Connecting Young Global Changemakers for a Better World

SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme grows in global participation, partners and impact, making a difference in the region and beyond.

Going in blind and seeing the light: YSE 2015 participants on an experiential race to connect with the visually impaired community – an activity organised by YSE alumni Society Staples.

From 18-21 March 2015, 90 young aspiring social entrepreneurs across eight nationalities converged in Singapore for the four-day Young Social Entrepreneurs 2015 Opening Workshop, learning from and connecting with thought leaders, practitioners and peers in the social entrepreneurship field. The workshop kicks off the SIF’s YSE 2015 programme, which is designed to inspire, equip and enable young people to develop their social enterprise ideas and nurture them into sustainable businesses that bring about positive change.

Programme alumni who have walked the path returned to share their YSE experiences with the newcomers – including SDI Academy which promotes English language proficiency as a means of integrating foreign workers into Singapore society and Backstreet Academy which matches travellers with authentic overseas experiences and local craftsmen. YSE 2015 participants were thrown in blind, literally, as they embarked on an experiential race – all in a bid to put themselves in the shoes of the visually impaired community. This activity was organised by YSE alumni Society Staples, which connects society with less abled communities together in sporting and fitness events that promote a better, more inclusive society.

Business insights sessions with thought leaders, practitioners and peers in the social enterprise and business fields, sparking the sharing of ideas, skills and resources to refine “good businesses”.

The four-day workshop kicked off with a dialogue with SIF Governor and social entrepreneur Ms Elim Chew and Co-Founder of The Thought Collective and Nominated Member of Parliament, Ms Kuik Shiao-Yin on Singapore’s social enterprise landscape. Throughout the entire workshop, participants had the opportunity to glean business insights and network with alumni and students from INSEAD, Kellogg School of Management, Harvard and NUS Business School, and corporate partners such as McKinsey & Company, Asia Venture Philanthropy Network, Google and frog. SIF’s growing global network of friends, partners and YSE alumni were constantly at hand to share their advice and insights into the world of social entrepreneurship with our young aspiring changemakers.

YSE 2015 – Being the change for a better world.

On the final day of the programme, our participants presented their business proposals to a panel of judges for the opportunity to progress onto the next stages of the programme. After a long day of pitching and deliberation, the judges finally shortlisted 16 teams seeking to create positive social impact for communities in Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

They are – in no particular order: Oldies Foodies, OSIRIS, Project Ubuntu, Twice, Gap Year Guide, The Lockr, WateRoam, Jajan Ndeso, Volunteer Now, WE Cabs, DECHSIRI, CTLR, heyStartic, Ecodoe, Kowang Home Based Breeding and Cooking Travel Village (Click here for their profiles.)

Andrew Yin, Co-Founder of IMpad and YSE 2012 winner, returned to moderate the social entrepreneurship dialogue at the start of the workshop. He said, “Returning every year, reliving my YSE experience and connecting with new and longstanding YSE partners and mentors, is an invaluable experience.” He shared the anecdote of getting acquainted with partners and friends in India, where his social enterprise is based. “Being a part of the YSE network and connecting with people set on making this world a better place continues to be inspiring and energising every time.”

Like Andrew and other YSE alumni, these teams will now embark on their YSE journey, and be mentored by leading business consultants, participate in overseas study visits to Malaysia and India and re-group in Singapore to pitch for funding for their social enterprises.

Congratulations to the new YSE 2015 participants! Have a great journey!

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