Youth teams given $40,000 to kickstart social enterprise ideas

Youth teams given $40,000 to kickstart social enterprise ideas

SINGAPORE - The Singapore International Foundation's (SIF) Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) Programme awarded four teams with $10,000 each to kickstart or expand their social enterprise ideas.

They were selected from a total of 13 teams that took part in Sunday's Pitching for Change forum, the finale to the SIF's YSE Programme which began in March.

The teams comprised 26 youths from eight countries - Singapore, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand - who underwent eight months of mentoring, business clinics as well as an overseas study trip to Thailand to refine their business ideas.

On Sunday, they presented their business plans to a judging panel of business professionals and social entrepreneurs, who decided on these four winning teams:

- Dorsal Effect, a social enterprise by Singaporean Kathy Xu, to promote eco-tourism in Lombok Indonesia as an alternative livelihood for shark fishermen, so as to sustain the local shark population

- Gazaab, a micro-social venture fund by Singaporean Jamon Mok and Nepali Akash Gunung, to empower the poor via business competitions in Nepal and other developing countries

- Social Cops, a web and mobile application by Indian nationals Prukulpa Sankar, Varun Banka and Jahagirdar Kavya Narayan, that brings together citizens, city councils, NGOs and corporations to solve municipal and community issues

- Youth Agri-Socio Entrepreneurs, a team by Indonesians Alfi Irfan and Rayseed Hussen, to match undergraduate agricultural students with farming communities to maximise productivity and sustainable farming techniques

"I believe that today's youth are a generation driven by purpose - they want to make a change and when they set a goal, they will work towards that purpose. I hope more youth will join the (YSE) programme to experience this journey," said SIF governor Elim Chew. Ms Chew is also the founder of retail brand 77th Street.

The YSE Programme has enabled some 200 youth entrepreneurs from 10 different nationalities since its launch in 2010. Applications for the 2014 YSE Programme are now open.

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