Four Youth Teams Awarded S$40,000 for Social Enterprise Ideas

Singapore, 12 October 2013 — The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Programme awarded four teams with S$40,000 in funding to kickstart or expand their social enterprise ideas. The funding was channelled to SIF through apVentures.

The foundation organised “Pitching for Change” today, the finale to its 2013 YSE Programme that began in March this year.

Thirteen teams comprising 26 youth from eight countries - including Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore and Thailand - pitched their business plans to a judging panel of business professionals and social entrepreneurs.

The 13 teams were selected from an initial line-up of 37 teams, and underwent eight months of mentoring, business clinics as well as an overseas study trip to Thailand, to refine their business ideas.

The four winning teams that were awarded S$10,000 each are:

  • Dorsal Effect, a social enterprise by Singaporean Kathy Xu, to promote eco-tourism in Lombok Indonesia as an alternative livelihood for shark fishermen, to sustain the local shark population.
  • Gazaab, a micro-social venture fund by Singaporean Jamon Mok and Nepali Akash Gunung, to empower the poor via business competitions in Nepal and other developing countries.
  • Social Cops, a web and mobile application by Indian nationals Prukulpa Sankar, Varun Banka and Jahagirdar Kavya Narayan, that brings together citizens, city councils, NGOs and corporates to solve municipal and community issues.
  • Youth Agri-Socio Entrepreneurs, a team by Indonesians Alfi Irfan and Rayseed Hussen, that will match undergraduate agricultural students with farming communities to maximise productivity and sustainable farming techniques.

 

SIF pitching session

For Gazaab team members Jamon Mok and Akash Gunung, they were grateful that the YSE programme had highlighted its initial cash flow issues early on. “Right from the beginning, the judges told us that was a shortcoming. Six months later, we’ve incorporated synergistic tools by ‘bundling’ causes as a combined social cause — this made it more appealing to tourists to support the beneficiaries.” YSE teams underwent mentoring, business clinics and overseas study visits since March to develop their business plans.

For the Indonesian winning team Youth Agri-Socio Entrepreneurs, team member Alfi Irfan explained, “The YSE network gave us invaluable access to learn from other youth social entrepreneurs. We learnt the value of crunching the right numbers and how to market our product, specific to Indonesia. We found tremendous positive value in our interaction with the other teams.”

SIF governor Ms Elim Chew, founder of retail brand 77th Street, says, “I believe that today’s youth are a generation driven by purpose — they want to make a change and when they set a goal, they will work towards that purpose. With YSE, the SIF brings people together, where Singaporean and youth from the region are inspired and empowered to realise their ideas for social change. There was a high level of collaboration and support for one another as well as increased awareness of the needs in the region. I hope more youth will join the programme to experience this journey.”

The SIF YSE 2013 programme is supported by several organisations, including apVentures, McKinsey & Company, Google, INSEAD, NUS Business School, the Law Society of Singapore and Expara Ventures. The overseas learning journey to Thailand was supported by Ashoka and Population and Development International.

 

YSE winning teams and judges

Since 2010, the YSE programme has enabled some 200 youth entrepreneurs from 10 different nationalities. Applications for the 2014 YSE programme are now open.

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