Social Enterprises: Profit to Benefit

One selfless business can change the world to a better place

Different from a corporation with mainly profit in mind, social enterprises focus on maximising social benefits. In Asia, the concept of social enterprise has been gaining momentum. More businesses are coming up like mushrooms and they intend to profit for the greater good.

However, social enterprises in Asia are usually very small businesses with little engagement and this can be hard for the enterprises to support their cause while maintaining their business. Hence, these enterprises struggle to stay afloat among bigger corporate businesses and result in their business shutting down.

So, here are 5 small social enterprises you can support for them to gain and help more!

1. Baju Nyawa BaruImage from @bajunyawabaru / Instagram

Translated, Baju Nyawa Baru brings the meaning of “the clothes’ new life” and that is exactly what Baju Nyawa Baru does; giving new life to old clothing! Baju Nyawa Baru focuses on upcycling old clothing and turning them into something new! For instance, Baju Nyawa Baru came up with Ikat Tepi, where they reuse vintage scarves to turn it into a bag that is usable in every occasion. There is really nothing cuter than ethical fashion that saves the environment one stitch at a time!

2. sew X dignityImage via sew X dignity

sew X dignity is an enterprise under the Dignity for Children foundation. Dignity for Children is Malaysian NGO that aims to give better opportunities to underprivileged children. Their platform offers children the opportunity to practice valuable thinking, design and sewing skills which will make them more employable in the future. Additionally, even refugee mothers have a hand in the production of the goods. sew X dignity offers a variety of upcycled textile goods; bags, pouches, scrunchies and many more and for each profit made, a portion of the profit will go back to the crafters fair and square and to the Dignity for Children foundation.

3. Athena EmpowersImage via Destination GOOD

From women for women, Athena Empowers’ mission is to reduce menstrual poverty issues alongside educating an eco-friendly and safe menstrual hygiene practice among women of different social groups. Even in Malaysia, the subject of menses is still a taboo but Athena Empowers is a step to demolish the belief that periods should be frowned upon. Athena pads are made from bamboo fiber and high quality absorbent cotton, which means the pads are washable and reusable which makes it highly eco-friendly!

4. Dignity KitchenImage via Discovery Cathay Pacific

Based in Singapore, Dignity Kitchen started from a polio survivor, Tony, who dreams of becoming a chef. However, Tony deemed it impossible to cook with only one hand let alone be hired. Until Project Dignity happened, founded by Koh Seng Choon. Dignity Kitchen is a social enterprise under Project Dignity, where the food court premise is run by differently-abled peoples and the premise bears the concept of hawker stalls as it is easier for the disabled to handle as each stall has its own unique features; one-hand noodle cooking machine, Braille cash registers and worktops that are height-adjustable. You really can’t help but adore the inclusivity in this social enterprise!

5. Hush TeabarImage via Pinterest

Another Singaporean social enterprise, Hush TeaBar specialises in tea! But what makes them so unique is their team. Hush is a silent tea bar, mainly because their TeaRistas are deaf. Their main goal is to provide a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere for the busy bees of Singapore. Hush TeaBar is also making an effort to bridge the gap between the hearing and the deaf, by creating dignified employment opportunities and an inclusive environment for them.

Businesses don’t have to be all about the figures, because when a business is able to change even something small for the better, it gives a big impact and affects a lot more people and tackles more issues than you would think. So, support small social enterprises and let’s change the environment and society one social enterprise support at a time!

If you are an aspiring social entrepreneur, we would be more than glad to hear your story! Email us at

Cover image by sew X dignity / Facebook

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