Social enterprises can make use of seniors' skills

A social enterprise can be viable only if the people involved in it offer skills that they are good at (Time-pressed? Let seniors iron out the wrinkles; Dec 7).

This is precisely what The Social Iron is doing, as it converts seniors' ironing skills and experience into a service that enables them to earn an income.

Its "by neighbours, for neighbours" concept works, for the simple reason that both the service provider and the client know each other better.

It is thus easier for both parties to make arrangements for any work, from house cleaning to the running of errands, to be done.

After school hours, neighbours can even look after primary school pupils whose parents are working. For a small fee, the child is cared for by someone he is familiar with.

Social enterprises can also explore freelance job opportunities for retired professionals.

For instance, by providing freelance consulting services in training and development, marketing, finance and administrative management, these seniors can help businesses and get paid for it.

What is more important is that seniors will maintain their professional skills and, above all, their sense of self-worth.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 09, 2017, with the headline 'Social enterprises can make use of seniors' skills'. Print Edition | Subscribe