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Hazel Kweh started BloomBack with the mission to empower marginalized communities, especially women, by equipping them with specialized skills to be floral artisans hence providing a platform to earn additional income.
Earlier today, she announced that Bloomback was recently accredited by The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE).
The former stewardess’ inspiration to start BloomBack was one dear to her heart, as she saw the struggles of being raised by a low-income single parent with a partially disabled sister.
Her awareness of how there were countless other marginalized women in Asia whose limited skillset and inadequate qualifications make it difficult to find suitable employment opportunities, was one of the driving forces that further motivated her into starting BloomBack and turning it into what it is today.
BloomBack is a one-stop floral platform and the first of its kind to bring together florists, aspiring-florists and consumers that yearns for unique, quality floral products and services.
They provide floristry training to marginalized women, with the purpose to equip these potential floral artisans with skills to generate additional income, confidence to showcase their creations, knowledge to run a sustainable online store, and making their dream floral business come true.
Building A Sustainable Social Enterprise
The ex-SIA turned social entrepreneur strategized an effective way to address the society’s triple bottom line.
Professional florists involved can volunteer their time to train marginalized women in floral arrangements, and the products created based on this collective effort are then listed on BloomBack’s e-commerce platform.
" A social enterprise is not a charity, so the business model should not depend on government grants and charitable donations as its primary source of funding. It should have a clear strategy on how to be sustainable through earned revenue to fulfil its social mission. On top of attaining our social goal to help marginalised women, BloomBack like any other commercial entity, aims to make a financial profit. Only with a profitable business can we afford to give back to society. Products of a social enterprise in fact, should be of better quality or possess an appealing unique attribute that will allow the business to remain competitive in the market and be able to generate sales to support its social intentions." says Hazel.
Training these marginalized women will further prove beneficial to the florists by helping them reduce their workload during peak periods. This win-win model helps both parties financially thus allowing florists to lend a helping hand in improving society.
BloomBack also promotes “going green” by matching two events in close proximity, and allowing them to share their flowers and indirectly save money. These flowers are then repurposed to bring joy to beneficiaries such as Saint Andrew’s Community Hospital.
Hazel also stated that “Flowers are generally disregarded to be substantial enough to make a positive impact on society, when the actual potential it has is very much significant. There’s so many ways for us to maximize the use of flowers and I simply took the initiative to make a difference in the community of marginalized women all whilst doing a part for our Mother Earth.”
• Breast Cancer Foundation appointed BloomBack to be their floral organizer for their 20th anniversary.
• Hazel received an invitation from NTU to share about her social enterprise experience.
• BloomBack collaborated with celebrities like Jaime Teo on raising awareness on their movement.
BloomBack hopes to be a dominant player in the floral industry where people could associate flowers with doing good for the society. “Any contribution from the public is also a gift to the marginalized woman in our community”, according to Hazel.
Bloomback will be expanding the brand and concept into new regions, with Kuala Lumpur set to be their next destination by year end. With the addition of seed investments, they have plans to further expand the team to commence marketing activities in Hong Kong, Thailand and Vietnam.
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