YSE 2019 Pitching for Change and 10th Anniversary Celebration

On 18 October 2019, the SIF celebrated the 10th anniversary of our signature Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme at the annual YSE Pitching for Change event. The event saw alumni, partners and friends reconnecting with one another and reminiscing their YSE experience. One of them was Ms Elim Chew, Special Advisor of YSE and 2019 Chief Judge. She had contributed to YSE in several capacities since 2010, including as a mentor and speaker. She shared, “It’s so wonderful to see both new and familiar faces today! YSE has indeed come a long way since it began 10 years ago as a three-day workshop with only a small group of participants. Today, the YSE alumni network has grown over 1,000-strong from 30 countries, and the latest batch of social entrepreneurs continues to inspire us all. I am proud to be part of such an impactful programme and look forward to another 10 more years of YSE. Together, we can impact lives and make this world a better home for all of us.”

Some local and international alumni also supported as speakers at the celebratory event. YSE alumni – Inclusive Arts Movement, WateROAM, SDI Academy, Junior Art Lab, Ecodoe, and Langit Collective – participated as ‘books’ at a Human Library session. Entitled “Breaking Barriers”, each ‘book’, paired with their respective community members, shared how they broke societal and physical barriers in pursuing their social missions. Another highlight was the Fireside Chat with YSE 2010 alumnus Quek Siu Rui, chief executive officer and founder of digital marketplace Carousell. During this exclusive session, he shared fond memories of YSE as well as his continuous pursuit of championing social causes through business.

Siu Rui said, “If there’s one thing I could do, it is to render the terms ‘entrepreneurship’ and ‘social entrepreneurship’ as synonymous. Both require a sustainable business model, and a good business is most sustainable when it is doing good for the community.” He wrapped up the session with Carousell’s vision of success in the next 10 years: Creating a world where second-hand items become a first choice. He shared, “I believe that this would make the world a greener and more meaningful place.”

The latest YSE cohort was also back in Singapore to pitch for funding after successfully completing an eight-month bootcamp of workshops, mentorship and a study visit to Shanghai, China. Six out of the 15 teams were awarded S$20,000 each to scale up their businesses. To further commemorate the anniversary, three outstanding YSE alumni – WateROAM (Singapore), Ecodoe (Indonesia), and Langit Collective (Malaysia) – won the DBSF x SIF Social Impact Prize. They received S$10,000 each as well as programmatic support by DBSF.

We are proud to celebrate 10 good years of inspiring and inspiring action for a better world through YSE. If you would like to be part of YSE 2020, apply now at www.sif.org.sg/yseapply.

Indonesian participants (from left) Bagas Rohmatulloh, Ulfatu Mahmudda and Aurora Kartika from WATTER describe how the zero-waste animal feed and fertilizer they produce from soybean waste helps to increase farm yield at lower costs.
(From left) Jean Chew and Victor Zhu from Hatch (Singapore) share how their social enterprise empowers youth who lack academic opportunities in Singapore, through digital skills training and job placements.
An invaluable session with those who have scraped their knees – ‘Human Library books’ share lessons on how they broke societal and physical barriers to create a better life for themselves and the communities they serve through their social enterprises.
‘Human Library’ and YSE 2018 alumnus Aminur Rasyid (right) from Junior Art Lab describes his experience training Muhammad Sayfullah (left), who has quadriplegic cerebral palsy, in digital art design. Tapping on assistive technology, Sayfullah is empowered to produce artwork. He shares how he hopes to support his mother (centre) and family through the sale of his work.
Nazrul Islam, a Bangladeshi migrant worker and community leader with YSE 2014 alumnus SDI Academy, tells his story of how he overcame various obstacles to receive a bachelor’s degree, a gold medal in the Pearson Outstanding Learner Award, became a marathon runner, blood donor and volunteer English teacher.
Quek Siu Rui (right), CEO and founder of Carousell and YSE 2010 alumnus, shares his views on the dual importance of sustainable business and social impact goals at the Fireside Chat. “Render the terms entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship synonymous!” he urged the crowd.
A friendship borne over YSE: 2014 alumnus Sazzad Hossain from SDI Academy (left) taking a commemorative photo with his senior Quek Siu Rui who helmed a lively Fireside Chat on sustainable business and social impact goals.
Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, presents key findings of the YSE Impact Study. 70% of YSE shortlisted social enterprises are still in operation today with an average of 268% revenue growth.
YSE alumni Ecodoe, WateROAM and Langit Collective win the DBSF x SIF Social Impact Prize for their growth, impact and contribution to the sector over the years.
YSE 2019 winning teams with judges, SIF Governors Shee Tse Koon (standing, first from left) and A/Prof Peter Pang (standing, second from left) and SIF Executive Director Jean Tan (standing, third from right). The six teams receive S$20,000 each to launch or scale up their social enterprises.
The milestone event concludes with cake and confetti in celebration of SIF YSE’s 10th anniversary.
Members of WATTER from Indonesia and Parched Foodworks from India capture a special moment together before parting ways. YSE participants take away lasting friendships with international friends through the eight-month programme.
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