Cintia’s Platform Connects Social Startup Founders With The Resources To Grow
What’s your story?
Let’s do the short version – I started off at a FMCG MNC strategizing across brands and sales channels, picked up the habit of observing consumer behaviour and deciphering verbal and non-verbal human communications garnering insights and business strategies. Went to Bangladesh in 2014 where I learned about social entrepreneurship, that businesses can be different, and can be for the good of others and the environment. Years later, I left the MNC to work for a “Series A” startup. I learned a few things about business successes and failures, and it was the failures that got me into the social impact scene!
What excites you most about your industry?
The social impact industry is fairly broad – education, sustainability, physical and mental wellbeing, poverty alleviation, gender equality, the list goes on.
This industry is about envisioning and co-creating a world you want to live in with like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs, innovators, community builders, investors, and other stakeholders in society. It is about questioning the norm, to unlearn and relearn, and to do the right thing right. No, it is not easy, but this is what Dorothy, my partner, and I do every day!
Doesn’t it excite you when you get to question and create for the better?
Look up “Triple Bottom Line” to learn more!
What is your connection to Asia?
Born in Macau, I grew up in the UK and have been working in Hong Kong since graduating. A lot of my travels have been in Asia or Europe, and I don’t think I’d ever be able to leave Asia behind completely.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong, the majority of my corporate, startup, and entrepreneurial life has been here!
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Doing the thing right is not enough.
Doing the right thing is good.
Doing the right thing right is even better.
Who inspires you?
On life – my father who defined for me what it means to be a good person.
On attitude – my best friend, Colline, who demonstrated utmost discipline, persistence, and kindness.
On business and vision – Professor Muhammad Yunus who has a social impact-driven business empire!
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The environmental impact of society’s love affair with SUV cars is staggering! Apparently, if SUV drivers were a single country, they would be the world’s seventh biggest culprit contributing to global emissions. Can you believe it? Larger than both the UK and the Netherlands combined! Yuk! I’ve become far more conscious of environmental issues since setting up Banyan Workspace and I work with the most wonderful team of eco-warriors who love what they do as they strive to do things better and be more eco-friendly each day!
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Read more perhaps? Honestly, all of the decisions and mistakes I have made in the past have made me who I am today, so no regrets, so far!
How do you unwind?
Good food in good company.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Islands in Thailand with their beautiful beaches, awesome food, and friendly people.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” by Yuval Noah Harari.
Important lessons and big pictures to know about. It is not a business book but any entrepreneur is also a human, and, in whatever we do, it is always good to know how the grand scheme of things works since we are all interconnected. It’s also good to learn how we may potentially be affected, and even better, how we might avoid suffering for some before it is too late.
Shameless plug for your business:
Dream Impact is a social impact resource bridging platform that connects social startup founders with the resources to grow, such as networks, partnership opportunities and investment capital. As an intermediary in the impact sector, our work is to spearhead the growth of a purpose-driven ecosystem where people from across industries, sectors and communities can play a role in bringing positive social impact. Currently a community for 80+ impact-driven organisations and hub to 3000+ impact events, we help social startups scale to create a ripple effect for change, and to reconstruct a system where businesses are built on empathy and the environment.
How can people connect with you?
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.