Social entrepreneurship is an approach towards solving emerging needs in a sustainable manner through business while impacting the communities, our environment and lives of the people towards a more caring and inclusive Singapore. As a Social Enterprise Advocate, raiSE is pushing boundaries for the betterment of the ecosystem of change-makers as they excel and continue to contribute to Singapore’s economic growth.
building the social
In addition to our “day job”, most of us look for a higher purpose in life by contributing in different ways to the community at large. For many self-motivated and tenacious individuals, they choose to address a specific need “to do good” in a structured manner: by setting up a Social Enterprise (SE) to sustainably impact the community, its people and the environment.
In my four years of helming the Board at raiSE, it is the interaction with these social entrepreneurs that has been most fulfilling and rewarding. Their passion to help the less fortunate and their hunger for innovative ways to do so, have not only impressed me, but also the rest of my fellow Board members and other stakeholders of raiSE. At this juncture, I would like to place on record my appreciation for the counsel and contributions of my fellow Board members and officials from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Tote Board and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). We rarely succeed alone; the value of our work is directly attributed to the good men and women that we work with.
While I am encouraged by the milestones that raiSE has achieved, the potential of any organisation’s spirit and ability to make a positive impact on society is like an elastic band, the more you stretch its potential, the greater the outcomes. I applaud the management and team at raiSE for always pushing the boundaries, especially since we are at the epicenter of a nascent eco-system.
It is noteworthy to mention that a recent internal review concluded on 31 March 2019 presented that 60% of raiSE’s Social Enterprise members accounted for approximately S$ 80 million in revenue. This ability to correlate both the social and financial value of Social Enterprises, legitimises their claim of a ‘double bottom-line’.
Since value and measurement go hand in hand, we have taken active steps in 2018 to tighten our membership framework and collect relevant data during the membership renewal process so that the credibility of the sector is maintained. Through the analysis of the data collected, we have expanded our social impact indicators to be representative of the emerging needs that our members have been addressing; environmental indicators are an example of impact areas that we are now evaluating.
Given the objective of being enterprise first, Social Enterprises need to be financially sustainable for them to solve some of our society’s pressing issues. At raiSE, we focus our resources on deepening the capabilities of our members so that they continue to grow their social impact and contribute to Singapore’s economic growth.
The funding gaps of these Social Enterprises to some extent, have been addressed through our newly introduced raiSE Impact Finance Plus (RIF+) investment fund, accelerating their development not only through monetary means but also through the provision of capacity building support as we play the role of a Venture Builder.
The introduction of the SE Fellowship Programme helped propel several growth-stage companies towards financial sustainability as the matching of senior corporate professionals to these Social Enterprises has given them the much-needed dedicated support they require to excel in a sustainable manner. Following the success of the pilot run which saw the turnaround of five such Social Enterprises that not only scaled up financially but also increased their social impact, we are now working on formalising the programme to assist more Social Enterprises.
In order to meet emerging social and community needs, social service delivery must be a shared responsibility between an effective government, traditional charity models and private for-profit companies. Social Enterprises fill the gap by augmenting the provision of social services through a hybrid model.
As Social Enterprises embody a revenue-generating mindset with a deep commitment to address one or more social issues, they present themselves as an opportune entity for corporates to work with, in order to achieve their environment, social and governance (ESG) impact indicators sustainably.
The inaugural SE Week 2018 is a testimony of the 3-P Partnership between the public, private and people sectors, as it garnered the support of SMEs and large corporates in Singapore to impactfully raise awareness and support for social enterprises. As there is further assertion on a global scale for corporations to align with a larger sense of purpose that puts people and their environment first, I would personally appeal to corporate decision makers to make Social Enterprises a part of their company’s sustainability journey. Incorporate them in your supply chain by procuring from them, start with skills-based volunteering or invest in them if there is alignment in your business models.
As Social Enterprises demonstrate that they can not only offer quality products and services but also value-add towards corporate sustainability goals, they will gain traction and be a cause worth supporting, not only from an impact investment perspective but also for every individual to vote with their dollar.
At raiSE, we commit to continually improve the public’s understanding of Social Enterprises in Singapore. We believe that a better understanding and appreciation of the role, abilities and challenges of Social Enterprises in society at large will allow for the creation of opportunities for these change-makers to increase their social impact in a more caring and inclusive society.
CHAIRMAN, raiSE BOARD
Once you are ready to include social outcomes to your bottom line
By using BusinessForGood Qualification Mark
This year, we have tightened our membership framework to help retain the credibility of the collective impact that social enterprises have on the community and economy. At the same time, we have expanded our social impact indicators to include environmental ones too!
Raising awareness through our flagship events like FFG
The inaugural SE Week 2018 was the largest gathering of Social Enterprises in Asia! Through media outreach partnership with The Business Times, raiSE actively raises awareness of the sector in addition to its digital marketing campaigns.
6-month incubation programme to turn innovative ideas into real and sustainable business solutions.
2-day introductory session to help Social Entrepreneurs in developing their SE.
In-depth session to equip SEs with essential hands-on capabilities.
4-6 month programme to allow senior corporate professionals to mentor growth-stage SEs in improving their business.
are monthly gatherings hosted by members for other members as a form of support network to discuss their challenges and collectively find solutions
aim to engage industry experts and stakeholders in conversations to uncover gaps and potential opportunities for SEs.
are conducted by experts who commit to skills-based volunteering as a way to contribute to the SE eco-system.
Toolkits such as The SEed available on the membership portal will help members gain better understanding on select topics.
SE members will enjoy preferential rates on services provided by raiSE’s partners – DBS Bank, Peatix, Sembcorp and SPH.
Alternative funding instruments such as RIF+ address the funding gap through a convertible grant and capability building support to expedite the growth process. This is in addition to the existing VentureForGood grant that supports SEs with funds of up to $300k.
The inaugural Social Enterprise Week is jointly brought to you by the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE), DBS Foundation and M+S Pte Ltd. The week-long festivities bring together impactful events to benefit the growing social enterprise sector in Singapore. The Social Enterprise Week kicked off with the 5th DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia Finale (15 - 18 Oct), the DBS Social Enterprise Summit (16 - 18 Oct) and culminated with the President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Corporate Networking (18 Oct) and the FestivalForGood (19 – 21 Oct)
Panelists Ms. Euleen Goh, Ms Tammy Tan, Ms. Charlotte Hsu and Ms. Cynthia Chua. Pictured with Mdm President Halimah Yacob and Mr Gautam Banerjee, Chairman of raiSE.
“Corporates have traditionally given money to charitable causes, provided volunteers, and offered their expertise and resources. But you may ask: What more can corporates do for Social Enterprises? Well, corporate leaders can give sustainable support through investments and acquisitions, incorporating social enterprises into your operations, or even simply procuring from them.”
– Mdm Halimah Yacob,
President of the Republic of Singapore
raiSE advocates for corporates to explore new and innovative ways to contribute to the development of the social enterprise sector. SMEs and MNCs in Singapore who are looking for more sustainable ways of Corporate Social Responsibility can opt to make social Enterprises a big part of their ESG goals and sustainability reporting plans.
Investments and Acquisitions
Incorporating SEs into your operations or procuring from them.
Setting up an SE spin-off entity, i.e. subsidiary or foundation
To increase awareness of social enterprises in Singapore and encourage key stakeholders to support them, raiSE leveraged on its network to provide ample opportunities to our social enterprise members so they have a platform to share their social entrepreneurial journeys and social impact stories.
The raiSE Impact Fund (RIF+) provides support to social-impact driven companies in the growth-stage of their business life cycle. This new programme accelerates their development and catapults Social Enterprises into the next phase of their economic growth through funding support as well as capacity building development.
LeapForGood is a programme designed to help aspiring social entrepreneurs move from ideas to real and sustainable business solutions around specific emerging social needs. The second run of the LeapForGood programme, launched on 3rd Feb 2018, addressed issues relating to “Work, Life and Play of Seniors and Caregivers”.
An interactive 2-day introductory session to help social entrepreneurs gain an understanding and practical know-how in developing their Social Enterprises. Participants were given an introduction to the SE landscape in Singapore, and were given tools and knowledge in social innovation, SE business modelling, social impact measurement, financial management and storytelling/pitching.
It propels the performance of growth-stage social enterprises by improving their financial sustainability and building capabilities. The SE Fellowship programme runs over a period of 4 to 6 months, during which each participant is carefully matched with senior corporate professionals mentors vested in the SE sector.
10 Social Enterprises benefitted from the ideas and fresh perspectives from the selected high-calibre and passionate young talents through the projects/internship attachments. raiSE also organised SE Fundamentals workshops for students from NUS and Lasalle to raise their awareness of possible career options in the SE sector and build a pipeline of talent for our SEs.
September 2018 The “Visual Merchandising for Pop-Up Markets” masterclass was tailored for social enterprises in retail - especially those participating in FestivalForGood - to help equip them with the essentials for a creative visual presentation of their products and services, create sales opportunities and enhance shopping experience with retail storytelling.
A total of 7 breakfast meets with 102 attendees.
“Deepen & Broaden Your Social and Business Impacts” Roundtable Chats
Ducatus Café - July 2018
The Social Space - August 2018
“Encouraging the Spirit of Partnership and Collaboration” Sharing Circle
Social Collider – September 2018
“Social Enterprise Story Makeover" Hands-on Workshop & Role-Playing
Food Playground – November 2018
“Becoming Successful Agents of Change” Fireside Panel by SEs
Gobbler Co. - December 2018
”Entrepreneurs and Wellness” workshop
reSET – February 2019
“LOOMs Experience” Crafting Challenge
LOOMs – March 2019
6 September 2018
A discussion focused on branding, marketing and communications for retail-based SEs. Speakers from Tipping Point, YP Consulting and Ministry of Influence shared about how SEs should constantly renew their strategies, explore innovative ways to create retail differentiation and employ effective marketing, sales and media strategies to achieve growth, and ways they can do so.
(in collaboration with Asia P3 Hub)
14 March 2019
Experts and stakeholders engaged in conversations to uncover gaps and potential opportunities for the creation of care services, delivery systems, engagement models, and technology platforms for empowerment. They shared and discussed trends, shifts in care integration, their impact to society, health and well-being in the integrated care space through generative conversations. Participants engaged in conversation to explore how to create and sustain community integrated care through the partnership of the people, public and private sectors in Singapore.
A 4-part communication series in collaboration with LIME Agency.
Issue #1 Branding (FY2017)
Issue #2 Social Media (FY2017)
• Includes tips and advice on the various topics and templates to guide SEs in implementation
• Follow up consultation sessions for SEs
|Statement of comprehensive income|
|Grants To Social Enterprises|
|Total Comprehensive Income for the Year||864,867||1,829,045|
|Statement of Financial Position|
|SEGMENT REPORTING FY18|
|Statement of Comprehensive Income||Total||Sector
|Net Surplus Before Tax Expenses||896,863||286,692||-||610,171|
|Total Comprehensive Income For The Year||864,867||254,696||-||610,171|
|Balance at 31 March 2018||7,513,751||2,448,445||-||5,065,306|