Ana by Karma: One Scarf, One Hope
(9 pages of text)
In 2014, a Hong Kong-based chartered accountant inadvertently started a social enterprise called Ana by Karma. The initial intent of helping an illiterate Bhutanese woman soon evolved into a journey to empower women in Bhutan to use their creative talents to become financially independent. As a result of her own charming personality and communication skills, the chartered accountant mobilized a team of volunteers to promote scarves that were handwoven by Bhutanese women and thereby bring hope to an increasing number of Bhutanese families who were living in poverty. In early 2016, while relishing her experiences over the previous 18 months, the chartered accountant mulled over the future development of Ana by Karma. How could the venture evolve sustainably? Was it realistic for her to operate Ana by Karma on a full-time basis?
This case is suitable for undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship and international business courses, in particular, courses on social entrepreneurship, international entrepreneurship, and launching new ventures. Instructors may choose to cover such issues as the nature of social enterprises, characteristics of social entrepreneurs (especially in cross-border contexts), the effectuation process, business models, and the sustainable development of born-global social enterprises. After completion of the case, students will be able to:
- grasp the concept of social enterprise;
- understand the inception and early stage evolution of a born-global social enterprise based in Asia;
- examine the experiences of a female founder of a social enterprise and the dynamic roles of her key supporters in the development of the born-global social enterprise; and,
- explore the business model of the social enterprise and its sustainability in the transnational context.
Social Advocacy Organizations
Bhutan; China; Hong Kong, Small, 2016
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