Sharing Insights into Singapore’s Social Business Landscape

Ten of our media friends from the region experienced Singapore’s social enterprise scene to gain deeper insights into this growing sector. We hosted the journalists from Malaysia, China, India and Indonesia from 31 October to 3 November 2017. They also caught changemakers in action at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2017 Pitching for Change event, which nurtures global entrepreneurs on an eight-month journey to develop their business ideas with strong social impact.

 “Before embarking on this journey, I didn’t think Singapore was a country with natural beauty. With this visit, my perceptions of the country have changed, as a result of the people, the life, the streets and even the minute details the authorities pay attention to when it comes to designing spaces.“ – Tanushree Bhatia, Special Correspondent, DNA, India.

Least to say our media friends went home inspired by the heart and soul of Singapore.   

Mr Alfie Othman, Executive Director of the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (RaiSE) [left] hosted our media friends from the region for a networking lunch with Singaporean social entrepreneurs. Here, he shares with Ms Li Chenhe of China Youth Daily [right] about the development of Singapore’s social enterprise sector and how that builds a more inclusive and compassionate Singapore.
Ms Cheryl Ou [left], a Singaporean social entrepreneur who started The Nail Social to train and employ underprivileged women, with our Indian media friends recounting her journey of moving towards socially-conscious entrepreneurship.
Our media friends took part in a multi-cultural cookout session facilitated by stay-at-home mums hired by social enterprise Food Playground, and got to experience Singapore’s food culture while supporting a meaningful cause. They were taken on a food heritage tour around Chinatown prior to this.
The group soaking in the sights, sounds and taste of Chinatown, a reflection of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Singapore. At a heritage trail of the area, they visited various places of worship, tasted local food and learnt about migration patterns that have shaped Singapore’s culture.
The group soaking in the sights, sounds and taste of Chinatown, a reflection of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural Singapore. At a heritage trail of the area, they visited various places of worship, tasted local food and learnt about migration patterns that have shaped Singapore’s culture.
Is a ‘grow your own food’ movement possible and sustainable in high density, urbanised environments? Our media friends learn that at Singapore social enterprise Edible Garden City, that can be achieved, and sustainably too.
While on a site visit at Edible Garden City, our Indonesian media friends witnessed how land-scarce and import-dependent Singapore grows mushrooms out of coffee and food waste. The social enterprise has made farming in under-utilized urban spaces and employing youths with special needs its social mission.
At a socially inclusive supermarket at the Enabling Village, integrated community space in Singapore that combines retail, lifestyle and training for disabled members of the community in an all-accessible public space. . Here they learn how the diverse needs of the elderly or persons with disabilities are catered to through modifications made to shopping carts for ease of use.
The group attended the culmination event of the Singapore International Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs 2017 programme, Pitching for Change. YSE 2017 finalist team Signs (in white shirts) from Singapore explaining to our Chinese media friends that they are motivated by the social returns of their business idea – providing job opportunities for those with high barriers to employment to boost their chances of self-sufficiency.
Participants of this multi-national Journalist Visit Programme (JVP) networked with members of the Singapore Press Club and several Young Social Entrepreneurs programme alumni during the welcome dinner. The JVP brought like-minded people and communities together to bridge cultures and achieve greater international understanding.
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