We’re a Singapore-based couple (Khing and Sha) fascinated by the amazing work of social enterprises.
What started out as a shameless request list of birthday ‘gifts and makan(eat)’ sent out to all her friends, eventually sent Sha on an adventure into the world of businesses with heart.
Fed up with not being able to find a consolidated site we could visit, if we wanted to spend our money more meaningfully, we decided to set up our own!
So we’re on a hunting trail to discover and showcase as many good quality social enterprises as we can find in Singapore. They could have manufacturing in other countries (which is great because we know that many provide employment to less fortunate in the other nations), but the end result good and services are available in Singapore somehow!
“What is a social enterprise?” many people ask. In our view, we differentiate between:
(ii) profit-driven business; and
(iii) social enterprises.
A charity focuses on the social cause and depends mainly on donations for funds.
A profit-driven business is about maximizing profitability. While many businesses give back to society through various types of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes, profits are still their main focus. The CSR programme or social cause is a secondary activity, and not the top priority for the profit-driven business.
A social enterprise has the social cause as the main reason for existence – and lies between this spectrum of charity and profit-driven business. It is an enterprise set up primarily to help the social cause. However, unlike charities, social enterprises do not depend on donations, but rather they run a legitimate business to bring in the income or provide employment for disadvantaged people in society. Also, unlike a profit-driven businesses, a social enterprise would NOT EXIST without the social cause.
There are some profit-driven businesses that like to call themselves social enterprises just because they have a CSR programme and contribute back to society in some way. That’s definitely a great thing to do, however in our minds, we would not classify them as social enterprises.
We haven’t tried everything on this site yet. But as and when we do, we’ll update our findings. So watch the spaces evolve!
Hope you find this blog helpful. Do check out the different goods and services. You could also send us any feedback or information you might acquire from your own visits. Spread the word around!
And if you know of any amazing businesses that make an impact or ‘give back’, please let us know, so we can check them out and give them some publicity space here. Thanks!
Please note that we are not directly connected to any of these businesses, so please contact them directly if you have queries pertaining to them. 🙂