Remarks by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, SIF Chairman, at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2016 Workshop Closing Reception at Raffles City Convention Centre

Good evening! It’s been a tough four days, you have all worked hard, and the moment has arrived. I am sure you are all very excited to know who has made it to the shortlist of the 2016 YSE programme and will proceed to the next stage.

We will announce the winners shortly. First let me thank all 50 teams from 15 countries and territories for your enthusiasm and grit. I hope you have been enriched by the past four days of business clinics, dialogues, peer learning, sharing sessions with social entrepreneurs and finally your business presentations. I believe the exchange of ideas, networks and friendships you have made put you in good stead to continue your journey ahead. You are the largest number of participating teams for YSE opening workshops that we have had and we are proud to have you as part of YSE’s 480-strong – and growing – alumni base.

Here at SIF, we are humbled and inspired by your keen efforts to make a difference and share our vision to build a better world. To quote David Bornstein, author of several books on social innovation: “what business entrepreneurs are to the economy, social entrepreneurs are to social change. They are the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities, refuse to give up, and remake the world for the better.” Congratulations to all of you!

I would like to thank our partners for lending their support to this year’s programme, as well as speakers and mentors who have committed their time to shared experiences with our participants. And last but not least, our judges Elim Chew, Kevin Teo, Vishnu Swaminathan, Divya Patel, Stephen Lim, Ian Cheng, Paul Kewene-Hite, Lee Junior, Laina Greene, Micah Yoo and Deeyva Desai – thank you for offering your sound critiques and professional insights into the SEs’ business proposals. We know it is certainly challenging to evaluate 50 passionate teams and shortlist the few who will continue their YSE journey in the next few months. Please join me to give our judges a round of applause.

The opening workshop may have drawn to a close but it certainly signals the start of an exciting journey ahead for some. I shall not delay the moment any further and will now hand it over to Jean to share the results. Thank you.



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