Underprivileged youths get career jump-start as baristas

  • Metro News
  • Monday, 16 Dec 2019

Coffee for Good provides on-the-job barista training to B40 youths.

HONG Leong Bank under its corporate social responsibility (CSR) platform – HLB Jumpstart – announced its collaboration with social enterprise Coffee for Good to upskill youths from the B40 group.

Coffee for Good, founded by Faridah Halani and Dalia A Aziz, aims to help the youths through an on-the-job training programme.

The programme will equip them with coffee knowledge and skills to make them employable and provide job placements as skilled baristas.

Faridah said with the coffee culture becoming a booming segment in Malaysia, there was still a shortage of trained baristas.

As a local café operator who faced a shortage of skilled baristas, Faridah said she could bridge her business, coffee-making skills and empower B40 youths to solve the on-going skilled labour problem faced by café owners everywhere.

“Our social cause is focused on youths, particularly school-leavers from the B40 group who may face limited employment opportunities due to their lack of academic qualification and vocational skills.

“Empowering them with job skills such as that of a barista can hopefully provide them a stepping stone to being employed with a stable income, ” she added.

Under the HLB Jumpstart programme, Coffee for Good will get a boost in branding and marketing campaign to recruit more trainees for pop-up cafes in some of Hong Leong Bank locations and its affiliated companies’ offices, cashless payment facilities and financial knowledge sessions with the bank’s SME specialists.

Hong Leong Bank group managing director and chief executive officer Domenic Fuda said the bank was honoured to be part of the growth of Coffee for Good which is providing opportunities for these youths to secure employment and attain financial independence. “Entrepreneurs whose work make a positive impact on communities resonate with our core values and it is instinctive for the bank to mobilise our CSR efforts to help these social entrepreneurs succeed, stay sustainable and stay in business for the long term.

“Our expertise has already borne fruit as we have helped grow two successful social entrepreneurships since the inception of HLB Jumpstart last year, and we are inspired to do more, ” said Fuda.

HLB Jumpstart, launched in September last year, champions Malaysian social enterprises that create positive social impact with the aim of building sustainable businesses through its five pillars --- financial knowledge, tools and digitisation, branding and marketing, commercialisation, and volunteering.

Within a year of being established, HLB Jumpstart received recognition at the CSR Malaysia Awards 2019 for its strong support of the ecosystem of local social enterprises.

Hong Leong Bank chief marketing and communication officer Zalman Zainal said one of the biggest challenges faced by social enterprises was keeping the business viable while fulfilling the social cause they championed.

“This is where the bank is able to provide the relevant solutions and opportunities to jumpstart their business and help them grow organically.

“Through HLB Jumpstart, social enterprises can tap into the bank’s expertise and entrepreneurial acumen, vast business network and digital platforms, ” he said.

Prior to Coffee for Good, the bank helped grow Suri, an award-winning denim upcycling social enterprise that provides skills and financial independence to single and underprivileged mothers.

HLB also supported Green Hero, which was founded by a group of young environmental activists focused on eradicating food waste across Malaysia.

“We are thankful to Hong Leong Bank for the opportunity to tap into the bank’s wealth of business and marketing expertise.

“We will leverage on the bank’s network to increase sales and adopt smart digital solutions offered by HLB to increase efficiency, especially allowing us to use strategic locations at its office buildings to run our coffee business at no cost, ” said Faridah.

“We hope more corporate, building managements and even individuals looking to expand their CSR activities can support Coffee For Good by providing us with spaces such as a building lobby to set up our pop-up kiosks to train these youths, be it on a short-term, intermittent or long-term basis, ” added.

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