Global Young Changemakers All Set To Achieve Their Social Mission Through Innovative Social Enterprises
Winning teams from the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme receive up to S$20,000 each in seed funding to kickstart or scale up their social business ideas
Singapore, 3 November 2017– After an eight month journey of mentorship, overseas study visit and social entrepreneurial learning and exchange, 16 teams comprising 37 young social entrepreneurs gathered today for the Pitching for Change 2017 event where they presented their social enterprise ideas to a panel of judges.
These teams, representing eight countries and territories – Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States of America, were shortlisted from a pool of 138 participants at the 2017 YSE workshop held in March this year. Throughout their YSE journey, the teams were mentored by volunteers from McKinsey & Company and Temasek International and benefitted from access to established social entrepreneurs, academics and industry leaders, thereby widening their perspectives and honing their business acumen. The SIF also took them on an overseas study visit to Mumbai where they had the opportunity to immerse themselves and experience first hand the vibrant social entrepreneurship landscape in India. Through such global interactions, cross-cultural insights and mentorship provided, these budding young social entrepreneurs took the valuable advice to refine and sharpen their business ideas.
At the Pitching For Change event, teams pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges consisting of Ms Annie Yeo, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank; Mr Jonathan Chang, Executive Director of Lien Centre for Social Innovation; Mr Tee Fong Seng, Founding Member of Asia Philanthropic Ventures; Ms Elim Chew, leading social entrepreneur and Special Advisor to the YSE programme; and Ms Ng Shin Ein, Managing Partner of Gryphus Capital and SIF Governor.
Competition was tough with teams presenting their innovative solutions to develop sustainable businesses for positive impact on areas such as the environment, energy, education, consumer goods, agriculture and healthcare. Six teams were eventually awarded up to S$20,000 in seed funding. The winning teams were selected based on the impact, scalability and sustainability of their social enterprise, and the commitment level of its members.
The winning teams are (in alphabetical order):
- Auctorem Solutions (India) – headed by Chaitanya Powar, Abhishek Sharma and Harikrishan Santhosh from India. The sustainable venture based in the Western Ghat region of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, works with tribes to facilitate collection, extraction, purification and sales of natural and medicinal honey from the forests.
- Bhumihara (Indonesia) – Fadhila El Discha, Febri Purborini Raharningrum and Bryan Citrasena established Bhumihara to provide an integrated solution for small islands in Indonesia, ranging from waste management to clean energy provision. Bhumihara seeks to train locals on proper waste classification and establishing a waste delivery system.
- Freedom Cups (Singapore) – headed by sisters Rebecca Paranjothy and Vanessa Paranjothy, the social enterprise produces reusable menstrual cups for women. Working on a buy-1, give-1 model where every purchase allows a woman from an underprivileged background to have clean periods.
- GigiCare (Indonesia) – Hamzah Assaduddin and Ahmad Faris Adli Izzuddin created GigiCare, a matchmaker app to connect low income patients with dental interns in Indonesia, managing patients and giving them access to dental treatment. GigiCare seeks to improve the quality of digital healthcare and to democratize affordable dental care in Indonesia.
- JM Nutrition Consultancy (Malaysia) – Kok Chin Ning and Jowynna Yeo formed JM Nutrition Consultancy to empower children, including the underprivileged, with the knowledge and simple recipes on how to prevent diet-related-diseases.
- Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti (India) – Summaiya Afreen and Rahul Goswami strive to enhance the relation between the literacy level of mother and child through dual-generation strategies. By teaching children and encouraging their mothers to join, they ensure strong educational outcomes for both.
Said 28-year-old Vanessa Paranjothy, Freedom Cups, “We are thrilled to receive the grant that will definitely help to further scale up our business. More importantly, the YSE programme brought together like-minded individuals across the world allowing us to interact and forge friendships with a network of changemakers. It has been an extremely humbling experience and I’m confident that Freedom Cups will continue to help underprivileged women around the world.”
“Embarking on this journey with my team has been extremely fulfilling! I've made many good friends and received great support along the way, especially from our business mentors. We are so grateful to have won the funding. This will help us scale up our business to educate children on food and nutrition hence enabling them to make healthier choices for a brighter future,” said 23-year-old Jowynna Yeo, JM Nutrition Consultancy.
“The youths of today are driven by a strong sense of social purpose and we want to tap into that, enabling them to become agents to ignite positive social change between Singapore and the world. The YSE platform is a springboard for them to kickstart or scale up their social enterprise, creating international connections and bridging cultural differences for a better world,” said Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of Singapore International Foundation.
The SIF YSE 2017 programme is supported by several organisations including programme funders Asia Philanthropic Ventures, Deutsche Bank and Ngee Ann Development Pte Ltd and other local and international partners such as Ashoka, Intellecap, Ogilvy and Mather, SAP, Singapore Management University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Unilever, Tsinghua University, and YES Bank.
Since 2010, the YSE programme has nurtured more than 700 alumni, spanning 27 nationalities to date.
Applications for the 2018 YSE programme are now open at www.sif.org.sg/yseapply.
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