100 Social enterprises to watch for in Asia : 2018

Check out 100 innovative up and coming social enterprises from DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia 2018.

The social enterprises featured in this listing are participants of the 2018 edition of the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia – A region wide competition for social enterprises, organised by DBS Foundation and NUS Enterprise. The challenge identifies and awards social ventures that have the potential to generate positive, scalable and sustainable social impact. This year’s DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia saw 870 entries from over 42 countries. The 100 Social enterprises listed have been picked to proceed to the next round of judging, bringing them closer to being one of the top awardees in the region.

Name Country Sector Description
Avijatrik Bangladesh Tourism & Hospitality Avijatrik is an online community-based traveling platform that empowers underdeveloped local communities through tourism. It provides local experiences to travellers in collaboration and contribution to the preservation of culture and nature while bringing economic opportunities for decent and sustainable livelihoods to local communities.
CMED Health Bangladesh Health & Wellness CMED Health developed a cloud based preventive healthcare platform through smartphones that monitors health parameters using FDA/CE certified IoT enabled devices integrated with intelligent algorithm to identify health risks early and enable provision of preventive healthcare
Synergy Global.co Bangladesh Information & Communication Technology An ecommerce platform connecting tailors and seamstress from the slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh to ethical fashion designers from around the world.
AlterYouth Bangladesh Education & Training AlterYouth is developing an online C2C scholarship platform, where anyone can directly provide literacy scholarships to struggling students in government primary schools throughout Bangladesh.
ATEC* Biodigesters International Cambodia Energy & Environment ATEC* Biodigester provides the easiest way for families to access renewable biogas for household cooking and organic fertiliser for farming.
Samatoa Lotus Textiles (SLT) Cambodia Fashion & Retail Samatoa Lotus Textiles (SLT) develops fibres and fabrics from environmentally sustainable lotus stems. SLT also supports vulnerable Cambodian women through vocational training, decent wages, dependable employment, and economic empowerment.
上海佰特教育科技 China Education & Training To empower and provide professional financial literacy educational courses for children (ages 3 to 15) in the urban and rural areas.
Upbeing China Education & Training Upbeing promotes social innovation projects through online and offline social learning for students to train and participate in understanding social/community issues, developing new businesses, communication and creative skills.
上海音融教育科技 China Health & Wellness A project that trains broadcast professional students to build a voice correction volunteer service, management and division in the community of Voice Changer. They would work local hospitals, governments and foundations to perform voice correction training for people with dysphonia.
广州音书科技 China Information & Communication Technology VoiceBook Technology is committed to the transformation of sound and text in various scenarios through artificial intelligence technology to help hearing impaired people achieve barrier-free communication such as face-to-face barrier-free communication, voice training, and subtitle video.
Smart Air China Health & Wellness Smart Air is a social enterprise that creates cost-effective air purifiers and provides free education on the harms of air pollution.
Elda's SewCrafted Studio East Timor Health & Wellness To help every girl and woman in East Timor with readily access to environmentally friendly and long-lasting menstruation hygiene kits and health information.
Subhag HealthTech Germany Health & Wellness Subhag HealthTech has developed an affordable method that enables childless couple to perform IUI (intrauterine insemination) in the privacy and comfort of their own home.
Avatech Innovation Hong Kong Information & Communication Technology To help the visually impaired people access and better interact with the physical world that is usually designed for visually perfect people through social media.
LocalMotion Hong Kong Information & Communication Technology LocalMotion is a Skills Based Volunteering (SBV) platform that pairs skilled professionals in areas of design, marketing and communications to help NGOs and social enterprises (FPOs) to effectively achieve their social or environmental missions.
Acesobee - Empowering 360 Caring Hong Kong Information & Communication Technology TeamCare® is a mobile Personal Point of Care (POC) and Personal Care Plan (PCP) system that incorporates and digitalise the professional bedside nursing care plan currently used in the medical wards. To facilitate 360 degree caring, the care plan and treatment instructions allows primary care service providers (i.e. nursing homes, day care centres, home care service providers, clinics, etc.), caregivers and caretakers to share, follow and advise the caring planning and status.
AfterSchool Hong Kong Education & Training AfterSchool is an online learning community that aims to provide high-school students with a highly-personalised, affordable and healthy learning environment. It combines the learning of science, gamification, social elements and artificial intelligence.
Mosi Mosi Design Hong Kong Fashion & Retail Mosi Mosi is a creative-driven and humanistic design studio that helping disabilities to live a better life. The company provide both inclusive product design and services, which serve the overlooked underprivileged market, as well as build up a better inclusive society.
Void Hong Kong Health & Wellness A clinically certified IoT integrated device designed based on the theory and principal of meditation, hypnosis and psychotherapy. It is a self-helping application for people to access mental health services in ten minutes.
Easiread Hong Kong Information & Communication Technology A typography system with pre-set functions to help dyslexics with letter recognition, reading difficulties and visual stress. With technology support, it could develop into different languages and include features such as Optical Character Recognition (OCR) for printed books.
農場物魚 ECO Green Aquaponics (「Because I care」社區共享農場計劃) Hong Kong Agriculture "Because I Care" Community Shared Farm Project is a plan to share the concept of economy and create a mutually beneficial situation for the society. ECO Green Aquaponics has designed a self-sustaining fish-vegetable symbiotic system that requires only a fraction of construction costs of traditional farming systems yet yielding four times more produce and fish.
Pay It Foward Hong Kong Energy & Environment Pay It Forward is platform that allows users to exchange favours on their commutes and is the alternative solution to mobility that doesn’t require traditional fossil fuels or grand infrastructure - it just requires everyone in the community to do one small act of kindness.
牛角兽教育科技(当汉字遇到黑科技) Hong Kong Education & Training Development of a app complemented with physical learning cards such that learning Chinese characters is no longer boring.
Inclusive Impact Hong Kong Hong Kong Education & Training Inclusive Impact provides customised team building experience coached by current or retired para-athletes in Hong Kong to corporate partners, NGO and government sectors.
SAMBAiAA SAMBA INNOvation for Active Ageing Hong Kong Health & Wellness The company provides “Music Live X Innovation Industry X Self-Research” as an innovative business solution to promote community health and development of rehabilitation services with Samba Drum and self-therapy through music.
Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti India Education & Training Lakshya Jeevan Jagriti provides a platform that empowers women to participate in various training programs such as financial and computer literacy with emphasis on economic and social development, decision making and building support networks.
BubbleNut Wash India Agriculture BubbleNut Wash processes soapnuts into eco-friendly, chemical-free and biodegradable detergents for laundry and dishwashing.
Buddy4Study India Education & Training Buddy4Study is India's largest listing portal on scholarship opportunities for millions of meritorious, talented and needy students. It aims to provide easy access to scholarships with end-to-end application support to seekers and end-to-end management and monitoring of scholarship programs to providers.
Innoweave Biocare India Health & Wellness Innoweave Biocare has developed a non-invasive, painless, portable, one step solution device to glucose monitoring that replaces the conventional painful lancing based devices to increase compliance to self-blood glucose monitoring (SBGM).
Hasiru Dala Innovations India Energy & Environment Hasiru Dala Innovations provides environmental-friendly waste management services to bulk waste generators where they collect at source segregated waste and assure clients that over 90% of their waste are diverted away from landfills. These services work through a waste picker franchisee model that empowers waste picker entrepreneurs and livelihoods.
PerSapien Innovations India Health & Wellness To empower everyone (paying and non-paying customers) with “Right-to-breathe” pure air by providing integrated personal-air-purification solution.
WEN (Women Entrepreneur Network) India Information & Communication Technology WEN creates a network of educated women to become entrepreneurs within their time and location flexibility. This network also supplement their skills through direct access to clients, technology and reputation on the basis of the work completed.
Biodesign Innovation Labs India Health & Wellness Biodesign Innovation Labs develops an affordable and accessible respiratory support device that saves babies from emergency respiratory complications such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, hypoxia, hypoxemia, perinatal asphyxia when under low resource conditions.
MyCrop Technologies India Agriculture MyCrop Technologies, a collaborative initiative that empowers and equip farmers with self-learning agri-food system, knowledge, expertise and resources. This platform helps farmers to improve productivity, profitability and standard of living.
Blessing Palms India Agriculture Creates biodegradable straw from coconut leaves as an alternative and to augment the income in rural communities.
Chakr Innovation India Energy & Environment Chakr Shield is a retro-fit emission control device for diesel generators that captures up to 90% of particulate matter emissions. It aims to control air pollution without adverse impact on the engine’s performance or the environment.
MilliEnt Technologies India Education & Training MilliEnt Technologies aims to introduce the world of Entrepreneurship and enterprising Architecture of Engagement to young students through an online platform and co-creation workshops. Students are given complete set of inputs on how to understand, analyse, deconstruct and validate the problems through various methods and work towards creating a profitable business venture.
Unnati India Agriculture Unnati aims to enable farmers with the right tools, knowledge, products and services to increase their farming productivity and profitability. Unnati mobile app and technology helps farmers to track their farming inputs, access to information on agriculture best practices and pre-book orders for delivery from Unnati physical centres operated by trained agriculture graduates.
SMV Green Solutions India Energy & Environment SMV Green Solutions aims to provide solar and electrical rickshaws for rickshaw drivers as the new clean and urban form of transportation in India. It helps to promote self-employment and reduce the drudgery of manual rickshaw drivers.
Tactopus Learning Solutions India Education & Training Tactopus is an inclusive education tool for children with visual impairment to interact with smart tactile graphics.
Crowd Kitchens India Food & Beverages Crowd Kitchens aims to build a network of mass large-scale kitchens in different cities that produces nutritious quality food at low-cost. It enables donors to contribute money through a real-time mobile app that maps where the poor and hungry live, and track the delivery of the food to these people in need.
Yasasreeviroha Impex India Agriculture Aims to procure aborted sun-dried small sweet oranges that are rich in Hesperidin to pharmaceutical companies in Europe and generate additional revenue for farmers and women labour workers.
Stones2Milestones India Education & Training Stones2Milestones aims to create a nation of readers by educating children in India through affordable, researched-based, scientifically design and intuitive in-school English reading programmes.
Eyeluminati India Health & Wellness Eyeluminati's flagship product Manovue is the world's first intelligent personal assistant for the visually impaired. Manovue combines vision intelligence and internet of things in the form of an inexpensive wearable to deliver a technology that can replace the 200-year-old braille language and empower more than 94% of the visually impaired people who suffer from braille illiteracy and remain unemployed.


FlyBird Farm Innovations India Agriculture FlyBird Farm Innovations has developed a low cost and innovative smart/precise irrigation controller for small & marginal farmers, to irrigate water as per crop needs and improve crop yields by precise irrigation thereby improving crop production and saving water, electric power, time and money for farmers.
STRAWcture India Energy & Environment STRAWcture is offering a DIY eco-friendly, low cost house in a box concept by turning the agri-waste into a potential building material that can reduce the construction cost by 25% and time by 50% to address issue of sustainable rural development.
Innaumation Medical Devices India Health & Wellness Innaumation Medical Devices has devised a low-cost voice prosthesis product for patients who have lost their voice box to cancer after surgery.
Swabhimaan India Education & Training Swabhimaan seeks to provide adaptive financial literacy and requisite skills low-income communities to enable them to make informed financial choices and be able to apply for and receive low-cost loans, at their own terms, with dignity and self-respect.
40K Plus Education India Education & Training 40K PLUS couples an innovative use of technology, which makes online content available offline through an on-tablet learning platform such that children receive a dynamic experience with proven learning outcomes at USD1.8 per month per student.
Science For Society Techno-Services India Agriculture Science for Society Techno-Services developed a solar conduction dryer which is an electricity free solar powered food dehydrator that reduces moisture content in agri-animal produce and help female farmers extend shelf life of seasonal produce without using any chemicals and earn additional income through sale of dehydrated products.
ThinkZone India Education & Training ThinkZone developed an asset light ‘school-in-a-box’ based model which is readily implementable in difficult to reach areas where the necessity of quality education interventions. Using localized solution, offline technology, proprietary training activities and a SMS-based community interaction platform, local women become community tutors and work towards improving the learning outcomes of children.
Tisser Rural Handicrafts India Arts, Culture & Heritage Tisser Rural Handicrafts is a social venture established to uplift the lives of rural Indian artisans by improving their reach to urban markets.
Nazava Water Filters Indonesia Energy & Environment Nazava Water Filters provides easy access for households to have affordable and safe drinking water for their family without the need to buy, boil or use electricity.
Sirtanio Organik Indonesia Indonesia Agriculture To increase rice farmers’ welfare in Indonesia through an integrated organic rice farming system that includes rice cultivation management training, seed loans, skilled labourers and fertilisers. The purchase price of the harvest is determined by a contract with a margin of 20-30% above the local price.
SukkhaCitta Indonesia Fashion & Retail SukkhaCitta set out to change the standard in Indonesia’s textile craft industry by working directly with rural communities, building a new generation of artisans that thrives in the modern global market. Leveraging grass-root entrepreneurship, clothes are #MadeRight, environment-friendly and preserves Indonesia's textile heritage.
Waste4Change Indonesia Energy & Environment Waste4Change provides a responsible waste management services from upstream to downstream that would change people’s behaviour towards waste.
Kendal Agro Atsiri Indonesia Agriculture Majors in distilling unused clove leaves into natural essential oil and the only clove oil producer in Indonesia that exports overseas directly. Also, empowers villagers to overcome poverty by providing jobs in collecting clove leaves and planting of patchouli. They also set up The Kendal Smart House as an education centre for the local children to access books and computers.
Mendekor Indonesia Fashion & Retail Mendekor designs, produces and sells high quality yet affordable furniture and decorations for residential and commercial places. They help to create employment opportunities and improve the standard of living for local craftsmen in the village.
Smash Indonesia Energy & Environment Smash is an integrated platform for various trash management in Indonesia. Through a mobile app, it helps to facilitate and increase active participation among consumers and the community to be more aware about trash.
Gandengtangan.org Indonesia Financial Services Helping unbankable microbusinesses get additional capital from a pool of investors through crowdfunding model.
Suncrox Solar Malaysia Energy & Environment Suncrox Solar provides solar energy system that focuses on standalone or off grid solar projects by eliminating the grid power dependency from basic home electrical appliances such as light, fan and charging in the rural community.
Nature Renascent Malaysia Arts, Culture & Heritage Nature Renascent develops excessive local pineapple plant leaves into fibers to produce high quality eco-friendly stationeries and threads for clothing materials. It also helps to alleviate farmer’s income, reduce deforestation and plantation burning activities.
WormingUp (Fly Technology Agriculture) Malaysia Energy & Environment WormingUp aims to reduce food waste at landfill sites by providing training to local underprivileged communities to skill them up with insect rearing method for upcycling organic waste into high value animal feed and organic fertilizer.
The Help Talk Malaysia Health & Wellness The Help Talk is an online counselling platform that connects qualified mental health professionals (psychologists/counsellors) to provide accessible therapy services to clients in a convenient, affordable and confidential manner.
iCYCLE Malaysia Malaysia Energy & Environment Development of a mobile app that cater for remote locations to achieve self-sustainable zero waste community without relying on high capital investment by composting their own food waste and recycled out non-food waste through a proprietary system.
Shwe Bite Myanmar Food & Beverages Shwe Bite is an innovative social platform (marketplace) that delivers home-cooked foods prepared by women and homemakers. This enables them to make an extra income and provide healthy home-cooked meals for busy office workers at affordable prices.
Radha Paudel Foundation Nepal Health & Wellness Radhua Paudel Foundation is collaborating with Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) to develop locally manufactured low-cost biodegradable sanitary pads made up of banana fibre will benefit local school girls aged 10-18 and women customers by providing better access to hygiene, sanitation, education and creating manufacturing jobs for women in poverty driven remote areas of Nepal.
Vceela Pakistan Arts, Culture & Heritage Vceela aims to create an ecosystem that connects digitally illiterate and unconnected artisans directly to local and international markets by cutting out the middlemen, and enable artisans to extract actual profits out of their products.
ModulusTech Pakistan Energy & Environment ModulusTech has developed a low-cost housing technology that build houses in three hours, with pre-installed fixtures and integrated utilities to resolve housing shortage. The technology is safe, affordable, energy efficient and sustainable.
SABCO Solutions Pakistan Energy & Environment SABCO Solutions provides quality renewable energy solutions and affordable solar powered lanterns for households and small businesses that are off-grid or grid-underserved in the rural and peri-urban areas.
Bambuhay Social Enterprise Philippines Agriculture Creating opportunities to empower marginalised communities through making innovative, environmental-friendly and sustainable-produced bamboo products. Also, to train and equip Filipino farmers on agriculture methodology and technology to sustain and overcome extreme poverty.
Kandama Social Enterprise Philippines Fashion & Retail Kandama seeks to provide opportunities for Julongan village indigenous women in skill building and environmental education through the production of garments that incorporates indigenous woven products into fashionable pieces for the modern woman.
Accents and Petals - Art of Recycling and Reusing Philippines Energy & Environment Accents and Petals creates beautifully hand-crafted floral products by upcycling sustainable materials and it aims to provide job opportunities for indigenous people in Cordillera Region.
e-Magsasaka PH Philippines Agriculture e-Magsasaka is a B2B e-commerce platform that allow farmer groups to directly work with agri-input suppliers and institutional buyers, and increase farmers profit by reducing middlemen transactions. It also equips farmers with the knowledge on market price trends to breakeven through the inputs monitoring feature.
PeoplePods Philippines Tourism & Hospitality PeoplePods aims to provide dignified affordable housing solution for migrant workers that are safer, cleaner and have more amenities.
CocoAsenso Philippines Agriculture CocoAsenso aims to disrupt the way Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) is manufactured in the Philippines- making this $200 million industry more efficient and inclusive by decreasing the costs of VCO production while increasing the incomes of some of the poorest farmers in the Philippines by an average of 85%.
Art For Good Singapore Education & Training Art for Good helps children with behavioural and social vulnerability through creative Clinical Art Therapy, Art Enrichment and Community Art. It involves art making skills that enables creative self-expression, promoting self-confidence, emotional, physical and mental well-being.
Phi Life Center Singapore Education & Training Lifelong learning academy that mentors marginalised youths from low-income background and provides opportunities for them to be part of the workforce and community as a positive asset.
Nation for Future Seniors Singapore Arts, Culture & Heritage A community that turns idle time of senior citizens into productivity by using technology to give them a voice to fight ageism and tools to overcome the destructive emotions of UPL (Useless. Purposeless. Loneliness.).
Gift-It-Forward Singapore Information & Communication Technology Gift-It-Forward empowers people who are celebrating special occasions to raise funds for a local charity they care about and a group gift they’re guaranteed to love by channelling funds from less meaningful party gifts to charities, thereby helping charities to raise awareness and connect with new donors.
甘樂文創 Taiwan Education & Training Create employment and equip marginalised parents and youths in the community with survival and learning skills. Allow tourists to experience cultural landscapes and preservation of craftsmen. Establish and promote a 10-year companionship program for students towards a stable life in a safe environment.
Princess Green Nursery Social Enterprise Taiwan Agriculture To improve the lives and income of local farmers through the use of solar energy and solar panels to grow Vanilla under idle spaces and high-yield production.
社會網絡股份 (1 for One 挺好,為永續公益而生) Taiwan Fashion & Retail NPO Channel is a public service platform that assists non-profit organisations in initiating public welfare and promoting public support for charity. They provide help to effectively increase the social value of these organisations, promote the sales of self-made products and gain support of companies with brand names.
以立股份 Taiwan Education & Training Yi Li aims to empower lives through an online platform of volunteerism. Volunteers participate to bring in education awareness and help the local people to gain inspiration and income growth.
新活藝術服務 Taiwan Education & Training The company aims to effectively promote social interaction by providing art therapist training, team support and strong coaching system for the elderly to redefine their goals, create new source of income and continue to have a richer and better life towards ageism.
TS Voice Technology Taiwan Health & Wellness TS Voice Technology helps patients who lost the ability to communicate with others to re-vocalise through the use of artificial intelligence devices.
衣服圖書館 Taiwan Fashion & Retail An e-commerce platform developed for individuals to sell second-hand clothes and it aims to reduce Taiwan’s annual 10.2 million second-hand clothing problem.
習元國際教育(玩轉學校亞洲創新教育計畫) Taiwan Education & Training Promotes innovative game-based learning methods through camps, courses and teacher training to ignite the passion for independent learning with context. The four major elements includes social issues, situational games, guide reflection and key training to improve ability to solve problems, communicate, coordinate and cooperate with others.
格外農品股份 Taiwan Agriculture In the past three years, Goodwill Foods has made use of Taiwan's exceptional agricultural products to produce 100% pure fruit jams without artificial additives. It has developed six items and sold through more than 30 channels. Established in 2015, Goodwill Foods aims to reduce food waste, support professional farmers, and promote advocacy of agriculture for better appreciation of land, farmers and consumers.
綠色冀泉股份(類綠建築攻佔發燒都市) Taiwan Agriculture Utilising IOT, big data and AI to monitor the sustainable replanting of camphor trees endemic to Taiwan which can be subsequently used for construction of truly green buildings.
雙連梨社會企業 Taiwan Agriculture The company aims to reverse perceptions of farmers and the agriculture industry is no longer a job at the bottom of society, but a profession with high quality output that contributes to society and environment by eliminating middlemen and maximising the profits of farmers.
梨理人農村 Taiwan Agriculture Aims to improve the handling of agricultural waste through provision of customised alternative solutions to farmers, improving recycling model, and developing new products out of agricultural waste so that public perceptions of farmers will improve, and farmers can also increase their income.
ThaiBiomass Thailand Energy & Environment ThaiBiomass provides clean energy fuels from under-utilised agriculture, wood waste and short rotation crops. It aims to create job opportunities for the rural communities and reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Fresh2Joy Thailand Food & Beverages Fresh2Joy is a sachet of 100%-natural polysaccharide beads with encapsulated active essential oils that are released to inhibit mould growth on fresh soft fruits which can prolong shelf-life from 9 to 17 days (extend by 8 days).
Desolenator United Kingdom Food & Beverages Desolenator has a patented technology that purifies water using 100% solar power. It can purify many complex water sources including seawater, water with heavy metal contaminants (fluoride, arsenic) and microbiological contamination (viruses, bacteria, protozoa).
Flocktracker United States of America Information & Communication Technology Development of a user-friendly, cloud-based field data gathering platform for in-field data collectors to expedite and improve the data workflow, thereby increasing efficiency, reducing sources of error, facilitating in-field team management, and promoting the sharing and using existing Open Data datasets.
Noir.Dining in the Dark Vietnam Food & Beverages Noir.Dining in the Dark employs visually impaired service staff to serve guests dining in the dark.
Glink Vietnam Social Enterprise Vietnam Health & Wellness G-link is the first-ever licensed private clinic providing HIV treatment in Vietnam that provides comprehensive HIV healthcare services, including HIV testing and treatment, STIs screening and treatment, Pre-and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP and PEP) for the LGBT community.
SCDeaf Vietnam Information & Communication Technology SCDeaf provides Video Relay Services (VRS) to connect with the hearing-impaired community in Vietnam. It includes a mobile app technology that facilitates the communication between the hearing-impaired, non-signing people and sign language interpreters through video calls.
Evergreen Labs Social Ventures Vietnam Agriculture HealthyFarm aims to improve the entire clean food value chain through a multi-level approach: increasing the general supply of clean food, enabling a fair income for farmers and guaranteeing affordable prices for consumers.