Young Social Entrepreneurs visit Singapore

Aug 01, 2018

Forum member and Asian international development stalwart, the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) recently welcomed 40 young changemakers to its Singapore headquarters for the annual social entrepreneur boot camp – the first-ever to be held in Singapore itself and we’re pleased to report, a resounding success.

SIF’s Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) initiative is an eight-month long incubator program of study and associated activities designed to equip, inspire and enable young people from around the world to become successful agents of change via the establishment of youth-led social enterprises. Each October the most promising young social entrepreneurs participate in a ‘Pitch for Change’ session, with the winner being awarded $20,000 Singapore dollars in seed funding to help grow their social enterprise.

In late June, 19 shortlisted YSE teams hailing from eight different countries took part in a week-long program of workshops, group mentorship sessions and visits to local Singaporean social enterprises. Their fledging social enterprises took in a wide variety of issue areas and approaches, including:

  • Vietnam’s Cricket One – harvesting the sustainable, affordable and protein rich food source which is crickets in a context where food security is a major global issue
  • Indonesia’s Elvish – investing in the sustainability and profitability of Indonesian fisherfolk by converting diesel powered electric motor boats to solar power
  • India’s Greennovations – eliminating plastic waste by transforming said waste into high utility products and in doing so improving wages in the (largely impoverished) waste collectors’ community
  • Bhutan’s Khemodro Dairy – a diary co-op that provides micro-credit to farmers with a particular emphasis on women
  • Malaysia’s Pink Collar – a registry-based matchmaking website for recruiting live-in domestic workers in South East Asia, with increased transparency and a focus on the just treatment of domestic workers

All reported how beneficial the SIF boot camp had been, with feedback centring on both the abundant learning opportunities and the tremendous value of developing supportive networks.

As Bicky Nguyen, co-founder of Cricket One said, “Being an entrepreneur is hard, but being a social entrepreneur is even harder. It’s motivating to sit down and share your difficulties with people from other countries.”

Well done SIF and its crew of young changemakers.

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