Rashvin Pal Singh on learning to do less while achieving more

by Mirabelle Morah / September 2021

… learning to do less, whilst achieving more was a tough concept to grasp at first, but proved really powerful! – Rashvin Pal Singh

Rashvin Pal Singh is the Group CEO of Biji-biji Initiative, one of Malaysia’s pioneering and award-winning social enterprises championing sustainability. Biji-biji Initiative comprises subsidiaries across a few industries including Ethical Fashion and Circular Economy Solutions. Their latest venture ME.REKA, is an innovative and alternative education model designed to build 21st-century talents.

Rashvin plays a regular role in global programmes and speaking engagements and as someone interested in sustainable development and social entrepreneurship, in conversation with SEWF, he speaks about the human actions and behaviours he believes we can adopt to shape society in a more sustainable and positive way.

“One of the key realisations that we should all take from the pandemic is how closely interconnected all our lives are. Recognising we are more connected in our solutions than separated by our problems, and we must think and act as a global team is a virtue we must adopt going forward”.

A piece of advice that has helped Rashvin on his social enterprise journey and could help others starting out

“As a social entrepreneur, one of the biggest challenges I faced starting up was knowing where to focus my energy and efforts. We would often get pulled in multiple directions, trying to solve various problems whilst focusing on growing the organisation too. Understanding which areas we as a team could make the biggest difference, and learning to do less, whilst achieving more was a tough concept to grasp at first, but proved really powerful!”

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Rashvin Pal Singh on SEWF quoteThe SEWF experience and its impact on Rashvin

“Speaking and connecting with the various practitioners at SEWF in Ethiopia [2019] and SEWF Digital [in 2020] truly, truly broadened my perspective on the scale of change we can create globally as Social Entrepreneurs. I was able to learn from fantastic leaders and build on the ideas and efforts of my peers. The lasting connections made at both conferences have continued to shape the way we work, forming regional collaborations that include SE’s in Australia, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa, Spain and the UK”.

Why many other social entrepreneurs need to join SEWF 2021

“Whilst the Covid pandemic has highlighted the glaring inequalities we have in the world today, from digital inclusivity, support systems for young and grassroots entrepreneurs, access to healthcare amongst many others. The way we rebuild from here is going to play a pivotal role in shaping a more inclusive and climate-resilient future. How the Social Entrepreneurship sector rises above to contribute and lead this recovery is a crucial theme that is being discussed at SEWF 2021. Anybody looking to learn and plan how to rebuild better, and seeking regional collaborations should join SEWF 2021!”

New projects from the Biji-biji Initiative and Me.reka

“At the Biji-biji Initiative, we will be continuing to focus on providing circular economy solutions tackling plastic and urban waste through the creation of small-scale recycling systems and upcycled products. We are also expanding our efforts on digital education through Me.reka, our ed-tech social enterprise. Over 2021 – 2023, we are focused on developing 10,000 young people across ASEAN to enter the high-skilled gig economy through our digital entrepreneur programme“.

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Rashvin Pal Singh spoke at SEWF 2019 and SEWF Digital in 2020. His organisation, the Biji-Biji Initiative, is also part of the collective group of organisations hosting Community Hubs for SEWF 2021 in Malaysia. Designed by and for social enterprises, #SEWF2021 is the event for the global social enterprise community. Join this event to connect with thousands of leading social entrepreneurs, access world-class content and be part of the world’s largest social enterprise conversation! Get your ticket.

Mirabelle Morah is the community and communications manager at SEWF