Calling For Young Social Entrepreneurs to Make the World a Better Place

• This year’s winning teams of the SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme join an almost 1000-strong network of change-makers, and mark the opening of applications for the tenth run in 2019

Mumbai, November 18, 2018 :  35 young social entrepreneurs from eight countries including India completed their final lap in the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) signature 2018 Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme last month. The Kisan Union, Co-founded by Singaporeans Kannan Venkataramanujam, Ho Jing En and an Indian Nikhil Mukkawar was amongst the seven winning teams to walk away with up to S$20,000 to kick-start or scale up their business ideas for social change.

These winners opened the applications for the 2019 YSE programme now at  :   http://www.sif.org.sg/yseapply 

The other winning teams for 2018 were from Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam. Each winner was chosen based on the impact and scalability of their social enterprise, as well as commitment level of team members. The Kisan Union has the sole distinction of being the only team in this year’s YSE to have members from different countries. The Founders – Ho Jing En, Kannan Venkataramanujam and Nikhil Mukkawar identified that people living in rural India have travel miles to access eGovernment services and basic healthcare. To bridge that gap, their Kisan kiosks, located across rural areas in India, provide access to government policies, information and health services.

Ms Ho Jing En of The Kisan Union (Singapore and India) said, “It’s been an extremely rewarding eight months and I’m 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’m sure we will all continue pushing for what we believe in even after the YSE!”

Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director of Singapore International Foundation, said, “Today’s youths are 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.”

YSE participants undergo an eight-month long learning journey where they receive guidance from a pool of volunteer mentors from McKinsey & Company, Temasek International, and leading entrepreneurs and culminate in a final Pitching for Change session where they present their social enterprise ideas to a panel of for seed funding up to S$20,000. To broaden their perspectives on social entrepreneurship, the teams would also participate in an international study visit where they will meet with established social entrepreneurs, opinion leaders, and industry experts.

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 Ms Tan.

The winning teams for YSE 2018 are :

  1. Junior Art Lab (Singapore) : headed by Aminur Rasyid Bin Mohamed Anwar, the social enterprise aims to empower learners and nurture creative confidence in students by creating unique learning experiences in art, design and technology.
  2. The Kisan Union (Singapore and India): the only team in this year’s YSE to have members from different countries, Ho Jing En, Kannan Venkataramanujam and Nikhil Mukkawar found that people living in rural India have travel miles to access eGovernment services and basic healthcare. To bridge that gap, their Kisan kiosks, located across rural areas in India, provides access to government policies, information and health services.
  3. Cricket One (Vietnam): led by Nam Dang and Bicky Nguyen of Vietnam, Cricket One aims to ensure global food security. By rearing crickets and producing sustainable and affordable food from them, Cricket One offers an alternative and sustainable form of food compared to traditional livestock.
  4. Khemdro Dairy (Bhutan): Sherab Dorji established Khemdro Dairy, a registered group of 41 smallholder dairy farmers in Central Bhutan, to ensure guaranteed fair returns on their dairy products by eliminating middleman inefficiency.
  5. Kon Chhlat (Cambodia): Kieng Lyheang, Chea Sreysrors and Mang Keomonita aim to provide better nutrition for children in rural Cambodia, by selling them a nutritious, convenient and affordable instant porridge.
  6. Musimpanen (Indonesia): led by Erdi Pratama, Gilang Indy Ashari and Alif Oktafian, Musimpanen Indonesia collects neglected agricultural produce and transforms them into everyday products, thus contributing to environmental sustainability. So far, they have two projects where they convert corn and citronella into snacks and toiletries respectively.
  7. Treedots Enterprise (Singapore): founded by Tylor Jong, Lau Jia Cai, Nicholas Lim, Treedots Enterprise sells left-out but still-edible food products from wholesalers to food and beverage companies at a discounted price. Treedots aims to reduce food wastage globally and discourage the disposal of perfectly edible food.

Full list of YSE 2018 shortlisted team profiles :  

Cricket One (Vietnam): led by Nam Dang and Bicky Nguyen of Vietnam, Cricket One aims to ensure global food security. By rearing crickets and producing sustainable and affordable food from them, Cricket One offers an alternative and sustainable form of food compared to traditional livestock.

Elvish (Indonesia): Ali Zaenal Abidin, Irham Mulkan Rodiana and Azmi Roqi established Elvish with the aim of improving the standards of living of Indonesian fishermen on small fishing boats. Elvish sells electric solar-powered motors in place of these fishermen’s old diesel motors, thereby reducing their operational costs significantly.

Everybody Eats (United States of America): Americans Imani Majied and Muhammad Ansari founded Everybody Eats, a food delivery service that aims to fight hunger and reduce food waste. Every meal ordered through their platform will help subsidise the cost of a meal for someone in need.

Greenovations (India): headed by Tanvi Mittal, Greenovations eliminates plastic waste from the environment by upcycling them into filaments for 3D printers, which are normally made of new plastic materials.

Involve (India): Divanshu Kumar and Samyak Jain formed Involve to create an accessible education ecosystem in India. Using a peer-teaching model, senior-school students are trained by the Involve trainers to teach their juniors, and low-income private schools are offered affordable academic support, thereby multiplying their social impact.

Junior Art Lab (Singapore): headed by Aminur Rasyid Bin Mohamed Anwar, the social enterprise aims to empower learners and nurture creative confidence in students by creating unique learning experiences in art, design and technology.

Khemdro Dairy (Bhutan): Sherab Dorji established Khemdro Dairy, a registered group of 41 smallholder dairy farmers in Central Bhutan, to ensure guaranteed fair returns on their dairy products by eliminating middleman inefficiency.

Kon Chhlat (Cambodia): Kieng Lyheang, Chea Sreysrors and Mang Keomonita aim to provide better nutrition for children in rural Cambodia, by selling them a nutritious, convenient and affordable instant porridge.

Musimpanen Indonesia (Indonesia): led by Erdi Pratama, Gilang Indy Ashari and Alif Oktafian, Musimpanen Indonesia collects neglected agricultural produce and transforms them into everyday products, thus contributing to environmental sustainability. So far, they have two projects where they convert corn and citronella into snacks and toiletries respectively.

Pinkcollar (Malaysia): founded by Zenna Law and Elaine Sim, Pinkcollar seeks to secure just treatment of live-in domestic workers in Southeast Asia. Through their online platform, which matches domestic workers and employers, they aim to raise transparency in the recruitment process.

Scan Book (Cambodia): headed by Thao Puthearith, Ly Sophea and Nhev Chanpenhpunloeu, Scan Book is an app that scans images from high-school students’ textbooks and links them to related resources on the Internet, such as images, videos and 3D models. This cultivates greater digital literacy among students in Cambodia-a critical skill for 21st Century learning.

The Kisan Union (Singapore and India): the only team in this year’s YSE to have members from different countries, Ho Jing En, Kannan Venkataramanujam and Nikhil Mukkawar found that people living in rural India have travel miles to access eGovernment services and basic healthcare. To bridge that gap, their Kisan kiosks, located across rural areas in India, provides access to government policies, information and health services.

Treedots Enterprise (Singapore): founded by Tylor Jong, Lau Jia Cai, Nicholas Lim, Treedots Enterprise sells left-out but still-edible food products from wholesalers to food and beverage companies at a discounted price. Treedots aims to reduce food wastage globally and discourage the disposal of perfectly edible food.

UglyFood (Singapore): led by Yeo Pei Shan, Augustine Tan and Lee Zhong Han, UglyFood purchases rejected fresh produce at discounted prices and transforms them into nutritious and delectable food for customers. This reduces food wastage and Singapore’s overall carbon footprint.

About the Singapore International Foundation :  The Singapore International Foundation makes friends for a better world. We build enduring relationships between Singaporeans and world communities, and harness these friendships to enrich lives and effect positive change. Our work is anchored in the belief that cross-cultural interactions provide insights that strengthen understanding. These exchanges inspire action and enable collaborations for good. Our programmes bring people together to share ideas, skills and experiences in areas such as healthcare, education, the environment, arts and culture, as well as livelihood and business. We do this because we all can, and should do our part to build a better world, one we envision as peaceful, inclusive and offering opportunities for all.

Find out more at  :   http://www.sif.org.sg

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