35 YOUNG SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSSET TO MAKETHE WORLD A BETTER PLACE

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This year winning teams of the SIF’s Young Social Entrepreneurs Programme join a 909-strong network of successful change makers

New Delhi, 29th October 2018: 35 young social entrepreneurs from 14 teams reconvened in Singapore today to complete the final lap of the Singapore International Foundation’s (SIF) signature 2018 Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme. The Kisan Union, co-founded by Nikhil Mukkawar (India), Kannan Venkataramanujam (Singapore), Ho Jing En (Singapore), is amongst the seven winning teams.

The teams – from India, Bhutan, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the United States of America and Vietnam– presented their social enterprise ideas to a panel of judges at the YSE Pitching for Change session today. Seven teams were awarded up to S$20,000 each to kickstart or scale up their business ideas for social change. They were chosen based on the impact and scalability of their social enterprise, as well as commitment level of team members.

The Kisan Union was the only team in this year’s YSE to have members from different countries. The founders – Ho Jing En, Kannan Venkataramanujam and Nikhil Mukkawaridentified 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, stated,“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.”

In the lead-up to today’s Pitching for Change, the teams went on an eight-month-long learning journey where they received guidance from a pool of volunteer mentors from McKinsey & Company, Temasek International, and leading entrepreneurs. To broaden their perspectives on social entrepreneurship, the teams participated in a study visit to Singapore in June where they met with established social entrepreneurs, opinion leaders, and industry experts.

This year, the teams’ social business plans covered areas such as agriculture, technology & digital platforms, food & beverage, environment & energy, education & training, and consumer goods & services. Notwithstanding the diversity of nationalities, backgrounds and impact areas, all teams shared the common goal of making a positive long-term social change.

Since its launch in 2010, the YSE programme has nurtured more than 900 alumni, spanning 29 nationalities. Next year marks the 10thanniversary 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 are:

  1. Junior Art Lab (Singapore): headed by AminurRasyid 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): SherabDorji 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. KonChhlat (Cambodia): KiengLyheang, CheaSreysrors and MangKeomonita 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 ErdiPratama, Gilang Indy Ashari and AlifOktafian, 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, LauJiaCai, 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.

Applications for the 2019 YSE programme are now open at www.sif.org.sg/yseapply. The YSE programme is chronicled on social media with the hashtag #sifyse.

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