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Saathi

ساتھی: companion


Capitalism has exacerbated wealth inequalities around the world. According to Oxfam’s 2024 report, since 2020, wealth of the five richest men has doubled, while the wealth of five billion people has fallen.

With profit-driven wars, institutions and businesses crippling populations and lands around the world, it is time we retooled our organisations to shape a justice-centred society. We believe wealth equality and a better society can be engineered by purpose driven organisations that prioritise people and the planet alongside their profits 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 implement ethical systems that serve people and the planet through funding, job creation, sustainability, impact and more.

We work at the intersection of social, environmental and economic impact, cooperative structures, ethical finance and Islamic economics. Whether it’s advising international communities on alternative funding structures or bringing together an audience to inspire a movement around ethical fashion practices, we understand how to help you get started.

Our services

Strategic 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 in the US 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.

• Launching the 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.

• As the partnership lead, we contributed to Beloved Economies supernova strategy - a collaborative research and narrative-change initiative aimed at awakening popular audiences in the United States to the power we have to build economies that work for all, specifically through reimagining and repairing how we work.

• Closing 50+ global partners from the cooperative and alternative business community to generate additional revenue for the ZU co-operative and expand our reach

• Tooling Zebras Unite Capital - a subsidiary of Zebras Unite's non-profit and for-profit arm focused on mobilising alternative capital for our members

Some of the kind things that Zebras Unite has said about our work include:
• Your influence is ALL over this organization, Sheeza, and we're better for it.
• Sheeza is an experienced polymath who brings the full force of her experience, insight, and empathy to bear on any organisation she works with. Her contributions to us are too numerous to expand on fully here. I cannot stress enough how pivotal Sheeza has been to the growth and wellbeing of this organisation.

Talks & Workshops

We deliver talks and workshops on alternative funding, Islamic economics (we have in-house certified CISI Islamic finance experts) crowdfunding, ethical fashion, diversity and inclusion, supply chain, sustainability, job creation and community impact. 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.

Examples of talks by Sheeza Shah, our Managing Director can be found here.

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.

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.

Naomi Malik completed her University of Cambridge Masters of Studies in Social Innovation dissertation on UpEffect and how it reenacts faith-based values as a tech for good company inspired by Islam. We're delighted that she attained a distinction for her research.

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.

Get in touch