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09 June 2017

webe Building the Future with webe Community

webe is a relative newcomer to the telco game in Malaysia. However, the company has had an extensive past in the telecommunications industry as the first WiMax in Malaysia, P1. In the time since their acquisition by Malaysian telecommunications giant, TM, the company has quickly adopted new standards and technologies which are swiftly making them one of the fastest growing mobile telcos. Some of their achievements include their nationwide 4G LTE coverage which webe has rolled out in a matter of months. In addition to this, the company has without a doubt made it more affordable to get unlimited internet, calls and SMS.

 

That said, webe is not just a telco. The company prides itself on being one of the only community driven companies. That ethos has been long in effect with their webe Community initiative. The webe Community ethos brings socially conscious enterprises to the forefront and allows them to succeed where others haven’t.  Giving life to services and activities that literally affect change to communities where they are needed the most.

webe Community: Democratising Social Action

 

webe community takes an innovative approach to social action unifying both the social and action aspects of Social Action. The approach allows social enterprises to not only get funding but social support. Make no mistake, webe community is in no way a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for webe. It is, in fact, a social enterprise incubator which allows worthy causes to get funds to carry out activities and acquire a social backing which not only fosters accountability but also a sense of transparency which no other incubators give.

 

However, before any project is funded, the many, many submissions go through a thorough mentoring and screening process. These social action startups pitch their ideas to the top brass of webe community. After the initial pitch, these startups are allowed to reevaluate and strengthen their pitches to prepare them for the next step: social backing. The company defines social backing as the support the initiatives and startups get from the public through social media. The initiatives that make it through the initial pitch and refining process will then need to pitch their idea to the public. It is through this public backing that the initiatives are able to get their funding. Public voice accounts for 100% of what will drive the success of the initiatives.

 

The biggest difference webe community has in their definition of public backing is this: the public doesn’t fork out a single sen. webe community makes that differentiation in the fact they keep away from the term “crowd funding” and instead use the term “crowd backing”. In their definition of “crowd backing” webe community stresses on the importance of getting social support for their social action initiatives to ensure their success. These initiatives, once backed are fully funded by webe community.

 

 

webe Storytellers

webe empowering women through one of their successful projects.

 

The community initiatives are not social enterprises which are funded and forgotten. Backers and the public are able to follow their stories through regular updates which the webe community team and the initiators post on social media. These posts, be it videos or simple update posts provide a sense of transparency and accountability to the social backers which have been sorely lacking in the social enterprise space. They also allow the community to be actively involved in the process throughout the journey of these enterprises. But perhaps more importantly, these stories told true the eyes of the initiators allow

But perhaps more importantly, these stories told true the eyes of the initiators allow access to an avenue of support which is unprecedented. The community can actively rally behind the initiators during times when they are facing problems which can, at times, make it that much more bearable for them. A lot of times, the success of these social enterprises are determined by their ability to make to through their rough patches and the community’s stories help increase their chances of making through.

 

webe Social Change Affectors

One of webe community’s ongoing projects: webemakermobile

 

webe Community in its essence is a community of active change affectors – be they initiators, backers or the community itself. We’re talking about a success rate of backing and carrying out social action which has never been seen in other incubators. Being backed by such a strong support system and having a sense of accountability and transparency which they can be proud of. The community efforts are without a doubt making effective change in the communities they are in and are changing lives through their many unique endeavours.

 

The insights we’ve gained from our sit down with webe Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Shu Wei, regarding their previous endeavours and their current cohort of initiators proves that the company is onto something which they can proudly say will change the community not only in the short term, but also in the long run where the change is most needed. That said, Mr Shu Wei has moved on to bigger and better things in webe’s parent company TM as their Vice President of Mass Market Marketing Operations.

 

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