Speech By Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, At The Young Social Entrepreneurs 2018 Closing Reception At Urban Mangrove
Good evening. Welcome to the finale of the Singapore International Foundation or SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Workshop 2018.
To all our YSE participants, congratulations on crossing the finishing line of an intensive four-day programme. Comprising business clinics, workshops, dialogues and discussions, and of course today’s pitching of your social enterprise. To our aspiring young changemakers gathered here – all 98 of you – we applaud you for your commitment to becoming a social entrepreneur, to being equipped and enabled to change the world.
It is the SIF’s privilege through this programme to help you start or scale up social enterprises, in your respective communities and beyond. We hope that in the last few days, you have gained valuable insights and ideas from discussions in the last four days, and benefitted from being mentored by the many industry experts and successful entrepreneurs. I was certainly intrigued by Thursday’s dialogue on “Block-Change: Blockchain for Social Change” which I found fascinating. I hope it inspired you to act – to leverage disruptive technology to positively transform your business.
We recognise that being a social entrepreneur can be challenging and often a lonely journey. Not to worry, you now have a new network of international friends – a global community of 870 YSEs and 100 institutional partners that you can access for support and to unlock your potential as change agents. This year we welcome a total of 47 teams representing 12 countries and territories including Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States. We are confident that the cross-cultural friendships you have fostered here will be invaluable to your role as a global citizen.
The SIF could not have sustained a successful YSE over the last nine years without the support of many valued partners and donors. These include Ashoka, Asia Philanthropic Ventures, Asia Philanthropy Circle, Deutsche Bank, Eden Strategy Institute, Lien Centre for Social Innovation, McKinsey & Company, Ngee Ann Development, Ogilvy & Mather, Temasek International, as well as the many speakers and mentors who volunteered their time and talent to support our YSEs.
I would also like to acknowledge the hard work and the role of our esteemed judges. We thank you for your discerning critiques and encouraging words during the business presentations. And for the precious time you have taken to study and evaluate 47 compelling presentations – only 16 teams will advance into the next phase of this programme.
On that note, let me now hand you over to the Chief Judge, SIF Governor Lian Wee Cheow. A round of applause please for all our YSEs, dedicated programme partners, donors, volunteers and judges.
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