Insights

Being small. Being big.

“Being small doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.”

This was the opening line of our 2 minute “pitch” in front of a panel of judges (including Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Grameen Bank Founder, Mohammad Yunus) at The Boot Camp organised by Grameen Creative Lab and National University of Singapore on the 20th and 21st of February.

masami and yunus square

There were 24 Social Business teams that got selected from 64 applications from different countries. Amongst the experienced expert mentors from different sectors and background, Prof. Yunus (seen here with B1G1 Founder, Masami Sato) was one of the smiling faces on the panel.

And we just wanted to share with you that people LOVED B1G1 and its simple idea; “Embedding giving and purpose into everyday business activities”. We were selected as one of the top 5 businesses (by the way, the aim of the event was not about choosing one ‘winner’), and had the privilege to have further discussions with the panel of mentors so that we can really take the model to much greater heights.

Here is our 2 minute pitch:


Being small doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.

And we recognised that small to medium size businesses also wanted to make a difference.

But currently, SMEs do very little regular giving.

Maybe because they don’t have the time. Maybe because they don’t have the expertise. Or maybe because they just don’t know where to begin.

So we founded Buy1GIVE1 (B1G1) in 2007 to give SMEs the tools and resources to embed giving and purpose into their everyday business activities:

We provide a giving search engine filled with prescreened worthy causes and their projects

We provide a mechanism that tracks the tangible social impact they are making through their contributions

We offer tools that help them engage their employees and customers in their giving activities

Today, B1G1 has over 500 business members supporting projects in more than 30 countries. But we know many more businesses will join us if they are exposed to the B1G1 concept and understand how easy it is to make it happen.

And now, we’re looking for expertise and support, to help us scale the enterprise to greater heights and create much greater awareness, so that together we can create even more significant impact.

Imagine if you were a café owner and every time you sold a cup of coffee, you gave a child in Africa access to life-saving clean water.

Or imagine if you were an author and whenever you sold one of your books, a tree got planted.

Just imagine – every business in our world making a difference every day regardless of the size of the company.

Because businesses have the power to change lives.


By the way, ‘2 minute pitch’ is actually much harder to do than we think especially when we think we know everything about our business.

GrameenCreativeLab_film

Maybe… you want to try it for your business today.  What would you like to say in that 2 minutes?  Or rather, what would people want to hear about your business so they ‘get’ it.

And again, “Being small doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference.”

And you do.  You are big.

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