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ACV14: Finding Your "Ikigai" (Cai Yinzhou, Founder of Citizens Adventures, Part 2)
Dec 4, 2019 · 40 min
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Cai Yinzhou managed to start a tour company around the idea of sustainable tourism whilst in his 20s. I talk to him about the difficulties of starting a business designed for social benefit, expanding it to amplify your voice, balancing meaning with profit and finding your “ikigai”.

Cai Yinzhou is the Director of Citizen Adventures Private Limited, a company that organises tours and social initiatives in the communities of Geylang and Dakota Crescent in Singapore. Through these activities, he advocates for positive societal change, specifically targeting issues of integration and inequality in these communities. To date, more than 5000 people (including students, academics and policy makers) have come on the tours Citizen Adventures. Yinzhou is also part of backalleybarbers, a social initiative that has given more than 2,300 free haircuts to disadvantaged people. Yinzhou was awarded the Singapore Youth Award in 2017, the nation's highest youth accolade.

3 things I learned:

  1. I was inspired by Yinzhou’s determination to go all in and choose to run his social enterprise full time so that he could devote sufficient energy to it. 

  2. If you’d like to break down barriers and get to know someone, create a situation where casual conversation can flow naturally and without judgment.

  3. Yinzhou chose to eschew business growth to ensure that he could still serve the Geylang community. If you run a social enterprise, you will have to face these choices - and you must be clear on what your priorities are.
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