Wen, Alvin, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication Studies
Nanyang Technopreneurship Center, LiTE Bites is a series of short and easily
digestible lunch-time talks with the themes of Leadership in Technological Entrepreneurship
(LiTE), innovation and creativity in general.
founder and CEO of Bloomback, was invited to give a talk on social
entrepreneurship on 22nd May at the Research Techno Plaza.
Close to 60
students attended the talk where Ms Kweh shared her journey towards creating
Bloomback. Previously, she worked with both Singapore Airlines and Prudential
in various roles before finding her passion for start-ups in late 2015. Her
first two start-up attempts ended in failure - it was only in 2016 that Ms Kweh
got her big break, participating in and receiving second prize amongst 26
participants for the Singapore Airlines App Challenge. This achievement gave
her the confidence to establish Bloomback.
comprises of two key components, namely the Bloomback Platform and Bloomback
Academy. The former focuses on selling flowers through an e-commerce business
that sustains Bloomback Academy, which organizes flower arrangement training
sessions for marginalized women. By teaching these women basic flower
arrangement skills, Bloomback hopes to enable marginalized women to regain
confidence, return to the workforce and generate income with both full-time and
flexible job opportunities.
seeks to reduce flower wastage from events, giving these flowers a second lease
on life by repurposing them to bring cheer to the less fortunate. Ms Kweh
revealed that Bloomback would be working with Nanyang Technological University
during Convocation 2017 to set up booths, exchanging bouquets of Bloomback flowers
for a picture taken at a photobooth. The bouquets would be donated to
beneficiaries such as NTUC Income and St Andrew’s Community Hospital.
In closing, she
stressed that a social enterprise, despite its charitable mission, must be
self-sufficient and sustainable – an enterprise first, and the social mission,
second. The social enterprise must be based on a sound business model that
differentiates itself from others and generates sufficient revenue – an
important takeaway for any potential social entrepreneurs at the talk.