INDIA,19 June 2019 -

MUMBAI, 19 June 2019 – DBS Foundation, the first foundation in Singapore dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, has launched the 2019 cycle of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant. Applications submitted by 31 July 2019 will be evaluated in this cycle, and successful applicants can expect to receive between SGD 50,000 and SGD 250,000 in grants. Social entrepreneurs may also submit their applications after 31 July 2019, which will be evaluated in the next grant cycle.

Since 2014, the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise (SE) Grant has supported more than 100 SEs from Singapore, China, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan achieve their goals for a more sustainable world. These social enterprises have deployed social innovations across the region in areas such as healthcare, social inclusion, environment protection, waste management, food sustainability, as well as employment and income generation for the marginalised. All around the world, SEs are gaining public attention for their contributions to business and social impact – eight DBS Foundation supported SEs were named in 2018 and 2019 Forbes 30 under 30 lists.

Said Karen Ngui, Board Member of DBS Foundation and DBS’ Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, “At DBS, we believe that social enterprises should be commercially viable businesses that are driven by a strong sense of purpose and social mission. Over the years, we have been heartened to see a marked growth in the number of innovative entrepreneurs that are focused on finding ways to address many social issues in a rapidly developing Asia. To help these businesses for good scale and grow their impact, in addition to grant funding, we also provide capacity building incubation programmes, bespoke mentoring and access to a broader network.”

Support beyond grant funding

2018 saw substantial growth in applications and applicants in the region: applications from India and Indonesia doubled, while number of applications across Asia increased 10% year-on-year. In India, last year’s two grant awardees continue to make strides towards mitigating environmental and social problems. Helpusgreen’s innovative, eco-friendly products help address the monumental issue of floral waste in the river Ganges, while Haqdarshak’s technology-led solution has significantly increased access of marginalised sections to the government’s social support schemes. 

DBS also launched the DBS Social Enterprise Support Programme in 2018, where selected SEs have access to mentoring sessions by DBS’ senior SME bankers, banking and finance training courses at the DBS SME Academy, as well as better financing options. For more than 10 years, DBS has been providing SEs access to virtually free banking services through its DBS Social Enterprise Package, which comes with zero-minimum balance for account opening and unsecured loans at preferential rates. In addition, DBS Private Bank, in partnership with DBS Foundation runs a quarterly “Windows on Philanthropy” lunch series for its private banking clients. The series seeks to raise awareness among its clients on impact investing and social entrepreneurship, beyond traditional philanthropy.

2019 DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Call

The DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant is open to social enterprises across Asia that have a business product or solution that has been validated by the market with clear plans to scale up business, as well as demonstrated commitment to a social mission with a clear roadmap towards scaling social impact. Applications received before 31 July 2019, 2359hrs (Singapore time, GMT +8) will be evaluated from August to September 2019, with the awarding of grants in November 2019. Applications received on 1 August 2019 and thereafter will be evaluated next year.

The DBS Foundation works in partnership with like-minded organisations, the public and social sectors, to promote the development of social entrepreneurship. To find out more about the DBS Foundation SE Grant Programme, visit

While the bank has been supporting SEs for many years, it stepped up its commitment to the growth of social entrepreneurship with the establishment of the SGD 50 million DBS Foundation in 2014, to mark Singapore’s 50th year of independence. To date, DBS has reached out to more than 30,000 SEs and supported some 310 SEs with more than SGD 4.7 million in grant funding.

About DBS 

DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 280 branches across 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank’s “AA-” and “Aa1” credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker and “Best Bank in the World” by Global Finance. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for ten consecutive years from 2009 to 2018. 

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, and positively impacting communities through supporting social enterprises, as it banks the Asian way. It has also established a SGD 50 million foundation to strengthen its corporate social responsibility efforts in Singapore and across Asia.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of its 27,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit


About DBS Foundation

Championing Social Entrepreneurship

As a corporate foundation in Asia solely dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, DBS Foundation contributes towards building a more inclusive society so that those at society’s margins can enjoy productive and rewarding lives. DBS Foundation works with Social Enterprises and Social Entrepreneurs in Singapore, India, Indonesia, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong with programmes ranging from venture challenges, learning forums, intensive incubation, grant support, financing and skilled volunteer mentoring. The Foundation is an endeavor from DBS Bank to make an even greater impact in addressing Asia’s evolving social needs. Please visit or reach us at

Back to results

Search News

Select Markets

DBS Annual Report

DBS Annual Report 2018

Click here to read DBS' 2018 Annual Report - Best Bank in the World.

View our previous Annual Reports