Global Change Makers Celebrated at SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme

11 teams representing seven nationalities benefit from business incubation programme; four win funding.

Singapore, 15 November 2014 – The Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme awarded four young social entrepreneur teams S$10,000 each in funding, following an eight-month-long programme where they were mentored by corporate leaders to sharpen their business proposals, participated in overseas study visits, and pitched for funding for their social enterprises.

Selected from 35 teams of 76 youth representing 12 nationalities including Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Thailand and the US, the 2014 winning teams are:

  • Eden Greening, run by South Korean trio Young Ju Oh, 22, Sang Su Kim, 25, and Yiyeun Hong, 21, sets out to develop eco-friendly products to promote urban greening in South Korea.
  • Jugnuu, headed by Singaporean Pramodh Rai, 27, and Indians Ankita Gupta, 23, and Priya Andleigh, 23, provides low-cost English language mobile learning solutions to elementary school students from low-income families in rural India.
  • Local Alike by Thai trio Suratchana Pakavaleetorn, 25, Patomporn Pongnin, 24, and Somsak Boonkam, 31, promotes community-based tourism as a viable source of livelihood for rural communities in Thailand.
  • Society Staples, by Singaporean duo Debra Lam, 21, and Ryan Ng, 23, aims to set up Singapore’s first all-inclusive gym, regardless of disabilities.

Said Ankita Gupta, 23, of Jugnuu: “The biggest insight we gained from the programme was that we can’t do it alone. We’re so inspired by the spirit of collaboration we’ve experienced with our fellow YSEs, and the programme has really enabled us to build bonds and forge friendships with people of different nationalities. Furthermore it has provided us with a firm foundation and helped us take our social enterprise to the next level.”

Said Debra Lam, 21, of Society Staples: “The YSE programme has connected us to friends who are all striving towards the common goal of social good. Nothing has come close to the mentorship and networks we have gained through the programme, in terms of the resources, dedication and time. We’re honoured to be part of a network of young global change agents who are for a better world.”

SIF’s YSE programme sets out to inspire, equip and enable youth of different nationalities to embark on social enterprises in Singapore and beyond. Since the inaugural YSE in 2010, the programme has nurtured a 260-strong network of young change makers from 17 countries. YSE participants learn from and interact with leading social entrepreneurs, business professionals and youth keen on social innovation, while expanding their personal and professional networks for potential collaborations for a good cause.

The cash prize of S$30,000 is annually sponsored by apVentures. This year, SIF Governor Mr Kankipati Rajan Raju and his wife Mrs Anu Raju, as avid supporters of the programme over the years, have also come on board to pledge an additional S$10,000 as award funding.

Said Ms Euleen Goh, Chairman of SIF: “At the SIF, we make friends for a better world, bringing together global Citizen Ambassadors to share knowledge, skills and experiences to uplift and enrich lives through social enterprise. We are in the fifth run of our YSE programme this year and are always heartened by the drive and passion of our YSE change makers. It is inspiring to see these young leaders harness the power of ideas and networks forged though the programme to effect positive change and enrich lives around the world.”

Applications for the 2015 YSE programme are now open at www.sif.org.sg/yse.

 

 

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