SINGAPORE – At age 35, Ms Pamela Chng set out on a new career path.
Unlike her previous pursuits – such as running a Web consultancy – Ms Chng’s new venture was a social enterprise.
The now 44-year-old founded Bettr Barista in 2011, a coffee company which champions socially responsible practices.
Ms Chng knew that she wanted to use her business as a force for good.
Bettr Barista currently runs a four-month programme for vulnerable women and youth at-risk where they are equipped with not just coffee-making skills, but also mental and emotional resilience.
Next January, the company will roll out a two-month accelerated programme for individuals with fewer support needs than those who attend the four-month programme.
They will trained in general food and beverage skills and emotional health.
Ms Chng is continuing to expand her coffee business, as she looks into plans to branch out in Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines next year. These plans had been put on hold due to the pandemic.
She is also intent on continuing to tackle the systemic issues in the coffee value chain, down to the farmers who grow the beans, and ensuring industry practices are more equal and inclusive.
She credits those around her for the success of Bettr Barista – from staff, corporate partners, social organisations to even the Government, who have supported and collaborated with the firm over the years.
“We can’t change and help everybody, but every time I am struggling to make sense of why we continue to do this very challenging work, I get clearly reminded by the progress I see in just one student.”
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