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DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Programme 2017 Awardees

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  • Overview
  • Social Enterprises Nurtured
  • Grant Awardees

Since 2012, DBS supported over 100 social enterprises in Asia with grant funding. Including the non-financial resources and business procurement opportunities that DBS provides, we have worked with over 200 social enterprises.

The Foundation partners renowned social enterprise developers to facilitate knowledge sharing and build the capacity of early stage social enterprises to achieve social and commercial viability. These partners also provide incubation, bootcamps, workshops and some financial support to social enterprises. Some of our grant partners include NUS Enterprise, Village Capital and Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India, SE Insights in Taiwan, YouChange Foundation in China, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), and more. Get to know the social enterprises we have nurtured or have funded through our partners.

Complementing these partners, DBS Foundation continues to support social enterprises with its annually administered Social Enterprise Grant Programme. This grant programme enables social enterprises to develop a prototype of their idea, improve existing processes or add critical capabilities to achieve sustainability, or scale up their existing business that leads to greater social impact. Find out more about our Grant Awardees that received the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant.

Our Leadership

All grants will be offered in SGD.

Prototype grants of up to SGD 50,000

For newly registered social enterprises with innovative and scalable ideas that address relevant social problems. Entities should be registered for less than 2 years at the point of application. The idea is ready to be developed into a working prototype. This grant is expected to help the social enterprises get to market.

Organisational grants of up to SGD 250,000

Targeted at revenue generating social enterprises that have been registered and in operations for between 2 to 4 years at the point of application. This grant is aimed to support these more established social enterprises scale up business capacity, innovation capabilities, extend geographical reach and/or expand social impact.

We fund social enterprises registered and operating in:

Prototype grant
Organisational grant
  • Up to SGD50,000
  • Up to SGD250,000
Grant duration
  • Up to 24 months
Items not covered
  • General business overheads
  • Founders’ salaries
  • General business overheads
  • Ongoing liquidity needs
  • Guarantor function unless as part of DBSF financing construct
  • Founders’ salaries
General eligibility criteria
  • Registered business entity at the country of operations;
  • Have neither religious nor political agenda/affiliations
  • India only: obtained Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) or in process of obtaining FCRA approval. Those which have no intention to obtain FCRA approval must provide evidence that they do not require FCRA.
Prototype grant
  • Registered business entity at the country of operations;
  • Have neither religious nor political agenda/affiliations
Organisational grant
Additional criteria
  • Business entity has been registered and in operations for less than 2 years as of 1st Jan 2017
  • Business entity has been registered and in operations between 2 to 4 years (as of 1st Jan 2017);
  • Revenue generating for at least past 6 months (as of 1st Aug 2017); and there is at least one full time founder who is
    • not gainfully employed and/or involved in any other entities,
    • the main key decision maker, and
    • running the daily operations of the entity applying for the grant
We do not fund:
  • Specific individual fellowships/stipends and personal expenses, charities or NGOs primarily dependent on donations
  • Religious organisations for religious purposes, election campaigns, general fund-raising drives or event sponsorships

The 2018 Grant Applications will open soon. Watch this space.

We evaluate grant applications on the following criteria:


  • Extent to which the solution is different from status quo
  • Extent to which social enterprise maintains innovation and continuous improvement

Social Enterprise Model

  • Robustness of social enterprise model and theory of change
  • Strength of business model and plans for sustainability
  • Clear awareness and understanding of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats

Social Impact

  • Clear understanding and articulation of intended beneficiaries, desired outcomes and/or impact, available evidence.
  • Ability to align social impact and business impact
  • Ability to show how social impact can be increased in the future


  • Operating or impacting social issues in one or more of the following countries:
    China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Taiwan
  • Relevance and commitment to the community
  • Potential for geographic expansion

Team Strength

  • Team members' ability and credibility to achieve the social enterprise's objectives and growth targets.

Operation Plan

  • Clear presentation and projection of resource use, key targets, timelines, milestones and success indicators.

Financial Plan

  • Clear presentation and projection of financial indicators like profit/loss, cash flows, and how funds obtained will be used.
  • Commitment to achieving financial sustainability



The 2017 Grants have been announced.

The 2018 Grant Applications will open soon.

The Application form & process will be detailed soon after.

Watch this space.

Have a question? Download the latest FAQs here.

Please click here for the terms & conditions governing the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant.