Journey for Good

Sixteen teams from eight countries to embark on SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs 2013 programme.

Out of 37 teams, 16 were shortlised at the closing of our Young Social Entrepreneurs workshop in March.

A bus for children that provides a safe journey to and from school. Sustainable mushroom farming as an alternative source of income for farmers. A playground for autistic children. These are some of the ideas that emerged from among the 16 shortlisted teams announced at the closing of our Young Social Entrepreneurs workshop in March.

Over three days, 37 teams involving 76 youths from 10 countries went through a programme of presentations, talks and best practice sharing sessions with industry leaders including Elim Chew, SIF Governor and 77th Street Founder, Patsian Low, Deputy Director, National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre, and Koh Seng Choon, Dignity Kitchen Founder.

Pitching their business ideas to a panel of judges which included Elim Chew, 77th Street Founder, Kankipati Rajan Raju, Managing Director, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, and Kevin Teo, Chief Operating Officer, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network.

Matthew Spacie, keynote speaker for SIF’s Ideas for a Better World Forum – Game On! Nurturing Tomorrow’s Changemakers was also on hand to take questions from YSE participants. Spacie is the founder of the Magic Bus, a Mumbai-based social enterprise which brings sports-focused, mentoring programmes to 250,000 economically disadvantaged children every year.

In her opening presentation to the participants, SIF governor Chew called upon the youth to make sustainability a core part of their business ideas, to learn not how to catch a fish, but how to be able to buy, sell and trade the fish too. She shared her own experiences of founding 77th Street and PaTH (Pop and Talent Hub) in VivoCity, Singapore’s first social enterprise and craft market and highlighted the importance of moral values in championing and defining the social entrepreneurship space.

Fine line between ‘social’ and ‘enterprise’

Addressing the fine line between ‘social’ and ‘enterprise’, she added, “You continue to define this space. Sometimes people can get confused about the definition of ‘social entrepreneurship.’ We must ensure that this space does not get corrupted by people who abuse it.”

After an intense two days of learning and knowledge-sharing that included sessions on refining business ideas through understanding one’s market and competition, sustainability in social enterprise and social impact assessment, the participants were ready.

On the final day of the workshop, participants pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges which included Chew, Kankipati Rajan Raju, SIF Governor & Managing Director, Deutsche Asset & Wealth Management, and Kevin Teo, Chief Operating Officer, Asian Venture Philanthropy Network.

Declaration of Courage Visualisation - courtesy of Tim Hamons.

Spacie then led a Declaration of Courage session, during which the participants mapped out and explained their ideas in brief, declaring their commitment to their cause as loudly and enthusiastically as they could.

The judges originally planned to shortlist 12 teams, but this ultimately proved too difficult. SIF Chairman Euleen Goh announced 16 participating teams who will continue to participate in a mentorship scheme led by McKinsey and Company, overseas study visits to Thailand and India in partnership with Population and Development International, Magic Bus and Ashoka, and eventually, get a chance to pitch for funding supported by Asia Philanthropic Ventures in October.

The 16 are: Bus for Children (Cambodia), Music4Fund (Singapore), Okra Asia (Singapore), Samakey (Thailand), The Dorsal Effect (Singapore), Youth Social Agripreneur (Indonesia), Planet Bobble (Singapore), Sellmond (Indonesia), Urbane Academy (Singapore), vLink (Singapore & Malaysia), Gazaab (Nepal), Project Mushroom Magic (Malaysia), SEED (China), Social Cops (India), Youth Entrepreneur Shop (Indonesia) and Community Supported Rice Production (Cambodia). Two teams received a Special Mention, The Other Side (Cambodia) and Moving Forward Fellows (Vietnam).

We congratulate these 16 teams who are now one step closer on the journey to realising their big dreams.

Inspired to know more about the YSE alumni and their journey to crystallising their social enterprise ideas? Join our Young Social Entrepreneurs Facebook group here!

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