BloomBack - How Fellowship Blossomed Explosive Growth
Floral decorations immediately bring joy to any event, but this feeling is often short-lived as the flowers are chucked in the bin at the end of the day. With the motivation to give these flowers a second lease of joy, Hazel Kweh started repurposing event flowers into beautiful bouquets for nursing home patients. In partnership with her sister who is hearing-impaired, this passion project soon inspired a business idea to continuously create social impact, but they did not know where they should begin.
Hazel then began her search online for a community that could support them in their social entrepreneurship endeavour, and that is where their journey with raiSE began. Three years on, BloomBack is a floral e-commerce platform that continues to bring joy through preserved flowers, whilst empowering marginalised women by hiring inclusively — the impact of the latter being further amplified by the provisions of the raiSE VentureForGood grant.
Looking back, Hazel recalls the raiSE Fellowship programme being the initiative that benefitted BloomBack the most. When her fellowship journey first started, she had a different idea of what her business problems were, but the appointed Fellow, Mr Lim Song Joo was quick to identify the root cause and offered solutions which allowed her to achieve exponential growth.
“Without raiSE’s guidance, we wouldn’t even know what we don’t know, and therefore we couldn’t have known whom we should approach to mentor us. raiSE has been very integral to our growth year on year,” Hazel elaborated.
With a clearer picture of their business roadmap, BloomBack enrolled themselves into the raiSE Grow B.I.G. programme with the goal to strengthen their marketing plans. Through the programme, they built a strong foundation that instilled confidence in the team as they gained the relevant skills to handle their online marketing independently. Today, BloomBack gives back by actively guiding fellow Social Enterprises who reach out to them for tips on how to create and maintain a strong digital presence.
“The Social Enterprise sector is a small circle, made up of very kind-hearted people who are willing to help each other out. Attending talks, events and programmes organised by raiSE, helped me to be a part of this SE family. I’m no longer as lonely as I was before.” Hazel adds.
Looking forward, she hopes that raiSE can continue acting as the ‘mother hen’ of all Social Enterprises by connecting like-minded social entrepreneurs to one another and fostering a greater sense of shared purpose through skills sharing, resources and strengthening the sector’s community spirit.