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Impact 0238: Lessons from running a business for good

Samantha Kwan · 19 October 2021
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Samantha Kwan, 33, is the founder of Project Cookoh – an initiative that equips mothers from the less privileged community with the skill sets to start their home businesses. Her passion lies in social entrepreneurship, where she aims to build businesses that benefit the society. Today, she shares some lessons she has picked up on her journey!

1.
Everyone has a story to tell

Identifying our unconscious biases can prevent us from making presumptions about others or drawing false conclusions. The ability to share your own story is a privilege that we often overlook. Everyone should be heard and sometimes it’s just a matter of giving them a voice.

2.
A word of encouragement goes a long way

Often, we need people to believe in us before we can believe in ourselves. Giving these ladies an external perspective is crucial for them to realise they have control over their future, while providing them with support and creating a safe space for them to share their insecurities can help unlock their potential.

3.
Moving outside your comfort zone is necessary for success

Take risks in the journey and see failure as part of your learning. We often let failures affect us, but as cliché as it is, failures are crucial for success as every experience allows you to better understand yourself and find new ways to achieve your goals.

4.
Focus on the ‘why’

It’s easy to get discouraged but remembering why you started in the first place is helpful when times get tough. Nothing lasts forever – so practise your “courage muscle”!

5.
The best form of empowerment is helping others feel that they are valued and loved

While meeting practical needs is important, the greatest impact you can make is by simply walking alongside others in a relationship.

6.
Everyone defines success in their own way

There is no singular definition of success, and it does not necessarily have mile markers all the time. It’s important to realise that everyone values different things, so empowering others means helping them become the best version of themselves in a way that’s meaningful to them.

7.
Kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give

From giving capital and donating in kind to sharing knowledge and helping to make connections, everyone has different gifts and resources to contribute. So, we should use our privilege to serve others for good.

8.
Authenticity plays a key role in establishing trust

There is power in meeting people when you are vulnerable and allow yourself to build an emotional connection. The impact of your work will be limited without a foundation of mutual understanding.

9.
Listening is a valuable skill

Instead of focusing on what you want to be or what you want to achieve, think about what it is that someone else truly needs by actively listening.

10.
We rise by lifting others

Helping others with kindness and love brings us real joy. When we work together to help one another, we are investing in each other’s lives. Through that, we ourselves will be uplifted!

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