Blending social cause and business with Cynthia Hellen

At 16, she founded her own hospitality business and successfully maintained it until a car accident made her learn about a tumour in her brain. 

Published: 01st August 2018 04:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2018 04:05 AM   |  A+A-

Cynthia Hellen interacts with students. (Photo | EPS/sathya keerthi)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The American Corner at St Francis College for Women at Kundanbagh on a Tuesday evening saw nearly 50 people immensely engrossed when Cynthia Hellen, founder of SMPLCT Lab, a social enterprise creating sustainable products, services and meaningful human experiences based out of New York was apprising about social entrepreneurship.

Born in Lima of Peru in a humble family, Cynthia and her family moved to New York to earn a decent livelihood. At 16, she founded her own hospitality business and successfully maintained it until a car accident made her learn about a tumour in her brain. 

Today, Cynthia is not just an advocate of having a business tagged with a social cause but also a practitioner of the same, for, her recycled H&M shirt and trousers, shoes made of plastic found in the ocean was a testament. 

“There is knowledge all over the world but resources, collaborative approach and co-operation in the US. I travel across the globe just to realise how much talent and unimaginably creative people are,” she shared with the audiences, who were keen about knowing how social entrepreneurship works.
This expat went back to her native in Peru just to learn about how her aunt sells corn and people in Pisco of Peru (an earthquake hit area) make benches out of plastic bottles. 

“I was impressed by the idea and made engineering students as ambassadors of transforming plastic into benches for parks and schools. I made them collect plastic bottles from everywhere, hand it over to the people in Pisco so that they can use these benches at public spaces,” Cynthia informed.

Her brainchild SMPLCT Lab analyses different business models, the problems that exist and gives solutions to those issues. 

When a young girl in the audience asked her how she copes with failure, Cynthia laughed and replied, “When you use the word cope, it means ‘the end.’ That’s not the right attitude according to me. We connect failure to a negative connotation. Failure is just a symbol of trying and getting a different result than what we expected. There is nothing wrong about failure. We should just try again.” After leaving everyone inspird, Cynthia answered all their queries patiently and concluded the session by taking a selfie with them.

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