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With Pamela Chng, Founder, Bettr Barista

Wong Yue Na, Preethi, Jena Ong and Yong Li, Alumni of the Income OrangeAid Future Development Programme were recently coached by mentor Pamela Chng, Founder of Bettr Barista, on social businesses and the fundamentals of managing one sustainably.

“It was enjoyable and fun to know what was going on in the mind of the Founder of a social business. We got the opportunity to learn how Pamela thinks, works and tackles the challenges she faces at work. When she shared her motivation and passion behind starting Bettr Barista, it inspired us to think about a problem in the society that our business idea can be the solution to,” commented Wong Yue Na, who aspires to start her own social business one day.

The four mentees were introduced to social enterprise, Bettr Barista and learnt about its operations and sustainability efforts during the course of their coaching programme. Pamela also educated them on the purpose behind starting a business – the ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’, and one’s self-awareness and capability in seeing the bigger picture and approaching challenges that may arise. The mentees learnt that building a strong team was the foundation of a successful business. Although personalities can differ, everyone in the team should stand true to the same mission and values.

"The most interesting fact I learnt was that 20% of business fail in their first year, and 50% fail by the time they reach their fifth year. We learnt the importance of working on risk assessment and management even before starting a business, and tried our hands at applying it to our own business ideas,” shared Yong Li, whose passion is to use her knowledge and academic background in Engineering to make a difference in the society.

Overall, awardees found the coaching programme enjoyable and meaningful as they all now have a better understanding of what is required to start their own social business and are inspired to make an impact in the community. Through this opportunity, they also realize that there are other career opportunities out there beyond their own course of studies in school.