Jeanine and Maghan,
Who are you and what do you do?
I am Jeanine Suah, I am the Co-Founder of Thynk Global. I have always been a go-giving entrepreneur who uses the world as inspiration for community innovation. In February 2020, my business partner Maghan Morin and I co-founded Thynk Global, a co-working and event space where people of color and allies can create, collaborate, and build for the future. Our mission is to empower minorities to take risks while connecting them to resources and opportunities that help them build a sustainable business.
What do you do at your organization in terms of CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability, how do you monitor and report (non-financial reporting?) the outcomes and what are the goals?
Thynk Global’s entire business model is based on social impact. We intentionally chose a price point that would be realistic for the start-up budget. Currently, in South Florida the typical coworking membership starts at $150/month – ours is half of that.
We eventually want to help them scale, we put them through a series of workshops and trainings that will help them do just that. These programs are focused on Financial Literacy and Education, Business Operations and Management, and Marketing & Advertising. We measure success by seeing an increase in financial and social capital.
“We wanted to give entrepreneurs an opportunity to be surrounded by like-minded people who will help them succeed at a rate that doesn’t break the bank. Because our main goal is to help minority business owners build sustainable companies."
What do you think does a organization need if it wants to start introducing CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability practices?
Authenticity and empathy. In order for the results to be effective and impactful, the company needs to 1. identify the intention behind the initiative (why is this practice important and are we being genuine with our actions?) and 2. pinpoint a deeper understanding of where the problem truly lies so that the initiative will yield positive results.
It’s amazing to see these corporate organizations try and implement these practices; however, it’s unfortunate when they miss the mark due to a sheer lack of understanding, or simply not doing their due diligence.
Do you feel that differentiating yourself through impact has brought an added value to your business and reduces risks? In what way?
On the value side, absolutely. The majority of our competitors aren’t focused on global impact – they’re focused on filling empty offices. For us, it’s much deeper than that. Our message resonates with our global community and has gotten us through many doors. On the risk side, hell no! Haha. In business, there’s always going to be risk, but that’s the fun part.
“You can be the most well-intentioned person but if you’re not telling your story in a compelling manner, it’s going to be hard for people to buy in; which in turn, helps you to financially sustain your initiatives."
Do you see a change in behavior in your consumers?
I don’t know if I would call it a “change in behavior”, as much as I would a “revealing” or “exposure” of what was already inside of them.
Our ethos is rooted in community and connection; and because of that, our members embrace and personify those things on a daily basis.
Part of what attracts our consumers is the energy and authenticity behind what we do.
We love our people and care about their success, so if they are currently members or become members of our community, it’s because they truly believe in what we’re building and want to be a part of it.
How do new technologies and this digital age influence your work? Do you use them?
With COVID, we had to get very creative with building a virtual community outside of our brick and mortar. Zoom is obviously a blessing for all, but we’ve also leveraged some social media platforms and a coworking management software to create a new twist on the same staple Thynk experience.
In your view, what’s the biggest challenge when it comes to marketing CSR/Social Impact/Sustainability efforts to the world in a more active way than merely through your sustainability report?
The biggest challenge is clearly and concisely sharing your story and intentions in a way that people can champion for you.
Maghan and I are super blessed to have these BIG gregarious, high-energy personalities where we don’t know how to be anything other than ourselves. So, as we continue to grow, we hone in on the important pieces of our story and our mission so that people believe us, financially support us, and eventually become ambassadors and voices of the mission.