Enabling Young Social Entrepreneurs

The Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) is an annual three-day programme by Singapore International Foundation (SIF) aimed at “inspiring and equipping youths to embark on social enterprises in Singapore and the region”.

Consisting of seven nationalities, the 14 teams taking part in this year’s programme from 31 March to 2 April 2011, picked up useful tips from experienced leaders such as Dr Tanatat Puttasuwan of Population and Development International and successful entrepreneurs like Nawal Roy of McKinsey & Company and Elim Chew of 77th Street. The workshops also taught them basic business skills including how to develop business ideas and ways to make a sales pitch to attract capital.

Ye Xi, YSE Best Business Plan Winner, has this advice for first-time participants.

“Do not take your business plan simply as a school project,” he said.

“Think about it as something that can really change this society and make it a better place.”

The Most Innovative Business Plan award went to the Indonesian team SocBiz who flew in specifically to participate at YSE. Their plan is to provide free training and informal education to enable orphans and panhandlers to be better equipped in earning their livelihoods. SocBiz then plans to link up this newly-created skilled workforce with job recruitment agencies and websites.