business. This business will be launched at the later part of January. They received $3,000 grant from Ngee Ann and they contributed $6,000 from their own pockets. The ice cream business is a social enterprise (The New Paper: Student, 19, earns $8,000 a month selling hot dogs, 2013). .

Read full article: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Business/Story/A1Story20130104-393407.html

My thoughts about this article:  

First and foremost, setting up a business (including social enterprises) will not be an easy task as much time will be needed to spent, in crafting the business, etc. Also, one will need a certain amount of capital to be pumped into the business. For Mr Ian’s hotdog business, on top of the $3,000 grant from Ngee Ann, his family had fork out a 5-figure sum.

Secondly, one will need passion to set up a business. It is because, if one does not have much passion, he or she will not set the business in the best interest for the company or their employees (Beneficiaries).

Lastly, for Ngee Ann students, do show your support to fellow school mates and/or course mates.
*Hints to BZSE students*

References:

The New Paper: Student, 19, earns $8,000 a month selling hot dogs. (2013, January 6). Retrieved January 25, 2013, from The New Paper: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Business/Story/A1Story20130104-393407.html

chinatown se

I will be sharing about a Chinatown’s social enterprise/ Project

Summary of the article:

The project was set up two years ago and it was the first of its kind in Singapore (Tai,2012).

The project is initiated by grassroots leaders from Kreta Ayer-Kim Seng constituency. In order to address the issue where many needy and elderly are idling their time away, the grassroots leaders decided to train them to make handicrafts that would be sold in a social enterprise (Tai,2012).

To date, the social enterprise has hired about 30 residents from the area which includes elderly in their 60s and 70s who live alone, housewives with a low household income. Such beneficiaries are mostly hired through referrals from grassroots leaders or MPs (Tai,2012).

The Chinatown residents will head to a handicraft workshop in Sago Lane thrice per week, to sew bags and dolls or make trinkets such as keychains, tissue-box holder,etc. They are paid $4 to $5 an hour and most of them take home about $200 to $300 a month. The handicrafts will then be sold in retail store at The Majestic, which is a Turf Club betting centre (Tai,2012).

The aim of the initiative is to offer needy and elderly residents, who find it difficult to find or hold down jobs, a way to live productive and driven lives while helping them qualify for state aid such as the Workfare Income Supplement (Tai,2012).

To read full article @ http://www.yourhealth.com.sg/content/staying-active-and-making-some-cash

My thoughts:

This is a very beneficial and useful program and/or social enterprise which were set up. It is because, if we were to look into the society, looking at how people live, how they spend their time, etc, we will notice a trend. The trend refers to many elderly idling their time away, by sitting at void deck, etc. One reason is because; there is only an extremely low percentage where employers will hire them. Thus, such elderly do not have much choices but to idle their time away.

However, with such program, there is a higher chance for the elderly to be hired and they will be able to spend their time more wisely and this also increases their opportunities to bond with others. Although they do not have a very high pay but, I believe the income will be able to sustain them at a minimal level, and that, being able to have “someone” to be with is important too. Also, they will not only earn an income but they learn a skill – handicraft.

To add on, I will like to mention a remarkable thing which is, such project project is initiated by grassroots leaders. From my own opinion, political figures should be people who are extremely busy with current affairs, or important issues which relates to the nation well being. However, these politicians took up this additional responsibility to care for the elderly.

Thus, I hope that more social enterprises can be steered towards helping the under privileged which includes needy (Perhaps physically disabled) and elderly. With a helping hand, we will be able to help and change the community.

 References:

Tai, J. (2012, December 12). The Straits Times: Staying active and making some cash. Retrieved January 20, 2013, from The Straits Times: http://www.yourhealth.com.sg/content/staying-active-and-making-some-cash

2 bodies to start training would be hawkers 1

2 bodies to start training would be hawkers 2

The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has selected two organizations to train more than 2,000 people over the next two years to work in F&B places such as hawker centres, food court, etc (Zengkun, 2013). Project Dignity and Eduquest International Institute are the selected organizations. The purpose of programmes provided by the two organizations is to help Singapore to meet a demand for skilled manpower in the F&B industry (Zengkun, 2013).

About Project Dignity:

Project Dignity is a food court management school focusing on the training of the disabled and the disadvantaged, to be food stall operators (Dignity Kitchen: Home, 2011).

They have a mission to build and return the dignity to the disadvantaged and disabled through vocation with passion (Dignity Kitchen: About us, 2011).

They have four key initiatives which are “Creating a platform for hawker training”, “Educating the hawkers”, “Lunch treat for the elderly” and “Working with handicapped” (Dignity Kitchen: About us, 2011).

More details at Project Dignity’s website: http://projectdignity.sg/

About Eduquest International Institute:

Eduquest International Institute offers a wide range of internationally-recognised training programmes, Eduquest enables working professionals to acquire the most valuable asset in the 21st century: new knowledge and skills. Eduquest currently offers Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) training programme and many more (Eduquest International Institute: About us, 2012).

More details at Eduquest International Institute: http://www.eduquest.com.sg/eng/

My thoughts:

In my opinion, it is good to have organizations that are there to teach people with F&B related skills, as F&B is an industry which will always need people. However, such people will need real passion and interest to be able to work in this industry. As mentioned by Ms Wang from another article (The Straits Times: Food operators praise hawker training scheme, 2013) states that, “Being a hawker requires manual labour, they will need a passion for their work if not, young adults will prefer working in air-conditioned places”. I totally agree with what she says as, in general, I feel that most young adults have a favor towards air-conditioned places. An example is, a student will choose to have his or her lunch in a shopping mall rather than a traditional coffeeshop. Personally, I will prefer to dine at air-conditioned places as areas with no air conditioners will tend to be very stuffy. This situation is worsen with Singapore’s unpredictable weather, either being sunny or sudden heavy downpour. Therefore, I hope that those applicants who have applied for such training session (s) have a strong passion in F&B.

 The other article that I mentioned:

Food operators praise hawker training scheme 1

Food operators praise hawker training scheme 2

References:

Dignity Kitchen: About us. (2011). Retrieved January 14, 2013, from Dignity Kitchen: http://projectdignity.sg/about

Dignity Kitchen: Home. (2011). Retrieved January 14, 2013, from Dignity Kitchen: http://projectdignity.sg/

Eduquest International Institute: About us. (2012). Retrieved January 14, 2013, from Eduquest International Institute: http://www.eduquest.com.sg/eng/about-us/about-eduquest/43/

The Straits Times: Food operators praise hawker training scheme. (2013, January 12). Retrieved January 14, 2013, from The Straits Times: http://global.factiva.com.libwww3.np.edu.sg/ha/default.aspx

Zengkun, F. (2013, January 9). The Straits Times: 2 bodies to start training would-be hawkers. Retrieved January 14, 2013, from The Straits Times: http://global.factiva.com.libwww3.np.edu.sg/ha/default.aspx

 

Today, I will be sharing about “Beautiful People”.

baking

Full article @

http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/causes-week/story/baking-cakes-get-taste-working-life-20121211

Information about Beautiful People:

Beautiful People was launched in 2006 as a programme of Beyond Social Services, supporting teenage girls on probation as they reintegrate into society (Beautiful People: About us, 2011).

Mission: To walk with teenage girls through key transitions in their life and to inspire, educate and empower them to be at their best and highest selves. They work in alignment with social workers, parents and friends to help the girls realise their dreams (Beautiful People: About us, 2011).

Vision: To cultivate an extended family network of supportive relationships for girls to transition to stable, purposeful, productive and dignified lives, to provide opportunities for girls to discover and fulfill their personal and professional potential, and to cultivate a spirit of love for self &others, gratitude, sense of purpose and contribution (Beautiful People: About us, 2011).

Summary of the article:

As part of a social enterprise project now in its second year, 10 to 12 girls from various girls’ homes will be learning many aspects of managing an F&B business such as baking skills and how to manage deliveries and costs. For 2012 Christmas season, they will be baking hundreds of sticky date fruitcake for sale (Yong, 2012).

For 2012, Beautiful People aims to bake about 500 cakes and has received around 300 orders so far, said entrepreneur Shindy Vij, 53 (Yong, 2012).

Miss Nina Rafiee, who was from a girls’ home and is now a youth volunteer, was one of last year’s bakers. Two sentences quoted from her:

“I learnt to be more patient because all the ingredients had to be in precise amounts,” said the 21-year-old, who graduated recently with a higher diploma in hospitality and tourism management from TMC Academy (Yong, 2012).

What I remember most is the hard work that all of us put in during those three days. I’m proud of all of us.”

My Thoughts:

In my opinion, with such social enterprise project and/or having such a good organization as mentorship, it will benefit its students. In the context of this article, it provides a platform to empower women. Also, the skill set that will be passed on the girls will be very useful and beneficial to work in the F&B field in the future and also, it will add on to their experience.

To add on, as quoted by Miss Nina Rafiee, “What I remember most is the hard work that all of us put in during those three days”. This sentence shows that such projects not only taught the girls about business and relevant skills but indirectly taught them about teamwork. Teamwork is an essential element in the workforce as we will definitely need to work in groups and we will need to learn how to compromise with one another. With a good teamwork, one can work better with his or her fellow colleagues.

References:

Beautiful People: About us. (2011). Retrieved January 2, 2013, from Beautiful People: http://www.beautifulpeople.org.sg/about-us/

Yong, C. (2012, December 11). Straits Times: Baking cakes to get a taste of working life. Retrieved January 2, 2013, from Straits Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/causes-week/story/baking-cakes-get-taste-working-life-20121211

Today, I will be sharing about a new social enterprise called Gift of Hope.

news part 1

news part 2

Credits : Factiva and The New Paper

Information about Gift of Hope:

Objective: Raise awareness and funds for TP Healthcare, is a 365 day rehabilitation centre providing rehab therapy, day care, nursing care, home care and transport services (TP Healthcare: Home).

Beneficiaries: TP Healthcare and its members

Summary of the article:

Gift of Hope is set up by four final year marketing students of Nanyang polytechnic and they are Fiona Lim, Tan Siang Long, Angelina Kosasih and Kenny Ng. They participated in the YFC Social Enterprise Challenge 2012 where participants had to set up and implement a viable social enterprise for an assigned Volunteer & Welfare Organisation (VWO). Their assigned VWO was TP Healthcare where the centre wanted a social enterprise that the elderly patients could be actively involved in. The team proposed selling tote bags, which the elderly could customise by printing, drawing and painting and their business proposal won them a seed funding of $6,000. (Khoo & Augustine, 2012)

To date, the team has sold 445 bags and made a profit of $18,000, which goes to TP Healthcare. In November, the team was awarded the Sustainability Award and the Social Enterprise Challenge Award with a $1,000 cash prize for effectively implementing their business proposal (Khoo & Augustine, 2012).

My thoughts:

In my opinion, Gift of Hope has an environmentally friendly and elderly friendly business idea. It is because, the tote bags are “designed” by the elderly where it is not a manual intensive tasks for elderly. Also, this can allow the elderly to make full use of their innovation and that they will have a good mental state or improve their mental state. To add on, with the sale of tote bags, it increases the awareness of using recycled bags which can save more trees and protect our mother nature. Furthermore, there is an increasing of tote bags and recycled bags can last longer than a normal plastic carrier or paper carrier.

References:

Khoo, H., & Augustine, T. M. (2012, December 26). The New Paper: MAKING A DIFFERENCE / Gift of Hope to the elderly. Retrieved January 2, 2013, from The New Paper: http://global.factiva.com.libwww3.np.edu.sg/aa/?ref=NEWPAP0020121228e8cq0000c&pp=1&fcpil=en&napc=S&sa_from=

TP Healthcare: Home. (n.d.). Retrieved January 2, 2013, from TP Healthcare: http://www.truepassion.org.sg/

I will be sharing about a relatively new Social Enterprise – Sandwich Heaven Cafe.

SWC

Summary of the news article:

Sandwich Heaven is managed by a Malay-Muslim non-governmental organization (NGO), Majlis Pusat. Sandwich Heaven café (SHC) is founded by Majlis Pusat’s secretary general, Mr Zakaria Abdul Gapor and his friend in March this year. The key reason for the birth of SHC is because they felt that there were not much Malay-Muslim SE around in Singapore. Also, most of its employees are from low income or broken families or lack of higher education. Mr Zakaria hoped to empower anyone who responds to his job advertisements. To add on, there is 1 factor which makes SHC very different from other existing SE, which is, employees who are able to stay in the job for 2 years will get a chance to have partial ownership to the shop (Lin, 2012).

Full article : http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/causes-week/story/job-platter-side-confidence-boosters-20121212

My thoughts:

In my opinion, I agree to the point where it is relatively hard to find a Malay-Muslim related SE in Singapore. With this SE, it can be a form of motivation for potential social entrepreneurs to start up more Malay-Muslim SE in Singapore. Also, with the benefit of providing partial ownership to fellow employees will definitely boost their confidence level, level of determination, etc. An employee will be able to take full pride in his or her work and by having partial ownership will make one to be more responsible in his or her actions or words. I see a potential in this café as it also provides an opportunity for its employees to come up with their own food items to sell at the shop. How good can this shop be -Allowing employees to take leadership, decision-making roles and contribution to the performance of the shop?

To find out more about how you can help, e-mail Mr Zakaria at zakaria@majlispusat.org

They have 2 outlets at Bedok North and Changi Road respectively.

Please show your support in a way or another 🙂

References:

Lin, M. (2012, December 12). Straits Times: Job on a platter, with a side of confidence boosters. Retrieved December 22, 2012, from Straits Times: http://www.straitstimes.com/the-big-story/causes-week/story/job-platter-side-confidence-boosters-20121212