Modelling out a social enterprise.
An accountant turned entrepreneur helps Bhutanese weavers earn a living.
SOME social enterprises are founded to channel profits generated from the business to a social cause. And some enterprises are birthed because a social cause has been thrust into the arms of the founders who now need to find a sustainable business model to support the cause.
Ana by Karma, a social enterprise founded by Quin Thong that helps Bhutanese weavers make a living by selling their scarves, is the latter.
It started out like any other trip; sightseeing and getting acquainted with the local culture and people. Perhaps a little business dealings here and there.
But Thong’s second trip to Bhutan in 2014 unexpectedly became the start of Ana by Karma.
Thong met up with Karma Yangchi, a village housewife she had encountered during her first visit, and discovered that the weaver was struggling to make ends meet. She offered to buy Karma a sewing machine so that she could start her own small business.