As 2016 comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to convey our deepest gratitude to all of our partners, customers and supporters.
Since our inception in April this year, we have certainly come a long way. 2016 has truly been a blessed year for the “Angels of Impact” team. We would like to express our sincere thanks to our partnering social enterprises who believed in us from the very start. It has been a pleasure to have the opportunity to work and learn from our partner Social enterprises: Javara, Siam Organic, Toraja Melo and Krakakoa.
In addition to the existing social enterprises, we would like to extend a warm welcome to two new social enterprises that have joined us aboard - Colour Silk and Batik Boutique! In addition, it is heartwarming to see how our family of Angel funders have grown. Thank you for standing by us!
We wouldn’t have come this far if it weren’t for our supporters. Here are some of the highlights from this year:
Angel of Impact’s Christmas Fair
What a wonderful way to celebrate the season of festivities and the success of our launch this year by organising a Christmas Fair. Products consciously produced by our Social Enterprises were displayed. Lurata Lyon, a survivor of sex trafficking shared inspiring insights with us. Read More.
Positive Change in The World
Laina Greene at TEDx Singapore Women
Ending poverty is in our hands. When we care enough about the cause, we can find sustainable ways to fight against poverty. Our co-founder, Laina Greene, shared a very inspiring and motivating speech illustrating her vision and goals towards ending poverty. “Women are the solution to ending poverty.” She shared insightful examples on how women can be the key solution to effectively address the problem of poverty. Read more.
The Voices Begin to Transpire
Women@Facebook X Angels of Impact
Many times women face challenges at work place due to conscious or unconscious biasness. All these sharing reminded us how important it is to empower women in every aspect of life, not just in the workplace, and this is what Angels of Impact aims to bring to greater consciousness if #genderequality. Read more.
Social Enterprises Insights
“Why are you doing something so risky?”: Women-led social enterprises and finance
Seemingly contradictory objectives (poverty and profit). What response do women-led social enterprises get when they seek finance? Social enterprises and associations gathered to talk about their challenges. The investment world is not yet adapting to their needs. Other than finance there are other challenges and ways to counter the financial challenges. Read more.
Tips for Success
Sweetpea, Invisibility, and Bragging: #ELEVATE-ing women in the workplace
Our co-founders Laina and Audrey were keynote speakers alongside senior women from different firms at the recent Connected Women Singapore gathering at Twitter. They confronted issues that women frequently face at the workplace and shared insights that will help set anyone up for success! Read more.
2016 has been a win-win for Angels of Impact Team!
Twitter showed their support and we customised Krakakoa Chocolates sleeves for them!
Customised Toraja Melo coin pouches for NUS Overseas College, Singapore
Facebook@women showed their support by purchasing Krakakoa’s chocolate squares.
We are very happy to have you onboard with us in your own unique ways and we are very grateful for your continued support. Look out for more exciting events coming your way in 2017!
With lots of love,
The Angels of Impact Team
2016 was fortuitous as we were able to share our message of creating impact via sustainable steps with Corporate giants like SAP, Credit Suisse, UBS, Linkedin over the festive season. Christmas season is all about spreading happiness, smiles and kindness. We had the opportunity to display, share stories and sell products consciously by our partner social enterprises. By being able to showcase the stories of our social enterprises and their products we were able to share the spirit of giving with a difference with a larger audience.
The delicious chocolates from Krakakoa were always the most popular. These Artisanal chocolates are made by low income farmers. The employees of these organizations got to try these unique Chocolates that made with Chili, ginger, cinnamon and sea salt mixed with Cocoa. This interesting combination of Chocolate and spices are not only rare but are produced in the most socially responsible manner.
We were also carrying products from Javara and Siam Organics which were a big hit. The Coconut Biscotti from Javara was the star product. Siam Organics themed teas were quite popular as gifting options too. The teams made good of this opportunity and loads of them bought the snacks and chocolates to share as gifts with family and friends .
Furthermore, we had batik gifts, clothing and hand crafted products by Batik Boutique. Batik Boutique is a social enterprise from Malaysia that supports low income single mothers.
Last but not least, we showcased handwoven crafts by Toraja Melo. A social enterprise from Indonesia that offers employment to girls in village across Indonesia and helps them keep away from being a victim to sex trade due to lack of sustainable livelihood.
With our partnership with conscious corporates like above, we come back humbled and motivated that there are many more like us who would like to create impact in their own way. We hope to reach out to more such supporters and champions in 2017 so that we can collaborate more deeply.
On the 9 Dec, we held a Christmas Fair in our very own office. We showcased the entire product range of our Social Enterprises. Light dinner was also served.
Shortly after, we had Lurata Lyon share her inspiring story with us through Skype. She was unable to be with us in person due to an unfortunate accident. However, we were very happy that she was keen to be with us via Skype.
Lurata is a survival of sex trafficking during war time at the height of the former Yugoslav conflict. She courageously shared her story and how she managed to overcome her struggles and emerged strong enough to tell her tale. She introduced her book, “ The Devil Couldn’t Break Me” which shares about her ordeal post her abduction by a sex trafficking gang. She also shared what kept her going during the worst of times - family and her desire to help others facing the same situation.
The session ended with a short Q&A followed by an introduction to the team at AI. We also took the opportunity to thank the Angels who have so graciously supported us from the start.
With this event, we were therefore able to bring home the point that buying consciously produced goods and supporting organizations that working towards sustainable livelihood and alleviation of poverty can eventually save lives.
One of our attendee, Jo, aptly shares her takeaway:
"For the first time, it helped me realize that women are actually the worst victims of poverty. For example, in third world countries, women often have less opportunity for education; and it's also more common for them to be the target of human trafficking.
What Lurata has gone through is beyond the imagination of most people who are carrying out a much more stable life. Something that touches me the most is how she managed to keep the hope and the desire to live in the seemingly hopeless situation. It was the love from her parents, and the love for her parents that kept her going. This is another great lesson that teaches us to believe in love. Everyone has a moment in our life wondering how to carry on or whether we should carry on, when we just can't see the light. And that's the time to take a step back and think about how lucky we are to have what we have, to be loved and to be able to love."
“Women are the solution to ending poverty.” Our co-founder, Laina Greene, was sharing this powerful message in a Tedx Talk on 29th October 2016. Joined by three other women on the stage, the day was filled with the sharing of touching, inspiring and motivating stories that demonstrated our ability to catalyse positive change in the world if we only believed in ourselves and encouraged each other to step up and take action.
Laina began by asking us what we typically visualize when we hear the word “poverty”. An image of a woman and a child begging on the street immediately came to my mind. Laina pointed out that like me, many others visualize poverty this way as it is an issue that predominantly affects women. She shared a painful truth – this was indeed the reality where one out of every 7 women in the world do live in poverty. The burden of poverty is borne mostly by women as they are the ones who walk for miles to collect water, the ones who do the subsistence farming, take care of the elderly and children and so they are seldom the beneficiaries of efforts which have succeeded in reducing poverty in the world. This was confirmed in a study by the UNDP which even reported that that as many as 70% of the world’s poor were women. This phenomena where women get left behind in poverty alleviation efforts is known as the “feminization of poverty”.
Laina shared her passion for empowering women in poverty and told us why we ought to care since data shows that when women get out of poverty, her family and her community also gets out of poverty. She shared insightful examples on how women can be the key solution to effectively address the problem of poverty. She shared Mohamed Yunus’s idea in his book “Creating a world without poverty” of how we should move beyond charity. Instead, we should support social businesses or social enterprises that have sustainable business models that in turn help many mpre women micro-enterprises restore dignity and have sustainable livelihoods. Only with sustainable livelihoods can these women truly end the cycle of poverty.
Laina shared a story of a compassionate and admirable woman, Dinny Jusuf. She is the founder of Torajamelo, an Indonesian social enterprise helping 1,000 micro-enterprises of women weavers. Dinny provides these women with access to global markets, better prices for raw materials, help understanding market tastes and proper training so that they satisfy quality standards demanded by customers globally. Dinny did much to also elevate the status of wearing weaving by having key celebrities and even fashion shows, and now there is even a demand for weaving locally in these villages. By providing these women with a regular income for their weaving, Dinny is providing each of them with a sustainable livelihood. Torajamelo has been recognized globally not just for its noble cause but also for its quality and authenticity of its designs.
While the brand’s success has prompted many weavers from other parts of Indonesia to request for a partnership, it is not all smooth sailing for Dinny. She is constantly faced with challenge of raising funds for her social enterprise. According to Laina, women rarely get funding and even if they do, it tends to be a very small amount as women are seen as being incapable of running large-scale businesses. This is where, Laina says, you and I come in.
Laina started funding Torajamelo out of her own pocket and soon after, her friends who shared a desire to support the same vision joined. Inspired by the movement they had started, Laina and Audrey co-founded Angels of Impact. Through a trusted network of friends, Angels of Impact seeks to serve women-led social enterprises such as Torajamelo to continue transforming the lives of women. The response has been nothing less than amazing; within four short months, they managed to rally a movement of individuals and corporates who want to do good with talents, gifts and skills they have.
It was fascinating to hear about how Angels of Impact was helping women lift themselves out of poverty. The best part is that any one of us can be a part of this force by following a few simple steps:
Ending poverty is in our hands. When we care enough about the cause, we can find sustainable ways to fight against poverty.