PETALING JAYA, Nov 22 — Without demand, there is no supply.
To feed that demand is not as simple as it used to be, as modern businesses are now constantly under the spotlight of the public eye, with consumers more vigilant and unforgiving about the type of practices a business is involved in.
That’s where business sustainability and social enterprises come in, as is it encompasses a much broader topic relating the corporate social responsibility where businesses now have to take into consideration their impact on the society and environment around them.
It’s more often easier said than done, and that’s where BFM’s producer and presenter Freda Liu comes in as she is set to speak on business sustainability and social enterprises, titled “Why Social Enterprise Can Be a Win-Win Scenario for your Company’s Future,” at the Workshops of the World Communicate 2019 (WOWComm 2019) conference.
Business sustainability is the management and coordination of environmental, social and financial demands and concerns to ensure ethical success, while a social enterprise is defined as an organisation that applies strategies to maximise financial, social and environmental well-being.
In an interview with Malay Mail, Liu shared a few of the talking points that she will be focusing on during the first-ever sustainability conference in Malaysia and the South-east Asian region.
“Businesses have a social responsibility to have an impact on the communities they serve, and to ultimately solve problems for the community,” said Liu.
“I have been interviewing social enterprises for close to 10 years now and can say that business can’t be done at the expense of the community.”
Beyond radio, Liu is highly sought after for moderating corporate events and training, and has even mentored at the Malaysian Global Innovation & Creativity Centre and been a judge on the world-changing start-up’s competition Chivas Venture.
She is also an author, emcee, content producer, speaker and presenter, and has conducted over 5,000 interviews in her career.
Liu explained that businesses have to understand that when they abide by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and benefit both the community and environment around them, they too will profit.
“I want to bring attention to our standing with the SDGs, where we currently rank at 68. There are still too many gaps where we cannot meet these goals by 2030,” said Liu.
“If the community doesn’t survive, how can anyone do business for the long term? If we don’t reduce poverty, then who are we selling to?”
“It won’t be sustainable because there is more to benefit from a bustling economy than one that is not, it only makes business sense to do business if the economy and its people are thriving.”
Liu added that she will be focusing on the SDGs to shed light on factors such as what corporations and business individuals can do to help achieve these goals, and how a sustainable and growing economy can impact the country as a whole.
Apart from the traditional four P’s of marketing (Price, Product, Placement and Promotion), Liu expressed that businesses should also adhere to an additional three P’s which are People, Profit and Planet.
While “profit” is a no-brainer for businesses, “people” and “planet” are crucial points of interest to be considered, especially with the evolution of responsible and ethical consumerism.
“People, Profit and Planet are important considerations and that means not only are the consumers and employers thriving but so is the community that it is serving,” said Liu.
“Given a choice of two companies who offer similar products, I would buy from a company that is more conscious and has causes, even if the product is slightly more expensive. People at large are also more conscious and want to support businesses that are.”
With an aim to put sustainability at the forefront of businesses, the WOWComm 2019 conference will gather industry leaders and key government officials from around South-east Asian and is set to take place on December 5 at the Putrajaya Mariott.
Guests of honour at the conference include Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) founding president Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Ibni Tuanku Muhriz.
More than 500 pioneers and innovators are expected to be at the conference, where tickets are priced at RM250 per person, RM220 for more than 10 sign-ups and RM200 for more than 20 sign-ups.
For more information on the WOWComm 2019 conference surf over to https://gowowcomm.com/.
* Malay Mail and Bernama are media partners for the event.