1. General

1.1. What is the Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme?

    The Singapore International Foundation (SIF) believes in inspiring and equipping young changemakers like you to make your social enterprise idea a reality. Through the YSE programme, we nurture an international network of social entrepreneurs, such that the power of ideas, know-how and resources is harnessed to enrich lives and effect positive change. Launched in 2010, our network today comprises over 1,000 alumni of 30 nationalities.

1.2. How does the YSE programme work?

    The YSE programme spans 8-months, comprising the following components: 1) Workshop in Singapore; 2) 6-month Mentorship, 3) Overseas Study Visit, and 4) Pitching for Change where teams can pitch for grants of up to S$20,000 to develop their social enterprise.

    [Updated timing to be reflected in new infographic]

1.3. What does the YSE programme offer?

    International Network
    Join an international network of changemakers including like-minded individuals, corporates, practitioners and successful entrepreneurs.

    Gain access to industry experts and professionals for mentorship

    Study Visits
    Embark on a study visit to gain insights into Asia’s social business landscape.

    Develop your social enterprise with up to SGD$20,000 in grants.

2. Eligibility

2.1. Am I eligible to apply?

    If you are between the ages of 18 to 30 years old, you are eligible to apply. The YSE programme is open to participants of all nationalities.

2.2. Do I need an idea to apply?

    Yes! We are looking for young changemakers with great ideas to develop their social enterprise. You do not need to have an incorporated/ registered social enterprise before applying. If you have a viable idea, we want to hear from you.

2.3. Can individuals apply or do I need to form a team to apply?

    Yes, individuals can apply but we highly encourage you to form a team. Having more than one member for your social enterprise allows your team to leverage diverse strengths and support as the work grows.

2.4. If I have an existing social enterprise, am I eligible to apply?

    Yes, you are welcome to apply. However, social enterprises that are already generating profit are not eligible to apply. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please fill in the application form for our review. We will not be able to assess your eligibility over email.

2.5. Can I re-apply if my team or I have applied to the YSE programme previously?

    Yes, we would still encourage you and/or your team to re-apply as you may have made changes to your social enterprise idea/model since then. We do have cases of YSE alumni who have applied more than once before they were successfully shortlisted into the YSE programme.

2.6. Can my team submit more than one idea?

    Yes, your team can submit more than one idea. However, in the interest of fairness to other participating individuals/ teams, only one of your ideas may be selected.

2.7. Is there a specific industry my social enterprise should address for this programme?

    No, we welcome ideas addressed at tackling problems for all industries.

2.8. Does my social enterprise need to have operations in Singapore?

    It is not necessary for your operations to be based in Singapore. We welcome ideas from all over the world.

2.9. English is not my first language. Can I answer the questions in my native language?

    Currently, we only accept applications in English.

3. Application [Dates to be updated]

3.1. When is the application period?

    The YSE programme opens for applications in the last quarter of each year. YSE 2020 is accepting applications from 18 October to 15 December 2019.

    Early submissions are highly encouraged because we can still assist you if you have any questions and that gives you more time to work on your application details before the final cut-off. This will ensure that you complete your application in good time.

3.2. How can I apply?

    You can apply by completing the online application form at www.judgify.me/yseapply2020. Only completed submissions through the online application form will be accepted.

3.3. Is there an application fee?

    Yes, there is a non-returnable application fee of S$10 that you would have to pay through the online application form to successfully submit your application. Only applications with complete payments will be considered as eligible submissions.

3.4. If I am applying as a team, does every member of my team need to submit an individual application form?

    No, if you are applying as a team, only one representative from your team will need to apply and fill up the online application form. In your application form, you will be asked to include information of all team members.

3.5. Do I need to prepare anything for the application?

    Yes, each team will have to submit a Business Plan Overview for each application. You can download the Business Plan Overview template here.

3.6. Does the SIF or the participating partners have rights to my business plan?

    No, participants and applicants retain the intellectual property rights to their business plans. Business plans are solely shown to judges for evaluation purposes and the SIF will not disclose it to other parties.

3.7. How do I know if I am/my team is selected to join YSE 2020?

    You will receive an email notification on the outcome of your application by mid-February 2020. Both successful and non-successful applicants will be notified on their application outcome.

3.8. What happens if I am/my team is selected to join YSE 2020?

    Selected individuals or teams are expected to be committed to participate in all components of the programme. If you are an individual applicant, you should be the key driver of your social enterprise.

3.9. Can there be a change in team member during the programme?

    Teams are not allowed to change members once they embark on the programme.

3.10. Who evaluates the applications?

    Applications will be reviewed by an external panel of judges comprising business professionals and practitioners who will assess both the business and social impact of your social enterprise idea. The assessment is based on:

    • Social Impact
      The benefits that the community receives, and potential impact to the community/issue.
    • Innovativeness
      Creative and enterprising ideas, as well as unique aspects of the business model.
    • Feasibility and Sustainability of Business Idea
      Viability of business idea.
    • Commitment
      Your team and/or your drive and attitude towards being a committed changemaker.

4. Workshop [Dates to be updated]

4.1. Who gets to attend the workshop?

    Selected applicants who receive an invitation for YSE 2020 will get to attend the 4-day workshop in Singapore, which will take place in March 2020.

4.2. What is the workshop about?

    The YSE 2020 workshop is designed so participants can learn from and interact with leading social entrepreneurs, business professionals and other youth who are keen on social innovation, while expanding their network of contacts for collaborations and partnerships.

    Throughout the first three days, you will participate in dialogues and business clinics to enable you to learn from the experiences of different social entrepreneurs and gain feedback from professionals and practitioners on your business plans. This will help you refine your ideas and improve on your business presentations. On the last day, you will present your business idea to a panel of judges. The presentation will determine the top teams that will be shortlisted to participate in the next eight months of the YSE programme, including an Overseas Study Visit, Mentorship, and Pitching for Change.

4.3. Do I need to pay for the workshop?

    The SIF does not charge for the Workshop. Participants based outside Singapore are responsible for covering their own airfares and accommodation to attend the 4-day workshop in Singapore in end March 2020*. You will need to pay for transport cost to the Workshop venue each morning and back to your accommodation each night. Overseas participants will also need to cover their own airport transfers. Meals and transport during the Workshop will be provided by the SIF.

4.4. Do I need to attend the workshop if I am selected to join YSE 2020?

    Successful applicants must attend all components of the Workshop for its full duration. For overseas participants, you will need to make your own arrangements for arrival and departure from Singapore, in time for the workshop. Do inform us before the workshop if you require a letter of admittance from the SIF, to apply for leave from work or school.

4.5. What if I cannot attend the workshop?

    You are required to inform the SIF in writing with the valid reasons and supporting documentation for not being able to attend the workshop. You must find a replacement for each member who is unable to attend the Workshop, subject to the SIF. You must demonstrate that the replacement member(s) is able to play a key role in your social enterprise (e.g CV/resume, skillsets, role, etc).

4.6. What happens after the workshop?

    Shortlisted teams will be announced on the last day of the YSE Workshop. They will move on to the next key components of the YSE programme comprising the Mentorship, Study Visit, and Pitching for Change. Shortlisted teams are expected to stay committed to and actively participate in all components. All YSE 2020 Workshop participants will become the SIF’s YSE Alumni. We will continue to support you through other resources and activities, such as business clinics and networking events both in Singapore and abroad.

4.7. If my social enterprise is shortlisted, will I have to pay for the post-workshop components?

    The SIF will cover the costs of post-Workshop components for shortlisted teams. These include meals, accommodation and airfares (capped at S$800 per round trip per person) for the Study Visit and Pitching for Change.

5. Mentorship

5.1. What is the mentorship about?

    The YSE Mentorship is one of the most well-received and valuable components of the YSE programme. Shortlisted teams will be matched with volunteer mentors who are leading business consultants and entrepreneurs from relevant fields, to work on strengthening their business strategies.

5.2. What is the format of the mentorship?

    Each team will be matched with two to three Business Model Mentors and/or Entrepreneur Mentors for a duration of six months. Mentoring will be conducted remotely, and teams are to commit 2 to 4 hours per month to check in with their mentors on their progress. A face-to-face mentoring session will also be organised in Singapore before the Pitching for Change for mentors to meet their respective teams and finetune their pitches.

5.3. What are the expectations of shortlisted teams?

    Teams are expected to be proactive in consulting with their mentors. We encourage all teams to clearly define their needs, communicate closely, and stick to a regular schedule with their mentors to get the most out of the mentorship. Teams are also required to submit to the SIF a monthly update on their mentorship progress.

5.4. What happens if shortlisted teams do not adhere to the requirements during the mentorship duration?

    The conduct and commitment of the team during the mentorship will be assessed by the mentors and the SIF team. This will be taken into consideration at Pitching for Change, among other criteria.

6. Study Visit [Dates To be updated]

6.1. When is the study visit?

    The Study Visit is a week-long trip which takes place at the YSE programme’s mid-point (June or July 2020). Its aim is to help YSE participants expand their professional networks and learn about the social entrepreneurship landscape in a global context.

6.2. What happens during the study visit?

    The Study Visit will include workshops and talks by industry experts, visits to prominent social enterprises, networking opportunities, and more. Participants can also get to meet with and learn alongside like-minded local youth building their own social enterprise solutions for their country.

6.3. Do I have to pay to participate in the overseas study visit?

    The SIF will be covering the costs of the Study Visit for team members of the shortlisted teams. The costs include meals, accommodation and airfares (capped at S$800 per round trip per person). The SIF will not cover costs for substituting and/or new team members who were not present at the YSE Workshop.

6.4. What is expected of me during the overseas study visit?

    Participants are expected to be fully present and involved in all the trip’s components. Participants may be asked to lead or facilitate peer activities and share about their country and culture. Participants will also be required to submit a report on their key learnings from the Overseas Study Visit to the SIF.

7. Pitching For Change [Dates to be updated]

7.1. What is Pitching for Change?

    Day 1: Group Mentorship & Mock Pitching
    Teams refine their business pitches through a face-to-face session their mentors and a mock pitching session.

    Day 2: Pitching for Change
    Teams will pitch to a panel of judges, where up to six teams will emerge as winners to receive up to S$20,000 in grants to launch or scale-up their social enterprise.

7.2. Do I need to pay to travel to attend the Pitching for Change?

    The SIF will sponsor all travel and accommodation costs for the shortlisted teams to travel to Singapore in October for Pitching for Change.

7.3. What happens after Pitching for Change?

    Winning teams are required to submit a grant proposal to the SIF with their planned use of the S$20,000 grants to be utilised over a period of 1.5 years. Winning teams will be assigned a mentor to guide in grant utilisation and business growth. The grant funding will be disbursed to winning teams in tranches, ensuring that the enterprises meet their planned objectives, report on outcomes, and demonstrate that funds are utilized to reimburse enterprise operations.


If your questions have not been answered in this FAQ, drop us an email at [email protected]. As we will be facing a high volume of emails during this period, please specify in the subject your name and the enquiry pertaining to the workshop e.g. SE Name_YSE2020Workshop_ [your enquiry].