Do You Have An Idea To Change Asia's Future?

By:: 
Lesley Teoh

Social Venture Challenge Asia 2017

Do you have an idea to transform Asia’s future for the better? Pitch it at DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2017 (SVC Asia 2017) and stand to win prizes totaling over SGD 150,000!

Back for its 4th year, the competition aims to identify and support impactful ideas and social ventures that demonstrate innovation, scalability and sustainability.

Both established social ventures and aspiring social entrepreneurs can enter into the enterprise stage and idea stage categories respectively.

Interested SVC Asia participants can learn more about starting a social enterprise through regional workshops and online resources, while the top teams will be flown to Singapore to receive coaching and one-to-one mentoring, before facing a judging panel in October 2017.

Finally, the Top 6 Enterprise stage ventures, Top 2 Idea stage ventures and Top 2 Agricultural sector winners (supported by Syngenta AG as Syngenta Agriculture Social Enterprise Awards) will receive their prizes totalling over SGD 150,000.  

What’s more, the winners’ journeys don’t simply conclude with the prize ceremony and funding.

DBS Foundation and NUS Enterprise will continue supporting the top teams over several months after the competition, extending them the critical support to grow their ideas or businesses and achieve greater success.

Thinking of joining SVC Asia 2017?

Hear more from last year’s winners Siam Organic and Our City Love on why you should join and what makes a winning idea.

 

SiamOrganic Social Enterprise

Neil Dejkraisak, Founder of Siam Organic

Siam Organic has pioneered the innovative blue organic Jasberry rice, which contained ten times more antioxidants that green tea, making it the best value-for-money superfood. This provides a sustainable livelihood for farmers in North East Thailand.

My social enterprise’s vision for Asia’s future is to inspire young entrepreneurs to see that it's possible to build a financially sustainable and scalable social enterprise with strong social impact.  

By achieving success in the international market as we believe in market-driven solution to social problems. In our case it's taking farmers out of poverty in a sustainable, scalable and irreversible manner.

What advice can you give to young aspiring social entrepreneurs with an idea for change?

To focus on innovation and marketing. How is your product/service unique and how do you communicate that to your stakeholders? Furthermore, make sure that your business model and revenue model are profitable and sustainable as you will be competing with other businesses out there that are not so social!

How have you benefitted from SVC Asia and your experience of being a part of the competition? What advice will you give to applicants of the competition?

We have benefited hugely from entering SVC Asia as it made us focus more on quantifying our social impact and making sure it fits in with our core business strategy. We encourage all applicants to not treat SVC Asia as a competition, but rather as a real-life learning platform that can catapult your social enterprise to success in the real world, regardless of how you fare in the competition.

Since winning DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia in 2016, Siam Organic has been able to increase the number of farmers we work with b
y 80% (to over 1,800 farmers) as well as launching a new organic product in several international markets.

Our City Love Social Enterprise Taiwan is an app that provides accessibility information to the disabled

Dr. Lin Chong-Wey, Founder of OurCityLove Social Enterprise

OurCityLove is the only app that provides food, service and accessibility information on a single platform. This allows users with mobility-impairment to locate accessible services quickly and conveniently.

My social enterprise’s vision for Asia’s future is a barrier free world the senior, disabled citizens and their families.

OurCityLove Social Enterprise will continuously leverage resources from public and private sectors to create more friendly information services and to urge people’s attention and action to accessible environment.

What advice can you give to young aspiring social entrepreneurs with an idea for change?

The world is changed not by your idea, but by your action. The secret of success is keep moving and keep balanced.  

How have you benefitted from SVC Asia and your experience of being a part of the competition? What advice will you give to applicants of the competition?

Being part of SVC Asia, you meet passionate people, interesting friends in different fields and experienced mentors from various disciplines. Thanks to them, the competition has really enlightened and broadened OurCityLove’s Asian perspectives! So, don’t be shy and don’t feel that your little idea won’t work! Join SVC Asia and you win the chance to be the real YOU!

The key milestones of OurCityLove Social Enterprise in 2016 is our progress in applying location-aware technology and smart mobile services for the senior, disabled citizens and their families. With this core competitiveness, we become the strategic partner of Chunghua Telecom, the biggest telecom service provider in Taiwan. The new technology has been recognised at the 2017 Mobile World Congress Barcelona and we’ve successfully implemented it in indicative partners such as Taiwan High Speed Rail, Taiwan Highway Mall, Taiwan Historical Museum. In 2017, we are more confident in creating more smart services for our customers and to making the world even friendlier!  


Applications open on 17 April and close on 14 May 2017. You can find out more at DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge here and check out Unilever CEO Paul Polman’s inspiring speech at last year’s Awards Ceremony. 

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