Remarks by Ms Euleen Goh, SIF Chairman, at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2014 Pitching For Change Reception

Welcome to the 2014 SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs’ (YSE) Pitching for Change closing reception.

At the Singapore International Foundation, we bring Singaporeans and world communities together for a better world. What we call “Good Business” is one of the ways we endeavour to make friends for a better world, bringing together Citizen Ambassadors from the world over to share knowledge, skills and experiences to uplift and enrich lives.

Since 2010, YSE has supported 260 youth spanning 17 nationalities to become world change agents. At the programme’s opening workshop in March this year, we saw 76 budding social entrepreneurs from 12 nationalities present 35 social enterprise ideas. Of that group, 11 teams representing seven nationalities have made it here, having gone through the past eight months of business insights, exchanges, visits and – of course – today’s pitching sessions.

To all the participants, congratulations on making it this far on your journey to realising a truly good business. You deserve a round of applause for your perseverance! We at the SIF are so encouraged to hear your stories – from an Indian and Singaporean team using mobile phones to encourage English language learning for elementary school children in India, to an Indonesian team working hard to improve the livelihood of farmers while preserving the environment. These cross-cultural collaborations are proof points of a network of changemakers who stay strongly connected across borders and communities.

We have many to thank for their support towards a strong programme this year. Please join me in thanking Asia Philanthropic Ventures, McKinsey, as well as the many partners who have enabled the YSE journey since March.

We’d also like to specially thank our judges for devoting their time to sharing their knowledge and expertise – namely Mr Willie Cheng and Mr Stephen Lim, founding members of Asia Philanthropic Ventures, Mr Andy Holley, lead mentor from McKinsey, and my fellow SIF Governors, Ms Elim Chew and Mr Rajan Raju. A round of applause for our judges, please!

Now allow me to leave you with this quote from Albert Schweitzer: “In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.” What I hope each and every one of you realise is that everyone is a winner today. The lifelong friendships you’ve made with each other make all of you a winning team. As you continue on your change making journey, you will face road bumps; there will be times when your inner flame burns low. When that happens, I urge you to turn to your new found friends, for the encouragement and inspiration to keep striving to create a better world.

Thank you and I’ll now pass it back to Andrew.



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