Singapore, March 25, 2021.
After an eight-month programme of learning, cross-border exchanges, and online mentorship, 14 teams – comprising 27 youths – reconvened for the YSE Global’s Pitching for Change finale, at which they presented their social enterprise ideas virtually to a panel of judges.
These teams – from Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Singapore, and Uganda – were shortlisted from 54 teams comprising 109 youths who took part in the SIF’s 2020 YSE Global programme last July 2020. It was the first time in the 11-year-old programme’s history that it was run completely online.
YSE Global 2020
In the lead-up to today’s Pitching for Change, the teams first attended an intensive series of webinars and virtual business clinics in the online YSE Workshops (July-August 2020). They were then mentored by leading business consultants from McKinsey & Company, Temasek International and established entrepreneurs relevant to their sectors.
The teams also took part in YSE Spotlight sessions, a curated series of virtual learning journeys to Indonesia, India, and Singapore. The sessions featured established social entrepreneurs and industry experts sharing their experience and insights with our youth. Among the speakers were YSE 2015 alumni Ecodoe and partner KitaBisa from Indonesia; YSE 2018 alumni Givfunds and Involve from India; as well as YSE 2012 alumnus BagoSphere from Singapore.
Through the YSE programme, our aspiring young social entrepreneurs sharpened their business ideas in preparation for the final pitch. In some instance, several teams on guidance from their mentors pivoted their business models online in response to challenges arising from the global COVID-19 crisis.
The teams’ social business plans provided creative solutions in the areas of Agriculture, Consumer Goods and Services, Food & Beverage, Environment and Energy, Education and Training, Healthcare Technology and Digital Platforms, Urban Design, and Water and Sanitation. Notwithstanding diverse nationalities, backgrounds, and impact areas, all the teams presented a common goal of making sustainable impact through business.
At the closing ceremony of YSE Pitching for Change, SIF Chairman Ambassador Ong Keng Yong said: “In the past eight months of the YSE programme, our young changemakers have embodied the spirit of resilience while navigating real world challenges.”
“We are proud to support them in turning their social enterprise dreams into reality. The growth of the YSE programme over the past 11 years is testament to the value of bringing world communities together to collaborate and effect systemic, positive change for a better world.”