12 Game-changing Social Innovations to Change Asia Today

Lesley Teoh

[This article is also avaliable in: Traditional Chinese (TW) | Traditional Chinese (HK) | Simplified Chinese (CN)] 

To accelerate social impact, the DBS Foundation gives out Social Enterprise Grants each year to high-potential social ventures that are creating positive social impact. We are pleased to introduce our Grant Awardees for 2016. Meet our 12 inspiring change makers that are changing Asia for the better. 

Ci Shi Beijing Social Enterprise is a Grant Awardee of the DBS Foundation


Ci Shi Beijing (磁石世纪(北京)投资管理有限公司) | China

Early intervention is key to helping hearing impaired kids learn fundamental language expression abilities needed for school. Ci Shi Beijing provides speech rehabilitation training and materials to their parents, which is giving deaf kids a voice and helping them be heard.

GIVE.asia | Singapore

GIVE.asia is a social giving platform that leverages technology for social good. By utilising data-technology, they reduce fundraising costs for social impact organisations and charities, while making it easier for people to donate.

Givo Hong Kong

Givo | Hong Kong

Givo is a mobile app that simplifies donation while helping charities better engage with their donors. Anyone can create their own customised social media newsfeeds for causes they care about and share them with their friends and families making giving truly social.

Greensole is a grant awardee of the DBS Foundation from India

Greensole | India

Greensole is making big strides towards democratising foot protection for all while reducing unnecessary landfill waste. They work with marginalised communities to refurbish discarded shoes into eco-friendly footwear that is helping to improve the lives and livelihoods of India’s rural poor.

Homage  | Singapore

Homage is redefining the social in social work by providing a platform to match caregivers and the elderly. The peer-to-peer marketplace also doubles as a communication platform between family members and caregivers.

LongGood (龍骨王有限公司) | Taiwan

LongGood is bringing joy to the healing process by aiding patients’ recovery through gamification and wearable technology. Their Virtual Reality-enhanced rehabilitation system enables discharged patients to ‘tele-rehabilitate’ remotely from the comfort of their own homes.

Mycotech Indonesia turns mushroom waste into building materials

Mycotech | Indonesia

Over 120 million tonnes of agricultural waste is produced in Indonesia each year. Mycotech’s innovative technology turns mushrooms into living rooms, converting agricultural waste to eco-friendly, chemical-free building materials.

Pionovasion | China

During times of natural disasters, those living in inaccessible rural areas are often hit the hardest. Pionovasion has developed affordable smart solar devices (like solar chargers and stoves) that are providing clean power and lighting up the lives of people going through dark times.

Re-Materials | India

Many makeshift shelters in India’s slums don’t offer adequate insulation from the elements and are often at risk of collapse.  Re-materials is putting a roof over developing India by turning slums and villages into safe shelters with their affordable roofing solutions made from recycled materials.

Jabez Tan and the team of Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh, A social enterprise in Singapore that hires and trains ex-offenders

Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh | Singapore

Soon Huat Bak Kut Teh gives ex-offenders the recipe for a fresh start, empowering them with employment in their eateries and helping them reintegrate into society. Founder Jabez Tan, who is an ex-offender himself, believes in providing holistic support for his staff, including free housing, training courses and medical cover.

WateROAM | Singapore

WateROAM is quenching the thirst of rural and disaster-hit South East Asian communities with durable, affordable water filters that provide much-needed safe drinking water within seconds. Designed with simplicity in mind, their ROAMfilter Plus requires no electricity to run and is able to serve large communities quickly and efficiently.

Zaya Learning Labs | India

Zaya Learning Labs is bringing world class personalised learning to underserved communities in India, where there is limited internet penetration and a lack of skilled teachers. Their affordable blending learning model is helping educate India’s next generation for less than USD 1 per month.


About DBS Foundation:

The DBS Foundation focuses on building a more inclusive Asia by championing social entrepreneurship. The Foundation is an endeavour from DBS Bank to make an even greater impact in addressing Asia’s evolving social needs.

Our Social Enterprise Grant Programme, enables social enterprises to test product feasibility/pilot a prototype model, improve existing processes or add critical capabilities to achieve sustainability, or scale up their existing business that leads to greater social impact. You can find out more about our 2015 Grant Awardees here.