Remarks by Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2017 Workshop Closing Reception at Suntec Convention Centre

Welcome to the closing of the SIF’s YSE (Young Social Entrepreneurs) Workshop 2017.

To all our 138 participants, congratulations on surviving the boot camp - four days of business clinics, study visits, discussions and dialogues designed to develop you as a social entrepreneur, culminating in your business presentation to our judges today.

We had earlier asked you what you might hope to take away from this time with us. WOW Foundation, for instance, said that they’d come from India for the opportunities to present their idea to a global audience and, to receive valuable mentoring. For Good For Food from Singapore, it was about building their networks in the SE eco-system – they were looking for like-minded people to work with and grow their business.

I hope our programme has in some way fulfilled your wishes or a part of it. In the last few days you’ve engaged with serial social entrepreneurs, business strategists, marketing gurus, social impact investors, and other thought leaders in the social enterprise sector to develop your business plan. There has been robust exchanges of ideas between you and our network of experts, as well as among yourselves - an international community of young change makers.

We believe the skills and networks you have built and insights gained from cross-cultural interactions will help develop your social enterprise. You will need the capital and cultural competence gained to navigate doing business in an increasingly multicultural world. And given that many of the social issues you seek to solve today are complex and inter-connected, you will want to build collaborative partnerships.  Partnerships that transcend geographical and cultural barriers; partnerships that leverage tri-sector players for greater social impact and sustainability.  It is with these needs in mind that we have brought together this network and built an enabling environment to support you in your journey as a change maker.

There are many in the YSE ecosystem I wish to thank today.  They have given generously of their time, talent or treasure because they share in your passion to start or scale social enterprises in Singapore and beyond. Our valued programme partners and donors include Ashoka, Asia Philanthropic Ventures, AVPN, Deutsche Bank, Eden Strategy Institute, McKinsey & Company, Ngee Ann Kongsi, National University of Singapore, Temasek International, as well as the many speakers and mentors who have volunteered to share their expertise and experiences in the last few days.

We’d also like to thank our judges who have spent many hours poring over your business plans; who today provided helpful critiques and professional advice to encourage our budding social entrepreneurs. They are David Chong, Calvin Chu, Jan Croeni, Eugene Ho, Lian Wee Cheow, Sumitra Pasupathy, Divya Patel, Siddharth Pisharody, Paramesh Prasad, Rajan Raju, Dorji Tashi and Tee Yu Jin. Thank you for taking up this challenging task of evaluating 63 passionate teams, to shortlist 16 who will continue on our YSE 2017 programme. A round of applause for all our dedicated programme partners, donors, volunteers and judges please!

Finally, I would like to thank the Good Business team at SIF who worked tirelessly to put together this programme.  Last year, they piloted a mini boot camp in Jakarta.  This year, they aim to bring it to Malaysia and India.  Please join me in thanking Martin, Sherilyn, Mui Ying, Sek Sheng, Sarah and Vijay and their director Reginald.  I shall not delay the announcement of the results any further, here are the shortlisted teams for YSE 2017.



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