DBS Foundation Announces Inaugural Batch Of Grant Recipients

DBS Foundation, the first foundation in Singapore dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, has announced the recipients of its inaugural Social Enterprise Grant Programme.

Eleven social enterprises (SEs) from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan were awarded grants between SGD 50,000 and SGD 100,000 to grow and develop their initiatives in areas such as healthcare, education and environmental sustainability.

The grants enable the SEs to test and create prototypes, improve existing processes or scale up their existing business for greater social impact. They will also join a community of SEs in Asia that the DBS Foundation will actively support and promote. The community can expect support in the form of funding, skilled mentoring, training and access to platforms to showcase their businesses.

Euleen Goh, Chairperson of the DBS Foundation, said “Asia’s social enterprise ecosystem is in its infancy and while there is increasing public support, many social entrepreneurs struggle to grow their businesses due to the lack of structured support.  As a foundation that champions social entrepreneurship and provides social enterprises with relevant mentorship, advisory and funding, DBS Foundation plays a crucial role in helping social enterprises build sustainable businesses that positively impact society.”

Since 2010, DBS has worked in partnership with like-minded organisations, as well as the public and social sectors, to promote the development of social entrepreneurship.

In 2014, DBS supported close to 20 prominent SE-related events covering almost 10,000 participants in the region, and funded 46 SEs across the bank’s key markets. The DBS Foundation, launched in conjunction with Singapore’s jubilee year (SG50), was established to apply a more structured approach to the bank’s efforts in addressing Asia’s evolving social needs.

This year, the DBS Foundation received more than 300 applications for its Social Enterprise Grant Programme, which is part of the foundation’s long-term strategy to directly support SEs. The selection criteria for the programme include social impact, business sustainability and how innovative the proposal is. The DBS Foundation has programmes in place to support SEs in three areas of growth. These include:

  • Reach and Engage: Build awareness and advocacy for SEs through initiatives such as the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia, bootcamps, workshops and funding pilot/prototypes.
  • Innovate and Incubate: Support promising SEs through incubation programmes, mentorship and funding operational growth.
  • Growth and Scale: Develop high potential SEs and enable success on a regional scale through customised support, advisory and funding.
 

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