Increasingly, businesses large and small have been proclaiming their stance on social or political issues.
This coexistence of business and community relies on companies being sustainable in their practices – and aware of the larger social and political contexts they operate in. But how can they translate this mindfulness into lasting change?
I am extremely passionate about social impact and choose to focus on community issues through my business whenever I can. I have implemented a number of ways for social impact issues to be integrated into the core of my business, and communicate the need for sustainability and best practice within the business at all times.
Recently, I embarked upon an inspiring new partnership with Vietnam-based social impact initiative EnableCode, which employs IT, technology, web development and design experts with disabilities.
This partnership is particularly close to my heart as not only do we benefit from their remarkable knowledge and technical design and development skills, but we actively help them to meet their vision of providing opportunities for people with disability.
This is particularly important in a country like Vietnam which, while having a vast and vibrant cultural heritage, does not traditionally offer many opportunities for people with disability to lead fulfilling working lives.
Nurturing the partnership
My team and I are very committed to this partnership, so much so we invest in ongoing training and development and include EnableCode in all that we do. I recently travelled to Vietnam to spend time with them and it was another reminder to me about the positive difference my business is having on the lives of many through our partnership.
In fact, I brought part of my team and my family with me to experience Vietnam firsthand to show my commitment to our partnership, while also connecting on a personal level. Channelling our work through EnableCode will allow them to employ even more people with disabilities, with a vision make an ongoing difference in people’s lives.
Give and take
Hearing the individual stories of the EnableCode team was significant in understanding the impact of our partnership. It was also beneficial for them to hear how their work with us is getting international traction.
When we shared photos of some of the events we arranged for our clients with the material the EnableCode had helped to design, they were incredibly proud to see their efforts demonstrated halfway around the world and to be part of the global community.
This visibility invariably makes way for a more personal and direct relationship, where together we will deliver positive change.
My Creative Director and Client Services Manager, Victor Tan, described the experience as ‘surreal’. He added: “I’ve spoken to the EnableCode team countless times and I always understood the social cause behind our partnership. But when I finally got to meet them, I was humbled by their grit in not letting disability prevent them from doing something they loved, and by the level of professionalism and skill they bring to their job.”
Nurturing real relationships
Spending time with EnableCode and seeing their enthusiasm for their work reminded me of the value of a personal touch.
There’s nothing like that human connection of real people bringing their skills and expertise to the table and the EnableCode team inspired me to continue building this partnership. Don’t underestimate your individual impact, and the impact of your business in driving change and making a difference to people’s lives.
A business does not exist in a vacuum, but in a multifaceted context of social, political and financial spaces.
Not everyone has to have a business partnership in place, but having a cause or stance can be invaluable to your business, and reinvigorate your sense of purpose as an individual. Being mindful of the goings-on around you can make a transformative impact if you choose to make a stand and consider your social, communal and global contexts.