For the last three months every company is concentrating on their purpose. Being supportive with their partners and peers became the key approach in the current crisis situation. Hard selling has been replaced by client relationship management. Giving forward has always been one of the core principles of French Tech Singapore. It accelerated with the #codeed20 initiative where French Tech members made 30 minutes calls to other folks in our community to offer help. But for some start-ups, doing good is their core mission. Gathered in the Tech for good stream, they share the hiccups and accelerations of their venture in times of crisis.
Zebras are what we need to build a better future. Unlike mythical unicorns that are measured by their financial profit, zebras are aimed to have both a positive impact and a viable business model, just like black and white stripes. For zebras, the financial growth is a tool to scale for larger impact.
At Dathappy, our mission is to bring professional Data Analytics services to purpose-driven organisations. Very emotionally involved, many actors of this sector concentrate on the mission of giving back but they lack visibility on how technology can help them transform and scale.
The impact of the Covid-19 has been dramatic for our clients. For some it has included a sudden suspension of much of their operational activity. Most of our projects for Dathappy’s clients got cancelled. We used this time to put in place the major transformation of our business model that has been in our plans for a while. With Covid, we went deeper and further in this transformation.
From the beginning, Dathappy adopted a decentralised approach in terms of project management. Today, we also shift our structure to become a cooperative, with independent contributors managing our projects. This model will allow us to be more flexible and better adapted to cocreation.
Let’s not forget that zebras are highly social animals. Their force is in their stamina and collective spirit. That’s why, in parallel I’m working on a nursery for startups for good, a “zebra park” of a kind, but they will be able to grow freely, as far as they can!
BizSu’s purpose is to help companies to develop business projects and grow, while doing good for the environment. Originally our clients were hotels, schools and big companies willing to work on sustainability. With the Covid crisis they’ve put the projects that we were building together on hold . On the other side, the ecommerce boomed since more people were doing their shopping online due to stores’ closure. Since we had products that would be appealing for retail customers, we decided to adapt and put in place a B2C strategy.
Today we are reviewing the UX design of our website to fit both B2B and B2C audience. I’ve hired few new team members to improve our communications and marketing. If word of mouth has worked well so far, we need to scale our effort to reach the growing community of people for whom sustainability matters.
I’m convinced that the demand for sustainable solutions will be even more present after the crisis. In the US, two thirds of Americans are more focused on sustainability. In Singapore, I get more companies contacting me because they want sustainable products because that’s what their customers request. So even though the future is uncertain, this trend makes me positive about the post-covid market.
Nga (Mimi) Nguyen
Project manager, The Matcha Initiative
Beginning 2020 within Tech For Good we’ve got the idea of creating an ecosystem matching companies willing to become greener, with businesses offering such solutions. As CSR is an increasing priority for MNCs year after year, the interest to make this match seemed obvious to us. We rallied different groups to the idea and here we are – a dozen enthusiasts creating The Matcha Initiative, aimed to make the world greener.
The project kicked off in March. We had to adjust immediately to collaborate remotely. Given that we are all volunteers also working on our own projects, getting organised is sometimes challenging and the group dynamic is not easy to instil. But two key principles help us make it work. Firstly, we all find a way to make it a win-win for everyone. We all invest our time depending on our own objectives: sharpening project management skills for some, gaining experience in UX design or deepening their expertise in sustainable development for others. Secondly, we are all driven by the key idea of offering visibility to some fantastic sustainable solutions.
The Matcha Initiative is still a work in progress. Our website will be ready by the end of the year. In the meantime, if you are a Tech for good enthusiast, join us in our adventure of making zebras grow and shine.
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