Winning Ideas for Good

Four teams from SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs programme bagged S$10,000 each to power their business plans for social good.

Singaporean Jamon Mok speaks about Gazaab’s plan to uplift the lives of the underprivileged in Nepal.

They were fresh-faced and bubbling with idealistic passion. But that didn’t mean that the 13 finalist teams at SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs ‘Pitching for Change’ session on Oct 12 were business ingénues. They faced an exacting judging panel of social entrepreneurs and veteran business people. They fielded a barrage of tough questions spanning projections, price points and market research, all with supreme poise.

And at the end of the day, four teams emerged as having the strongest and most viable ideas:

 

  • 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.

Rayseed Hussen and Alfi Irfan, SIF governor Elim Chew, SIF Executive Director Jean Tan, Akash Gunung and Jamon Mok, Prukulpa Sankar, Kathy Xu, Asia Philanthropic Ventures Ng Song Wah and Stephen Lim, SIF governor Lian Wee Cheow and Varun Banka.

Each of the four teams was awarded S$10,000 in funding to kickstart or expand their social enterprise ideas. The funding was channelled to SIF through philanthropic organisation apVentures.

The teams comprising 26 youth from eight countries - Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore and Thailand – each took away something invaluable. Their business ideas, which they had been incubating and refining for eight months since the start of the 2013 programme in March, were put to the test and any loopholes pointed out, positioning every one of these business ideas for a far higher chance of success in the marketplace.

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

Apply for the next round of the YSE Programme here.

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