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|The winning social entrepreneurs at YSA 2018|
Hailing from Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the US, and Vietnam, the teams presented their social enterprise ideas to a panel of judges at the YSE Pitching for Change session. Seven teams were awarded up to S$20,000 ($14,500) each to kickstart or scale up their business ideas for social change. They were chosen based on the impact and scalability of their social enterprise, as well as the commitment level of team members.
The winning teams are (in alphabetical order):
In the lead-up to Pitching for Change, the teams went on an eight-month learning journey where they received guidance from a pool of volunteer mentors from McKinsey & Company, Temasek International, and leading entrepreneurs. To broaden their perspectives on social entrepreneurship, the teams participated in a study visit to Singapore in June where they met with established social entrepreneurs, opinion leaders, and industry experts.
This year, the teams’ social business plans covered areas such as agriculture, technology, and digital platforms, food and beverage, environment and energy, education and training, and consumer goods and services. Notwithstanding the diversity of nationalities, backgrounds, and impact areas, all teams shared the common goal of making positive long-term social change.
Ho Jing En, The Kisan Union (Singapore and India), said, “It has been an extremely rewarding eight months and I am grateful to have taken part in this journey. More than winning the grant itself, I think we gained the most by interacting with like-minded peers from around the world. Having spent time learning from each other has been a great source of inspiration and motivation. I am sure we will all continue pushing for what we believe in even after the YSE.”
“With this grant and applying the valuable skills we have gained from the programme, we now see many possibilities to grow our business and multiply its social impact. I have learned how to tackle our challenges from so many perspectives, be it from our mentors’ guidance or through conversations with our fellow YSE peers. These lessons are priceless and will continue to stay with us as we push for the social mission of Musimpanen,” said Erdi Pratama, Musimpanen (Indonesia).
Jean Tan, executive director of Singapore International Foundation, said, “Today’s youth is passionate, purpose driven, and many of them strive to make a positive impact on the world through their work. We are proud to support them in turning their social enterprise dreams into reality via the YSE programme.”
Since its launch in 2010, the YSE programme has nurtured more than 900 alumni, spanning 29 nationalities. Next year marks the 10th anniversary of YSE and the SIF will commemorate the growth of the programme, as well as the success of its international alumni.
“We celebrate a decade of the YSE programme next year, and beyond our alumni’s achievements, we see the strong connections they have forged as testament to the programme’s enduring success,” added Tan.