Welcome Remarks by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, SIF Chairman, at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2016 Dialogue at *SCAPE The Tree Top

Good morning and welcome to the Singapore International Foundation’s Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) 2016.

I am heartened to see all 118 participants from 15 countries and territories here with us at today’s dialogue. Many of you have specially flown into Singapore to join the YSE programme, and I applaud you for your commitment in making a difference. This year, we saw a three-fold increase in applications compared to last year. This is encouraging for us as testament to the value and strength of the programme.

I hope you had a meaningful visit yesterday to the Enabling Village which serves and is supported by people with diverse abilities. Such exchanges with social enterprise practitioners will give you good insight into the area and better prepares you in your own endeavour. In fact, this is one of the hallmarks of our YSE programme, which aims to inspire, equip and enable youth from all over the world to build your social enterprise into a sustainable business that champions social change. We encourage you to seize this opportunity to connect with like-minded people, to plug yourself into the social enterprise network, and to share ideas, skills and resources to effect positive change.

Whether you are just starting or scaling up your social enterprise, today’s dialogue focused on cross-sector collaboration will give you food for thought. For social entrepreneurs to generate larger-scale impact in the community that they work, collaborating with a cross-sector of stakeholders, from policy-makers and academics to corporates, is necessary in advancing one’s social mission. Our panellists will discuss the trends, challenges and opportunities to get various sectors to work together in growing social enterprises. We look forward to hearing about the challenges they’ve faced and their insights gained, as well as the views of our YSE participants in today’s dialogue.

Here at SIF, we believe that cross-cultural exchanges strengthen understanding and inspire action for good. In the spirit of making friends for a better world, our work reflects the value of connecting people to enable collaborations that effect positive change.

I am looking forward to an exciting exchange and I believe you will take away with you many ideas on how to work with multiple stakeholders in future to maximise the social impact of your business. I shall now hand over to our moderator and our very own YSE 2010 alumnus, Keith Tan, to start the ball rolling.

 

 

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