Today Loo Urban Farm is honored to be invited by MaGIC to share our Social Enterprise journey with a large group of students at Politeknik Prai together with other Social Enterprises. Other speakers are Mr Daniel from Arus Acadamy; Andrew and Amelia from 100% Project.
This is the first time I deliver a speech in Bahasa Malaysia to a large crowd of a few hundreds participants. It has been a long time did not use Bahasa Malaysia to deliver my thought. Furthermore, all my slide was prepared in English. It was at the spot decision that I wanted to deliver the sharing in Bahasa the crowd consist of majority Malay ethnics. I think I have done a pretty good job.
The event started by Arif to “warm up” the crowd and “stir” their thinking to a line with the topic to be discussed today. Arif has always been the specialist to get the crowd charged before the speakers like me discharge them. Hahaha…
We had a free styles photo session which will be uploaded in Instagram and Tweeter with hash tags, #sehati2016 #MaGICSE. The best photo will get a price. Everyone were so excited and we could see all action and endless ideas and creativity in posting.
Following by Dato’ Ruby Khong sharing about what is Social Enterprise. According to her, Social Enterprise has
2) Business Model
3) Target or impact
Meaning to say an entity to qualify as a Social Enterprise, it must have a clear mission to benefits the society. At the same time, it must have a viable business plan to sustain itself and grow the business. At the same time, it must define the beneficiary who will be benefited as a result of their activities.
I took the first sharing session by introducing farming generally, my journey in setting up Loo Urban Farm. Loo Urban Farm initially was intended for self sufficiency and family health. Due to exceptional responses from the market requesting us to build system for them, we pivoted to design and innovate planting system to empower every household to grow their own food.
When every household starts to grow their own food. When all the empty spaces in urban cities is used to grow food. Collectively we reduce the carbon foot print to grow and ship food from remote farmland to urban cities. We will reduce farmland used effectively. In turn, we will moderate global warming, food safety issues and food shortages threats. We will live healthier. We will have more harmonious neighborhood. The world will become a better living space.
It is indeed a huge mission that Loo Urban will not be able to achieve alone. We need everyone’s support and starts doing it to make it happened.
Angie followed by explaining the various model of social enterprise.
- Cross subsidization. It uses revenue generated from one tier of consumer to subsidize another tier of consumer.
- Buy and give. Also know as One for One. These enterprises donate one product or services for each products sold.
- Microfranchising. Start up small franchise business without a significant upfront investment. These enterprise are often combined with microfinance to help the entrepreneur pay off the franchise costs.
- Inclusive business. Include the poor or underprivileged in a company’s value chain on the demand side as clients and consumers or on the supply side as producers, entrepreneurs or employees.
- Design for extreme affordability. Based on a technology or service that has been fundamentally redesigned and has achieved maximum efficiency so that it is affordable to the poor. These products or services tend to be solutions that are both less expensive and more locally responsive.
We break for lunch after everyone understand the common business model of social enterprise.
In the afternoon session, Daniel from Arus Academy shared how he has gather experiences in helping low performance schools’ student to learn by doing projects. Students with poor result are not necessary less smart. They just find studying boring and unable to concentrate. Give a right approach and environment, they can learn well and excel in what they are best off.
Amelia from 100% Project share with us how she is passionate in doing good to the society and given up her career as investment banker to help schools raising fund to help their students in many ways.
The sharing session ended with a questions and answer session where a number of interesting question were raised. Among the questions; is where to start and how to participate in MaGIC’s program to help them grow. Someone asked how long does it takes for an social enterprise to be successful. In my opinion, entrepreneurship is a journey. It is not a course at college where you indulge in it and gets graduated when due time. There are a lot of road blocks, challenges and difficulties to go address and problems to solve at every stage. Some progress faster, some takes much longer time. Many of them does not make it and fail. It will be great to start with a years plan where clearly stated what you want to achieve in each of the stages within the years.
We ended the session with high note and everyone leave with various level of understanding. We hope some of them will start to think of what they want to do. Would like to see them be the next change maker to make this world a better place. You never know what will happen to the “seeds” we sow today.
Thank you so much to MaGIC. Well done Dato Ruby Khong and team. You guys has done a great job in creating and installing the awareness to the young generation. Thank you for the token given to us that are all made by social enterprises; namely Biji-biji where they use recycle banner to make bags, Batik Boutique where they provides job to underprivileged mothers. We would like to see more and more social entrepreneurs graduating from MaGIC incubator.
For all my reader who does not know MaGIC, I strongly suggest that you visit their website and participate in their program.
It is one of the best government initiative to nature more high growth entrepreneurs in our country. Truly Malaysian Eco system and plantform.