Brewing Some Goodness
09 Mar 2021

Brewing Some Goodness

Driving Social Impact – Bettr Barista

Bettr Barista
Social-enterprise Cafe

Having trained over 4,300 people from 30 countries, Bettr Barista has come a long way in its social enterprise work globally. Since 2011, its core focus was to provide specialty coffee education with a social mission to empower marginalised women and at-risk youth. Today, the brand is recognised as a coffee education brand and it believes socially responsible practices can help these two underprivileged groups – by nurturing and training them across the supply chain, and by proactively building socially conscious communities through meaningful activities. Being a 2015 DBS Foundation Grant Awardee, 2017 President’s Challenge Social Enterprise of the Year winner and a Best For The World (Community) organisation from 2016 to 2019, brewing a cuppa never felt so promising for the world.

We speak to a couple who has been deeply moved by the story of Bettr Barista and decided to work with DBS Foundation to support the marginalised women and at-risk youth by sustaining their employment with Bettr Barista.

Seeding the Idea

How were you motivated to support social enterprises and what does it mean to you?
We wanted to contribute and help people, and to give back to society, especially in times of Covid-19. As a family, we lead a comfortable life, so we thought, “Why not help others?” We also believe in this mantra and to follow it: “Help others to help yourself.”

How would you motivate other people to do the same?
Ultimately, it’s up to their outlook on life and the individuality of the person. Personally, we want to raise awareness among people who have the means to donate, such that they will feel the need to start contributing as well and in doing so, realising that it can be very rewarding and purposeful. Giving back to society and helping others must come from the heart. Of course, these values should be instilled when we are young. That’s why for our family, we have made it clear to our children that a portion of our wealth will be going to charities, and that they will still have to make their own money in future. Education and advocacy at a young age is important.

How do you think we can involve the next generation?
We think spurring the next generation to do good for society is not hard. More importantly than just donating money, it would be so much more meaningful for the next generation to use their time to do something good for people outside of their family. Examples of simple acts of kindness could be helping at a senior’s home or taking time off to listen to somebody in need.

Improving Lives

What made you decide to support the Bettr Barista Training Programme over other social enterprises?
We believe what drew us to help Bettr Barista was the fact they were helping young people who needed guidance and mentorship. When they attain skills to support themselves, they can enjoy a better life. Bettr Barista provides skills to take them through in life. Once these recipients have the skills, they can also share generously how they have benefited from it with people in their network!

What do you hope for the social enterprises that you are supporting to achieve?
Primarily, we focus on the beneficiaries of these social enterprises rather than the companies themselves. At the end of the day, when lives have been impacted positively, we feel our mission has been accomplished.

Why is there still scepticism about the idea of social financing? How can this be overcome?
We believe scepticism exists because of the lack of accountability, so many a time, we can only hope that our donations will benefit the people in need. With accountability however, people will feel more secure about donating. For us, this is the case with Bettr Barista, as they have always informed us how the money is being spent and we have no qualms about it, so we will continue to give.

The Road Ahead

How can DBS work with clients on this ESG journey?
As busy individuals, we might not have the time to look at who are the right parties to give money to, therefore, it would be helpful if the bank can assist clients in deciding which are the few but relevant organisations that require funding. With that kind of specific information, clients can provide meaningful funding with peace of mind that they are doing a good cause.

About Bettr Barista

Hear from Bettr Barista about how their Bettr Holistic Training (HT) Programme has helped to support the disadvantaged and marginalized groups of people:
The pride of Bettr Barista lies in its heart of executing social programmes that provide help to at-risk youth and disadvantaged women by giving them vocational skills that can pave the way for their future careers in the specialty coffee industry. As an academy, the entire process of training is all-encompassing and covers emotional, mental, and physical training, while working with other social service organisations, family service centres and other community groups to engage potential students.

Learn more about them here