The winners were selected after 15 teams – comprising 26 changemakers – gathered virtually for Pitching for Change , the finale and closing event of the Singapore International Foundation's (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Global 2022 program.
The six-month program seeks to inspire, equip, and enable youth of different nationalities to launch or scale up their social enterprises in Singapore and beyond. Through customised workshops, mentorship, and regional learning opportunities, it aims to nurture a global network of young changemakers with innovative business ideas focused on social good.
The 15 teams were selected from a pool of 46 social enterprises, comprising 93 youths and representing 11 nationalities, who had all taken part in the program's workshop in June. These shortlisted teams included youths from China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, and Vietnam.
At the finale, they presented their business plans and ideas to a panel of judges, comprising industry experts and consultants from the impact investment and social service sectors.
The teams showed the judges how they aimed to make a sustainable impact with their businesses and addressed issues in areas such as mental healthcare, inclusivity, environmental sustainability, and education.
The six winners were chosen based on the impact and scalability of their business ideas, as well as the commitment level of team members. They are (in alphabetical order):
1. Anahat For Change Foundation (India)
2. Kura Kura (Singapore)
3. Mengayu (Indonesia)
4. Ripple Community (Malaysia)
5. Symbionic Tech (India)
6. The Green (Laos and Republic of Korea)
Mr Edward Chia, a Member of Parliament in Singapore, and the co-founder of social enterprise Five &2 – a food business which hires the marginalised and provides meals for underprivileged communities – was the guest of honor at the event.
He said: "Social enterprises complement the work of governments and civil society to support vulnerable communities amidst complex challenges. I am thus heartened to learn that many youths today consider social entrepreneurship to be a viable career path. The meaningful participation of young people in this space can be highly transformational and contribute greatly towards sustainable development."
In the lead-up to Pitching for Change , the young changemakers had taken part in a series of virtual activities, which started in July 2022. The SIF designed the sessions to boost their capability to run a viable business. Topics such as needs assessment, digital marketing, impact measurement and capital raising were covered.
The participants also worked with volunteer mentors to sharpen their business ideas in preparation for the final pitch. The mentors comprised business consultants from McKinsey & Company, Temasek International, Bain & Company and established entrepreneurs and experts from relevant sectors.
The budding social entrepreneurs also networked with peers of different nationalities and made new friends to deepen cross-cultural understanding, as well as forge useful business connections.
Mr Rajan Raju, SIF Special Adviser, Programs, and Director at Invespar was the event's Lead Judge. He noted that global challenges had surfaced many societal issues. These had highlighted the valuable role that social enterprises play in the community.
He said: "There is an increasing need for purpose-driven businesses to be able to deliver sustainable impact at scale. The SIF is pleased to support these young changemakers on their social entrepreneurial journey, as they continue to innovate and bring about positive social change within their communities."
Vietnam-based social enterprise MiYork Education was one of the 15 shortlisted teams that participated in the pitching. The social enterprise provides research mentorship, competition-based learning, social project mentorship, as well as consultancy services for college admission to both Vietnamese and overseas universities.
Ms Tuyet Nguyen, co-founder from MiYork Education, said: "It is crucial for social entrepreneurs to be equipped with sound financial understanding and business management tools for the sustainability of our businesses. YSE Global has equipped us with the relevant training, providing a strong foundation for our social enterprise. Our mentors also helped to strengthen our pitching skills in many ways – including pointing out our gaps and sharing their experiences – which I believe will come in handy for future pitches to investors.”
Since 2010, YSE Global has nurtured a global alumni network of more than 1,400 changemakers, representing 43 nationalities and 674 social enterprises.
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