2 social enterprises picked for grants

2 social enterprises picked for grants
Ms Chloe Huang (left), head of social finance and strategy and research at raISE, with Society Staples co-founders Debra Lam and Ryan Ng.
PHOTO: NUS ENTERPRISE

Two social enterprises that help migrant workers and people with disabilities were awarded grants from the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) yesterday.

A $50,000 grant went to the Social Development Initiative (SDI) Academy, which conducts English proficiency courses for migrant workers from the construction, shipping and manufacturing industries.

Society Staples, which received $25,000, is developing fitness programmes like parkour and cheerleading to connect people with disabilities and society. The group, which uses trainers with disabilities, also hopes to set up Singapore's first gymnasium where people with and without disabilities can train together.

As well as the funding, which was made under the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Programme (YSEP) for Start-Ups, raiSE will provide advisory services and other resources.

The two enterprises were picked from teams in the second DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2015, which held its awards ceremony at the Shaw Foundation Alumni House at the National University of Singapore yesterday. It is the first time raiSE has collaborated with the competition, which aims to identify and support new social ventures in Asia.

Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck said public- and private-sector partnerships are important in expanding the social enterprises sector, which is still young here. "For this reason, raiSE has been set up as a single touch-point to raise awareness on social entrepreneurship and support social enterprises," he added.

The centre, launched in May, is supported by the Ministry of Social and Family Development, National Council of Social Service and Tote Board.

"Running sustainable businesses that create social impact is challenging, even for mature enterprises. raiSE is keen to support aspiring young social entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the community," said raiSE executive director Alfie Othman.


This article was first published on June 13, 2015.
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