With the pandemic creating uncertainty for organizations and individuals around the globe, entrepreneurs continue to harness their influence and skills to aid those most in need.
From donating reusable diapers to manufacturing parts for PPE, businesses are showing us it’s all about taking care of each other. And it’s important to spread the news of these acts of kindness.
Entrepreneurs from the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in the Philippines are helping community members and hospital workers on the front line. They have been donating and distributing protective masks, canned foods and cash to health employees and people in lower-income areas. As of early April, the EO chapter had already received donations equal to 30,000 masks and delivered 18,000 meals.
To support healthcare providers, British telecommunications provider Esendex is giving 1,000 free credits and full account management to those sending emergency communications. The company’s senior brand development manager, Amy Robinson, says, “During this time of unrivalled uncertainty, we believe that the role of communication is more essential now than it has ever been. One of our closely held values is ‘win as a team’ and never before has this felt more apt. We are grateful to be able to support their work, if even in a small way.”
In an unexpected move, 3D Folkes has ceased all commercial 3D printing to instead focus on producing parts for medical face masks and visors. The equipment will be used for National Health Service (NHS) hospitals across the country. Ben Folkes, managing director of 3D Folkes explains, “A few years ago, we were fortunate enough to be able to help a little girl called Charlie who was born without her right arm, by 3D printing her a new one. Once again, we find ourselves in a position to be able to help. We have officially allocated all of our 3D printing resources to the production of medical visor masks for frontline staff.”
From EO’s Johannesburg chapter, Grant Doubell, director of The Ground Up Company, is among the entrepreneurs behind Donate4Corona. The organization is collecting funds to buy masks and other equipment to protect the tens of thousands of doctors, nurses, EMS personnel, law enforcers and security service providers that are fighting the pandemic in South Africa.
When they heard of NHS staff struggling to buy nappies after their shifts, Baba+Boo donated 3,500 reusable nappies to employees on the front line. Commenting on the donation to facilities including London’s Great Ormond Street and Royal Gwent Hospitals, founder Eve Bell said, “After reaching out to our customers for their help putting us in touch with NHS Trusts, we were blown away by the stories we heard from struggling parents.Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a surge in orders as many parents turn to reusables, and it’s been amazing to hear how they’re helping to make some lives a little more convenient in these uncertain times.”
Out of EO San Diego, Magaly Chocano is a small business owner intent on “paying it forward.” Before the pandemic, her company’s building was devastated in a fire. The founder of Sweb, a digital advertising agency, says, “we were showered with generosity, support, and most of all, hope. We want to show up and provide the same support that was give to us!” She is selling custom-designed In This Together t-shirts, masks and stickers (in English and Spanish) and donating all proceeds to local businesses. “We purchase gift cards weekly from them and distribute those to non-profits with communities in need and frontline workers that are keeping us safe.”
Adam Roberts, owner of Go Dine and Go Dine Digital, has refocused the resources from his businesses to provide free meals to vulnerable individuals during the crisis. The not-for-profit called Open Kitchens is collaborating with restaurants across the UK to cook meals for NHS workers, schools, the elderly and those most in need. “I saw an opportunity to utilise unused kitchens and skilled chefs in closed restaurants to support people who cannot leave their homes, are busy working on the front-lines or are facing financial hardships due to the virus. So far we have raised almost £30,000 (US$37,700) which is being used to fund restaurants to create restaurant-quality meals for those who need them most.”
In Berlin, Karsten Warrink is an EO member and founder of AmberMedia who is grateful for the chance to share stories and experiences with fellow German EO members. “For me, it was very helpful in this time of crisis to get information and to see everyone is in the same ship.” His company has collaborated with media partners to install free information campaigns encouraging people to stay home and stay safe.
Writing 100 letters to people from different parts of the world, freelance writer Jess Collins decided to create an initiative to offer words of encouragement to anyone in need of a helping hand. “I’m running a ‘100 letters’ project—100 letters to people from different parts of the world,” she explains. “I advertised it on my Instagram page and people messaged to book a letter with their address. I’m slowly working through the list now. Many have told me things about themselves, but some haven’t so sometimes I don’t even know who I’m writing to! Although I’m doing it to help others and to use my skill at a time like this (the power of words), I’ve found that it’s been really cathartic for me as well and a really unique creative project unlike any other that I’ve done. I’ve really enjoyed connecting with people in this way.”
For more tips and resources about carrying your business forward after the coronavirus pandemic, check out the #EOTogether platform.