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Saathi

ساتھی: companion


COVID-19 has exposed the flaws of capitalism. It doesn't work. The world needs a benevolent economy made of businesses that are companions and allies of communities and stakeholders. We need sustainable brands that serve societal needs above profits.

It's now more important than ever for businesses to understand this, advocate this and action this and we're here to support you on that journey.

57% of the UK market is now motivated by belief-driven buying and consumers are likely to choose, switch, boycott or avoid a brand based on its societal stand (Edelman, 2018).

There is growing interest from brands to serve this market with CSR initiatives, marketing campaigns and philanthropy, but despite billions of pounds being distributed in goodwill, donations and aid have done little in service of marginalised and underserved communities.

Real impact is a result of systemic changes rooted in justice, ethics and societal welfare.

We help organisations create effective systems that serve people and the planet through funding, job creation, sustainability and more. We help brands get it right.

Whether it’s advising international communities on alternative capital structures or bringing together an audience to inspire a movement around ethical fashion practices, we understand how to help you get started.

Our services

Training

We deliver training on alternative financing, crowdfunding, ethical fashion, diversity and inclusion, supply chain, sustainability, zero waste or job creation. Our interactive workshops are designed to help people understand and question existing practices within the organisation. We equip you with tools and guidelines on how to move forward.

Consulting

We advise, build and create solutions to amplify an impactful mission. Our work spans creating infrastructures, workflow systems, design and implement business plans and procedures, oversee daily leadership, create comprehensive goals for performance and growth, evaluate performance, lead employees to encourage maximum performance and dedication, participate in expansion activities, manage relationships with partners/suppliers and assist in fundraising ventures.


Most recently, we operationalised Zebras Unite, a hybrid co-operative entity based which is catalysing community, culture and capital for social good businesses. Our scope included developing policies, protocols, processes, personnel resources and managing the operational and financial stability of the hybrid entity. Inspired by the principles of Zakat, we also helped design the Zebra Solidarity Fund, a morally obligated Islamic practice that dissuades hoarding to redistribute wealth and eradicate poverty. Zebras Unite Co-op has set aside 2.5% of all gross revenues for a Zebra Solidarity Fund for its co-op members. This fund will be used to offer financial assistance, advance projects centred on economic justice, underwrite scholarships and experiments serving the solidarity economy.


Additionally, we worked with Zebras Unite on an Exit to Community zine , a 75-page booklet written by a group of collaborators and co-authors to explore business “exits” that centre their communities in these transactions. We co-facilitated the cohort that helped 15+ companies advance their exit to community strategies.

Experiences

We can develop events and experiences with and for you. We can create themes based on market interest, speaker curation, ticket sales and event management. For example, we organised an event with American social activist Hoda Katebi and IFES at Kings College London and sold 150+ tickets.

We've also co-organised a number of events for Zebras Unite on a variety of subjects, including 'Islamic finance and the new economy', 'Religious Socialism and Solidartiy Economy' and 'How traditional economics gatekeeps access to financial literacy.

Content Creation

We work with creatives, influencers and social activists to create brand-specific reports, films, photo campaigns, articles, such as our Passports collaboration campaign.

Talks

We speak internationally on topics including Islamic economics, alternatives to capitalism, technology, crowdfunding, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, ethical finance, leadership and careers.

Community Building

We launched one of the first international chapters of Zebras Unite and built a community of 200+ members in London, produced monthly newsletters spotlighting alternative funders and practitioners, launched a London funding directory and organised several community events including an investors roundtable to examine the challenges and gaps in current funding mechanisms, explore how we can support and foster alternative models and how together and how we can shape an ecosystem collaboration. The roundtable featured participation from Bethnal Green Ventures, UnLtd, Social Tech Trust, Year Here, NESTA, Simply Ethical, Diversity VC, ustwo Adventure, Big Society Capital, Ficus VS and SSCH.

Paying it forward to founders

The ultimate goal of this work is not only to move brands forward on the impact agenda but to also uplift grassroot organisations working on community-centric solutions.

Matchfunding can help founders leverage additional capital from the crowd which is why we launched Ally, a funding pot distributing capital to marginalised founders. These funds will enable entrepreneurs to double their impact through sustainable revenue streams.

We will closely monitor the impact of these companies and deliver impact reports like this report including details on capital allocation, revenue growth, profitability, job creation, materials, educational opportunities, training, medical support, carbon footprint reduction and greater societal and environmental impact. These reports are put together by our impact strategists who have many years of industry experience in impact analysis and economics.

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