On 18 October 2019, the SIF celebrated the 10th anniversary of our signature Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme at the annual YSE Pitching for Change event. The event saw alumni, partners and friends reconnecting with one another and reminiscing their YSE experience. One of them was Ms Elim Chew, Special Advisor of YSE and 2019 Chief Judge. She had contributed to YSE in several capacities since 2010, including as a mentor and speaker. She shared, “It’s so wonderful to see both new and familiar faces today! YSE has indeed come a long way since it began 10 years ago as a three-day workshop with only a small group of participants. Today, the YSE alumni network has grown over 1,000-strong from 30 countries, and the latest batch of social entrepreneurs continues to inspire us all. I am proud to be part of such an impactful programme and look forward to another 10 more years of YSE. Together, we can impact lives and make this world a better home for all of us.”
Some local and international alumni also supported as speakers at the celebratory event. YSE alumni – Inclusive Arts Movement, WateROAM, SDI Academy, Junior Art Lab, Ecodoe, and Langit Collective – participated as ‘books’ at a Human Library session. Entitled “Breaking Barriers”, each ‘book’, paired with their respective community members, shared how they broke societal and physical barriers in pursuing their social missions. Another highlight was the Fireside Chat with YSE 2010 alumnus Quek Siu Rui, chief executive officer and founder of digital marketplace Carousell. During this exclusive session, he shared fond memories of YSE as well as his continuous pursuit of championing social causes through business.
Siu Rui said, “If there’s one thing I could do, it is to render the terms ‘entrepreneurship’ and ‘social entrepreneurship’ as synonymous. Both require a sustainable business model, and a good business is most sustainable when it is doing good for the community.” He wrapped up the session with Carousell’s vision of success in the next 10 years: Creating a world where second-hand items become a first choice. He shared, “I believe that this would make the world a greener and more meaningful place.”
The latest YSE cohort was also back in Singapore to pitch for funding after successfully completing an eight-month bootcamp of workshops, mentorship and a study visit to Shanghai, China. Six out of the 15 teams were awarded S$20,000 each to scale up their businesses. To further commemorate the anniversary, three outstanding YSE alumni – WateROAM (Singapore), Ecodoe (Indonesia), and Langit Collective (Malaysia) – won the DBSF x SIF Social Impact Prize. They received S$10,000 each as well as programmatic support by DBSF.
We are proud to celebrate 10 good years of inspiring and inspiring action for a better world through YSE. If you would like to be part of YSE 2020, apply now at YSE Programme page.