eHomemakers: Crossing Borders into Singapore
(7 pages of text)
The eHomemakers project was founded in 1998 to provide skills and employment for disadvantaged women in Malaysia. The women worked from home, weaving baskets out of recycled magazines from which they could generate income. This means of self-support was particularly beneficial to stay-at-home mothers and disabled women who were unable to work. By 2011, the enterprise was struggling for viability in Malaysia, which led the founder to consider crossing the border to Singapore to explore opportunities in that country to avoid having to give up on her social enterprise altogether.
This case is suitable for use in an introductory business or general management course at the undergraduate level to illustrate the complexities of the business environment and the challenges that face social entrepreneurs. It can also be used in a social entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship course to examine the overall sustainability strategy initiated by the social enterprise. This case provides insights on cross-cultural expansion (from Malaysia to Singapore), consumer behaviour, and brand awareness issues from the Asian perspectives.
The teaching objectives include the following:
- To expose students to the plight of disadvantaged women in Malaysia.
- To introduce students to the triple bottom line that is unique to social enterprises.
- To provide a platform for drawing comparisons between social entrepreneurship in different environments and contexts, notably in the presence (or absence) of governmental support.
- To explore the viability of expansion as a means to stave off winding up.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Malaysia, Small, 2014
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