After a Year of #SocEnt Blogging, These Are Our Top Picks

After a Year of #SocEnt Blogging, These Are Our Top Picks

Impact Beacon’s 1st birthday is coming up (it’s February 17th and yes, we are planning to make a big deal out of it). With almost a year behind us, we’ve been thinking back on the 30+ social entrepreneur spotlights we’ve published since joining the world of blogging. While every spotlight was a privilege to develop, Chipsafer, Al-Tareeq, and EarthEnable were our favorites from Year 1. Here’s why.

(more…)

Bashar Humeid: Freedom is a greenhouse on your rooftop

Bashar Humeid: Freedom is a greenhouse on your rooftop

What’s on the roof of your house? How about on the rooftop of the building where you work or go to school?

If you’re like me (and much of the world), your answer is “nothing”. Your rooftop is largely unutilized space. But what if your rooftop heated and cooled your house? What if it did that for free, and collected your water and produced healthy, organic food for you and your family? In Jordan, buildings are steadily adopting a simple greenhouse unit that can do all of that, and more.

Bashar Humeid is the founder of Meezan, a nonprofit social enterprise in Amman using affordable technological innovations to address a lack of energy and water in Jordan.

(more…)

Thomas Vaassen: Unlocking the value of land for Ghanaian farmers

Thomas Vaassen: Unlocking the value of land for Ghanaian farmers

Land is a precious commodity, and land ownership holds significant value in all parts of the world. In Ghana, land is not only viewed as a monetary asset. Land holds more personal value and Ghanaians view it as part of their heritage and culture. They feel that their land is a piece of them, something they will pass down from generation to generation. With this strong attachment to land, land rights are a very sensitive and pertinent issue. But in Ghana, owning land and having proof of land ownership do not necessarily go hand in hand. This is where Thomas and his company Landmapp offer a unique service: mapping land and providing official land tenure documentation to smallholder farmers.

(more…)

Stevens Chan is Shining the Light on Blindness in Malaysia

Stevens Chan is Shining the Light on Blindness in Malaysia

In 2002, Malaysian native Stevens Chan was diagnosed with glaucoma. He didn’t know he had an eye disease, let alone one with no obvious symptoms, no cure, and which often leads to blindness.  His vision loss occurred quickly. In just 5 years, he was blind. Stevens’ experience led him to establish a Malaysian branch of Dialogue in the Dark, a social enterprise that works to increase public awareness around preventable blindness and support individuals with visual impairments.

(more…)

This Human Library is Challenging Stereotypes

This Human Library is Challenging Stereotypes

I recently checked out my first book from the Human Library: Homelessness. I read it in an open courtyard next to the Impact Hub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It was likely the most honest and direct conversation I’ve had with a fellow human who has experienced homelessness.

Confused? So was I, until Turisaina (Turis) Tukiman clued me in.

Turis is the Operations Lead at Human Library in Malaysia. Originally created by a group of young activists in Copenhagen, the Human Library is now a global movement. It’s purpose is to build a positive framework for conversations that can challenge stereotypes and prejudices.

(more…)

Azam Hisham: Inspiring Small-Scale Sustainability at Biji-Biji

Most people would walk into an office covered in trash and see a mess. Azam Hisham sees an opportunity to change the world.

Welcome to Biji-Biji, one of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s fastest-growing maker spaces and sustainability initiatives. Founded by 29-year old Malaysia native Azam Hisham and three friends–Gurpreet Singh Dillon, Rashvin Pal Singh, and Zoe Victoria–Biji-Biji is on a mission to create and inspire.

(more…)

Picha Project: Empowering Refugee Families in Malaysia

Picha Project: Empowering Refugee Families in Malaysia

Malaysia is one of Asia’s great melting pots, with diverse representation from many Asian countries and cultures. From native Malay to Indian, Chinese and more, Malaysia brings amazing food to the dinner table. It is also home to over 150,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.¹

23-year old Swee Lin Lee and her co-founders, Suzanne Lin and Kim Lim, founded the Picha Project to help refugees find employment and contribute their own culture to the Malaysian mixing bowl.

(more…)

Gayatri Datar: Improving health and living conditions in Rwanda, one floor at a time

Gayatri Datar: Improving health and living conditions in Rwanda, one floor at a time

Imagine having to clean a dirt floor. I ask myself, is that even possible? Dirt is inherently dirty, so how can it be cleaned? Well, 80% of Rwandans face this challenge every day. To tackle this issue, Gayatri (Gaya) Datar is providing clean, durable, earthen floors to low-income Rwandans through her social enterprise start-up, EarthEnable.

(more…)