Young Social Entrepreneurs 2017 Brings Together Multi-Sectorial Partners to Nurture Global Changemakers for a Better World
Key to success is government, private, academic and social entrepreneurial sectors coming together to ensure scalable social impact.
The buzzword at this year’s Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) 2017 Workshop on 15 March was multi-sectorial partnerships. And the 138 youths representing 18 countries and territories from across the world who had gathered in Singapore to kick-off an exciting eight-month long incubation programme, got the message. Indeed, many went back convinced about the importance of collaborative partnerships to build successful social enterprises.
“We believe that social enterprises are campaigners of collective action. The greater the cooperation and mutual trust among multi-sectorial partners, the greater the impact that can be achieved. After hearing success stories of cross-sector collaborations from various mentors and speakers, the YSE 2017 Workshop has further reinforced this belief. We are greatly inspired from our experience over the last four days and will now take back these learnings and look at other players in the value chain to see how they can contribute to what we can do,” said Syamkrishnan P.A. from DHAAN, a social enterprise team from India that seeks to solve the problems of food security and food inequality in Indian villages.
“During one of the business clinics, Mr Larry Tchiou, CEO and Founder of Unframed, has provided insights as to how multi-sectorial partnerships can help scale up my social enterprise. As a result, this has enabled me to present a more solid business plan pitch to the judges at the end of the four days. Additionally, I am now exploring potential collaborations with Cambodian NGOs to tap into their network of local farmers so as to diversify my sources of raw materials,” shared Leonard Soh from Lemongrass Factory, a social enterprise from Singapore that seeks to address the lack of protection against the Aedes mosquito especially among children/infants in low-income families and the elderly.
The significance of partnerships to sustainable development was highlighted from the get-go. In his welcome remarks Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, Chairman, Singapore International Foundation said, “Collaboration is extremely important if we are serious about resolving shared social challenges. Some of these challenges identified under the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) include climate change, inequality and poverty. Goal 17, in particular, identifies global partnerships as key to sustainable development. This means that the public, private and people sectors need to work together – to share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources to unlock the transformative power of partnerships and deliver sustainable solutions to global ills.”
At a dialogue session on “Partnerships for Sustainable Development Goals”, one of the panellists Ms Christy Davis, Executive Director of Asia P3 Hub, World Vision International said regardless of the size of the company, there are ways to partner with other sectors that will be equitable for all.
“The key to equitable multi-sectorial partnerships is to find that common and shared aspiration for impact and change. There has to be a shared purpose with a road map laying out key priorities and investment strategies well in advance,” she explained.
The panellists, who represented the non-profit, private, academic and social entrepreneurial sectors included Ms Amita Chaudhury, Regional Director of Sustainable Business for South East Asia and Australasia, Unilever; Dr Ji Xiaocong, Director of Entrepreneurship Centre of the Youth League, Tsinghua University; and Mr Vincent Loka, Co-Founder, WateROAM (YSE 2015 Alumni).
Participants were taken through a robust four-day programme encompassing business clinics, training workshops, a fireside chat session, and peer learnings and exchanges. This culminated in 63 teams pitching for a spot in the YSE’s incubation programme to a panel of judges. The excitement was thick in the air when 16 teams which presented social business ideas with the most potential were shortlisted to advance to the next phase of the programme. They are:
- Camp Hiro PTE LTD
- Freedom Cups
- JM Nutrition Consultancy
- Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti
- Lemongrass Factory
- SUPER WONDER
- WeGha Honey
- WOW Foundation
For full descriptions of the team profiles, please click here.
The 16 shortlisted teams will now progress on to the next phase of the YSE journey. Over the next eight months, they will be mentored by leading business consultants and entrepreneurs from McKinsey & Co and Temasek International and participate in an overseas study visit in Mumbai, India. The teams will regroup in Singapore in October for a concluding pitch where six finalist teams will have the opportunity to receive up to SGD$20,000 each in seed funding.
Since its inception in 2010 as a five-day standalone workshop, the YSE programme is now in its eighth year with a growing network of 649 alumni representing 27 nationalities, with access to over 100 institutional partners across nine international cities.
Read more about the YSE 2017 Workshop’s Dialogue here:
- The Straits Times - http://www.straitstimes.com/business/social-entrepreneurs-flock-to-sif-workshop
- TODAY - http://www.todayonline.com/business/ground-efforts-key-social-impact-ong-keng-yong
Remarks by Ms Jean Tan, SIF Executive Director, at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2017 Workshop Closing Reception at Suntec Convention Centre
Opening Remarks by Ambassador Ong Keng Yong, SIF Chairman, at the Young Social Entrepreneurs 2017 Dialogue at *SCAPE The Tree Top
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