This Malaysian social enterprise equips the marginalized with business skills
Raymond D. Gabriel fed the homeless and drug addicts of Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur many years ago.
He would walk around and hand out nasi lemak, spend time talking to them and even counseling them sometimes.
“That’s how I started doing social work. From there I realized that more and more people were in need and that many members of the underprivileged community needed an opportunity (to stand on their own feet), ”said Gabriel, 48 years.
In November 2007, People Systems Consultancy (PSC) was established to increase the incomes of disadvantaged communities and achieve financial inclusion through entrepreneurship and financial education programs.
“We have developed an intervention program to educate and strengthen the capacity of the underprivileged community to earn an income and, in the long term, to meet its needs without having to depend on external aid and financial aid. .
“We always believe that everyone has a passion, a gift that can be used as a skill to generate income,” explained the CEO and co-founder of the company.
He then realized that there were a lot more people who just needed an opportunity to change their lives.
In 2008, PSC began collaborating with companies to implement their CSR initiatives through the PSC Entrepreneurial Program, which aims to significantly eradicate poverty and increase the incomes of marginalized people.
“We are building their resilience by focusing on transforming mindsets and improving business skills. Through training, participants learn to be innovative, adaptive and economically resilient to seek out possibilities and opportunities, ”explained Gabriel.
Thanks to the program, many entrepreneurs have seen their monthly income drop from four digits to five digits.
To date, PSC – currently a multinational social enterprise – has trained over 30,000 people over 15 years.
“We don’t believe in lending during the program because we encourage our participants to be successful with their own abilities and resources. This gives them long-term confidence, as well as the confidence for us to recommend our clients to provide them with a loan to further develop their business once we believe they have the capacity and skills to be successful in the future. », Explained Gabriel. .
The Covid-19 has certainly posed many challenges for various entrepreneurs.
“The pandemic and movement restrictions have forced people to go digital as attendees face challenges running their business face-to-face.
“Therefore, digitizing businesses to make them sustainable is important at this time.
“You have to be proactive, innovative and pivot your business in a certain way to see how to be successful. The use of technology is very critical, ”said Gabriel.
“In our entrepreneurial program, the training teaches participants how to use technology and online platforms like social media to reach potential clients and thus be able to run their business and generate income.
“These skills will allow them to resist the effects of Covid-19 and be relevant in the future. “
Gabriel called for a concerted effort to help poor communities.
“Poverty is real and does not take into account skin color, religion or race. Therefore, it is important that businesses and governments put aside their agendas and come together to help those in need and those under-served.
“Observing major transformations among our participants fueled our passion to make lasting impacts in more communities across the region and even around the world,” he said.