31 Gurpreet Singh Dhillon
Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and Rashvin Pal Singh, co-founders of Biji-Biji Initiative, were the best of friends during A-Level studies. While they both cared deeply about the environment and society, it was years later that they embarked on the journey to kickstart Biji-Biji Initiative, a social enterprise with interest in sustainability, technology, fashion, fabrication and education. Sharing his experience, Gurpreet says perseverance is key to anyone who looks to found a social enterprise. “The initial journey will be tough and full of unpredictable challenges. However, if what you are doing has a higher purpose than just self-benefit and you have a vision for things to be done differently, that spirit will carry you on and keep you going when things are tough,” he advises.
To empower a larger movement towards a greener and more civic-minded community, Gurpreet and friends recognised the need for every individual to be equipped with the essential knowledge, skills and tools to play their part. In order to achieve that, first they would need to democratise the access for these individuals to help make change happen. “This is why we have launched Me.reka Makerspace at Publika,” says Gurpreet.
Me.reka Makerspace is a 12,000-square-foot space equipped with a wood and metal workshop, textiles studio, larger electronics lab, rapid prototyping machinery and VR headsets. Classes and workshops are conducted for ordinary citizens “to learn how they can make and fix their own products, using sustainable materials or their own waste materials,” he enthuses. “It is our biggest and most exciting project.”