The consistent improvement in Singapore’s World Giving Index (WGI) over the past years indicates an increase in social awareness within the Singaporean society. The WGI is an annual report released by the UK-based Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) that provides insights regarding charitable behavior around the world.Subsequently, social entrepreneurship is on the rise in the Lion City—in fact, The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE)—a government-backed platform for supporting local social enterprises—reported a 43 percent membership increase within a 6-month period last year.
From social fundraising through the sales of goods/ services to training platforms for the underprivileged, the following are top 13 social enterprises from Singapore you need to know about in 2017 and beyond.
The Social Pantry offers a variety of competitively-priced foods, beverages and household items for order and delivery directly to users’ office pantry, home, or selected non-profits or charities in Singapore. The platform provides employment opportunities persons with disabilities and special needs.
Bettr Barista Coffee Academy provides disadvantaged women and youth with professional coffee training/education and certification.The organization is a certified B-Corporation—certified by B-Labs for meeting rigorous social and environmental performance standards.
Despite its name, Ugly Cake is an online cake shop that sells beautifully-crafted scrumptious cakes and cupcakes. The organization channels its profits to initiatives for undernourished children in Shallom School, Timor Leste, and has expanded to a physical café selling cupcakes off the shelves.
TeddyThotz ‘n’ OneKind generates income for the elderly and disadvantaged by working with them to create handcrafted products. Its superbly-crafted products available for purchase online range from quirky stuffed bears and puppies to penholders and patchwork blankets.
ACTSmarket is a ecommerce platform that connects social enterprises and companies/individuals with strong social sensibilities. The offering is a one-stop online shopping portal that allows shoppers to browse and purchase items from several social enterprises.
The Village Source works directly with villages and authorised non-governmental organisations to offer ethically-traded handmade crafts—handmade soaps, ethnic tribal-coloured coasters, trivets, and more. The organization provides marginalised individuals (e.g., women rescued from human trafficking, unemployed leprosy survivors) with meaningful employment and a regular, sustainable income.
Eighteen Chefs goal is twofold: to provide customers with fresh, quality food at an affordable price, and to give troubled youths and people with conviction backgrounds positive options for reintegrating back into society—namely, by realizing their talents in the food and beverage industry.
Flow Fitness aims to help people with disabilities, at-risk youth, and ex-offenders by sponsoring education for instructors as well as providing employment opportunities. Classes conducted by instructors from Flow Fitness are available in community centers across Singapore.
Adrenalin Group of Social Enterprises, the 2012 President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award winner, specializes in events management and hires at-risk youth and those who are wheelchair-bound or deaf. The firm offers a full suite of event management services across its teams.
Skillseed specializes in planning social impact travels—the firm works with social sector organizations around the world to ensure participants get first-hand impactful experience while benefiting local partners and beneficiaries monetarily.
Purnama empowers the marginalized by increasing public awareness around their poverty-stricken circumstances and creating sustainable ways to integrate them into society. Some of its project include Weaving Project in Nepal and the Upcyling Project in Indonesia, among others.
Glow In The Dark trains the visually-impaired to become professional speakers in enrichment workshops; by tapping into their unique skills and personal experiences, the firm positions speakers to make a lasting impact on businesses, schools, and students in enrichment workshops.
(these)abilities designs affordable products to make the lives of people with disabilities easier. For example, its Keyguard 2.0 prevents the accidental striking of keys on a keyboard due to involuntary muscle contractions.
Impact investing is emerging. A 2015 JPMorgan study projected the global impact investment market to hit US$1 trillion by year 2020—and an uptrend is expected of Asia’s share. With advantages such as a stable and open economy and large diversity in services provided by local social enterprises, Singapore is positioned to become a leading hub for social enterprises and investors in the region.