Revolutionising business through social enterprise
Calyn Yap | 07 Nov 2014 00:01
From left: Lai, Loo, Firdaus Nisha, Agarwal and Navin
There is a distinct boundary between a business and a non-governmental organisation. Businesses are driven by profit, often to the detriment of society and the environment, and NGOs are dependent largely on donations. Today’s urban youth, however, is spurring a new way of doing business. With most basic needs taken care of by parents, this generation is looking for more in life than to toil at a steady nine-to-five job with single-minded purpose. It wants to contribute to a greater cause. It is this desire that has led to the social business – organisations using business models to attain the central objective of a social or environmental vision. One of the main issues with traditional NGOs is their dependence on charity, which may not be sustainable. Realising this, many entrepreneurs have started a model that addresses this lack by sustaining themselves as would a business. FocusM speaks with several local social businesses, including Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) Green Concepts founder Wilson Lai, Ecocentric Transitions co-founders Firdaus Nisha Muhammad Faizal and Loo Lymun as well as Make A Difference (MAD) Experience founders Navin Muruga and Charu Agarwal, to find out what they do and how they do it.

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