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50 businesses of the future where everyone wins

Explore 50 Social Enterprises changing our world today

Who are these motivated, creative, driven people…
who question the status quo,
who think of new ways,
who exploit new opportunities,
who refuse to give up
… to make this world a better place!

As DBS turns 50, we celebrate the spirit of 50 Social Entrepreneurs across Asia who have a different approach to business and bring in social impact, to make this world a better place, for you and me.

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Social enterprises working towards a healthier, happier tomorrow

From hand cranked defibrillators, improving quality of life for patients with dementia to quick water filtration solutions for disaster hit areas – these social enterprises are showing the way to better health.

Yi Bao Ji Hua

China, Health

Be a part of change

Peace of mind that everyone can afford

Can insurance protect every single member of society?

Yi Bao Ji Hua protects the welfare of China’s low-income earners with affordable insurance.


“We hope to set up a small insurance company specialising in serving low-income people. This is our long-term goal."

Yi Bao Ji Hua

Insurance guarantees your protection from risk. For those who can afford it, it ensures peace of mind for themselves and their families. But what about those who can’t? This question weighed heavily on Zhou Ling’s mind, prompting her to address this social issue by founding Yi Bao Ji Hua in 2014.

Zhou Ling wanted to reach out to as many low-income individuals as possible through Yi Bao Ji Hua. Her goal of providing quality insurance to everyone who needs it led to an affordable insurance scheme designed to protect low income earners in China.

Today, Yi Bao Ji Hua insures rural village youths, small-scale farmers, the elderly and members of the special needs community, among many others. Zhou Ling cannot be happier to give a peace of mind to all that Yi Bao Ji Hua insures.

Visit their website

Eldpathy

Hong Kong, Health

Be a part of change

Connecting society with its elderly

How do we cultivate compassion towards our elderly?

Eldpathy was founded in 2013 to engage schools and businesses in understanding the challenges faced by the elderly in Hong Kong. The social enterprise designs elderly simulation programs, complete with simulation suits, to increase social awareness on this often overlooked demographic.

"In the next 20 years, 1 out of every 3 people in Hong Kong will be elderly. Our hope is that Hong Kong can become an empathetic and friendly city."

Eldpathy

Eldpathy was founded in 2013 to engage society in understanding the challenges faced by the elderly in Hong Kong. Their elderly simulation programs not only raise social awareness, they are also run by senior guides. After all, who understands the challenges of old age better than seniors themselves? With the aid of complex gear that consists of goggles, Eldpathy’s simulation suit mimics the blurry vision and hunched backs one experience in old age, making navigating, walking and climbing as difficult for the students as it is for the aged.

Visit their website

Echoing Healthy Aging

India, Health

Be a part of change

Stop waiting; be the change

How can we help those with dementia?

Echoing Aging is a social enterprise working with 500 dementia champions on a big mission to raise awareness of dementia care practices.

"Don't be okay with what has always been an issue. Be that change. Be the catalyst."

Echo Healthy Aging

After discovering that her grandmother died of undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease, Amrita Patil felt compelled to leave her job as an engineer in the UK, returning to Mumbai on a quest to learn more about the condition. In 2012, she started Echoing Healthy Ageing (EHA), a social enterprise focused on dementia care practices.

Knowing this was an immense task that she couldn’t do alone, she has since trained over 500 dementia champions to create a dementia-friendly society.

Visit their website

Rovnost Healthcare

India, Health

Be a part of change

Bring healthcare to all!

How do we create affordable healthcare for everyone, regardless of their background?

Rovnost Healthcare makes healthcare accessible and affordable to these rural communities. It uses a combination of methods to reach them. From setting up temporary clinics and medical camps , to using online platforms to connect patients to doctors. So far, Rovnost Healthcare has improved the quality of life for 600 patients in 2 villages.

"The doctor to patient ratio in India is 1 doctor to 17,000 people. With the help of DBS we created a platform that enables video consultations from patients in last-mile health worker clinics, with specialists from the cities. In our past 2 years, we've seen a 65% decline in the number of mortalities."

Rovnost Healthcare

Dr. Anirudh Gaurang is passionate about reforming healthcare in India. He wanted to make healthcare accessible and affordable to rural communities too. In 2016, he established Rovnost Healthcare. Rovnost Healthcare sets up temporary rural clinics and healthcare camps to reach out to villagers. With the help of DBS, Dr. Anirudh has also created an online platform to carry out video consultations between patients in these camps to specialists in the city.

Visit their website

Jeevtronics

India, Health

Be a part of change

Put power to save lives in everyone’s hands

What if everyone could generate electricity?

Jeevtronics designed a hand-cranked defibrillator, which does not require an external power source – perfect for clinics in rural and underdeveloped areas. Costing half the price of a regular defibrillator, it literally puts the power to save lives in every community’s reach.

"India is a beautiful laboratory. You solve a problem in India, and guess what? You have probably discovered a solution that can be applied globally."

Jeevtronics

While conducting ground research in provincial hospitals, Ashish Gawade discovered that medical staff do not just operate with a resold defibrillator, they also work with intermittent electricity. He realised that India desperately needs an affordable and reliable defibrillator. Most importantly, it must work even in the very possible case of a power out. With this mission in mind, Ashish and his team at Jeevtronics worked incredibly hard to develop a prototype that can be hand-cranked. In other words, this defibrillator does not need external power, making it perfect for use in rural towns and villages.

With funding and support from DBS Foundation, Jeevtronics succeeded in refining the production process. As a result, the prototype will be available on the market at half the price of a brand new, brand name defibrillator! This is great news for poorly resourced hospitals and clinics.

Visit their website

Boxgreen

Singapore, Health

Be a part of change

Snack in truly guilt-free fashion

What if snacking can be healthy?

Boxgreen curates and delivers healthy and natural snacks to your doorstep. The snacks are not just free of artificial flavours, colours and preservatives; they are even portion-controlled and approved by nutritionists too.

"There is a powerful movement that is going in the world. Our society is gaining a greater consciousness on the impact of our spending and where it goes."

Boxgreen

For every box you purchase, a portion of the sales are donated to Willing Hearts, a soup kitchen that feeds the less privileged.

Visit their website

Tware

Singapore, Health

Be a part of change

Recommend TJacket to someone you know

Can we be there for our children all the time?

Tware, a Singaporean social enterprise, created Tjacket, a wearable touch technology vest. TJacket is controlled via a smartphone application, and works by applying deep pressure, which helps comfort people with ADHD, sensory disorders and anxiety. TJacket makes them feel calm, enabling them to function in stressful settings.

"We are moving into a world where we’re going to have a lot of elderly – and that will create social challenges. If left unaddressed, this will not only have an impact on the economy itself, but will also be something that will bite back if you do not help the underprivileged. That is why it is important to make sure that the concerns and issues faced by the elderly, underprivileged and kids with special needs must be addressed. "

Tware

Tware also uses technology to better the lives of those with sensory disorders and autism. A grant from DBS back in 2013 enabled Tware to conduct further research and testing, preparing TJacket for release to a larger market. Today, TJacket is sold in 9 markets, and used by occupational therapists worldwide for treatment.

Visit their website

Wateroam

Singapore, Health

Be a part of change

Fund a WateRoam system for a village, town or school

1 in 10 people in the world do not have access to clean water. That’s 6.84 Billion people. But we have the fastest solution to change that.

With aims to build a world where prolonged thirst is history, WateRoam developed portable water filtration systems for locations lacking access to clean water. Their mission statement is a simple but powerful one: building clean water solutions that are portable, durable, simple and affordable.

"We’re thankful to be part of the DBS Social enterprise Grant Program. With the funding, we have been able to rapidly ramp up manufacturing, improving the durability and quality of the product, reaching 35,000 people in 14 countries. More communities have gotten our systems and our solution now lasts longer."

Wateroam

As part of a water initiative programme, NUS graduates Chong Tee, Vincent and David decided they all wanted to do something to help make clean water more accessible for rural communities, areas suffering from drought as well as disaster relief sites.

After research, experimentation and much trial and error, they developed WateRoam, a portable water filtration system that allows easy access to clean drinking water everywhere.

Visit their website

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Social enterprises levelling the playing field through education

Cloud based e-learning solutions to improve quality of classroom teaching to interactive solutions for people with special needs to learn life skills - these social enterprises in Asia are thinking many steps ahead.

Rice Donate

China, Education

Be a part of change

Gamify your cause!

Can we gamify social good?

Rice Donate is a mobile app where individuals, companies & charities can connect based on their donation needs and demands.

"When we started, “social enterprise” was a pretty new word. The concept existed only in textbooks, and we could not find any similar practice in China. So we asked: what if we built an enterprise that creates profit while contributing to society?"

Rice Donate

Wang Zi’s donation platform, Rice Donate, connects individuals, businesses and charities. If you have a cause you are passionate about, try a quick search on Rice Donate to identify will find charities you want to support.

Download their app

Nara Kreatif

Indonesia, Education

Be a part of change

Changing your buying habits can change lives

What does Nara Kreatif value the most?

Nara Kreatif is a social enterprise that focuses on social issues as well as the environment. They support street children and school dropouts by providing housing and education. Their environmental support work includes selling their environment-friendly wares, such as waste paper mache products.

"The most important thing is that we can run with commitment, by striving to always do good for many people."

Nara Kreatif

Street children and school dropouts often end up out of school or home because they feel neglected by their family or their society. Nara Kreatif refuses to overlook them any longer.

The social enterprise houses up to 30 children in dormitories, ensuring they continue their education. So far, Nara Kreatif has brought over 200 children back to school. The self-sustaining social enterprise has achieved this by teaching the children how to upcycle waste, such as paper, into fashionable products such as bags and briefcases.

Visit their website

Better Education

China, Education

Be a part of change

Empower the youth with financial literacy

How can we help every child develop financial life skills?

Better Education helps rural and underprivileged youths achieve financial independence by equipping them with money management skills.

“We have dreams for Better Education to last a hundred years. I hope it never stops developing and innovating, continuing to provide better financial education for future children.”

Better Education

Alarmed that rural Chinese youths did not have the basic financial skills to deal with the money they handled daily, Wang Sheng founded Better Education. The goal? To teach the children how to save, spend and invest money, allowing them to make goals for their own futures.

Today, Better Education has armed over 300,000 youths in the Provinces, across China with money management skills, putting them in better position to attain financial independence when they migrate to the urban city.

“DBS saw potential in us when no one else did. The encouragement boosted our confidence, allowing us to grow as a social enterprise with assurance.”

Better Education

AESIR

Hong Kong, Education

Be a part of change

Harness virtual tech to improve reality

Hong Kong’s government education system does not adequately support students with special needs. How can technology improve the lives of the special needs community?

AESIR supports the special needs community by using augmented-reality (AR) and VR technologies to aid their personal development.

"Why are social enterprises so important? Because we want to leave the world a better place for the next generation!"

AESIR

While often used hand-in-hand, VR and augmented reality (AR) are quite different. VR involves immersing yourself in a completely different reality, which often means putting on a large headset that blocks out the world around you. AR, on the other hand, adds elements to our reality — it can insert the entire Thomas the Tank Engine cast onto your model railway set, for example.

AESIR creates games and interactive solutions for people with special needs by utilising emerging AR and VR technology in the hopes of supporting the special-needs community where traditional education fails. Harnessing the immersion that VR and AR provides, AESIR’s games and programs help children with special needs cultivate life skills, aiding their personal development. AESIR has firmly established itself in Hong Kong under the mentorship of DBS financial consultants. Where other business models have failed, AESIR has managed to become a self-sustaining social enterprise.

Visit their website

Teach4HK

Hong Kong, Education

Be a part of change

Level the education playing field

How do we change the educational system to give the underprivileged equal opportunity?

Teach4HK was founded in 2013 to address the systemic inequality of Hong Kong’s education system. Working with university graduates who serve as teaching fellows to underprivileged students, they aspire to deliver quality, holistic education to the students under their charge.

"Students from underprivileged families are 3.7 times less likely to go to university compared to those from wealthier families. We bridge that gap."

Teach4HK

With a growing alumni network of teachers and students, Teach4HK is prepared to drive systemic change in the education sector of Hong Kong.

Arnold Chan believes that education is the great leveller. Unfortunately, systemic inequality in the Hong Kong education system directly reflects and perpetuates social class differences.

Since the establishment of Teach4HK, 7305 students have received quality education usually only accessible to the wealthy. With a growing alumni network of teachers and students, Teach4HK is prepared to continue driving systemic change in Hong Kong’s education sector.

Visit their website

Zaya Learning Labs

India, Education

Be a part of change

Give every child access to quality education

What if every child has access to quality education?

With a mission of every child having quality education, Neil D’souza began designing and piloting an education model in San Francisco, Mongolia and Indonesia. Soon, his daring ideas made him the inaugural winner of the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia. With a cash prize of $30,000, he started making his dream a reality in 20 schools in India.

"At its core, every business needs to have a social consciousness and every social-conscious enterprise needs to run with the efficiency of a business."

Zaya Learning Labs

Zaya Learning Labs uses technology to design a holistic learning model for low-income students in India. Classes are taught digitally on the internet as well as traditionally in the classroom. The online courses are personalised so every child can learn at her own pace.

Since its launch, Zaya Learning Labs has transformed the learning experience of over 150, 000 students.

Visit their website

PlayMoolah

Singapore, Education

Be a part of change

Teach your children dollars and sense

How much do we know about something we touch, earn and spend everyday?

Playmoolah conducts financial literacy and money management classes for children through interactive games. This empowering the next generation to manage money safely and confidently.

"There are different kinds of relationships to money. There is money worship, where money is a status symbol, there is money attachment and then there is dependence. And because we believe that any of these relationships, taken to the extreme, is not healthy, we want to create a healthier, balanced relationship with money."

PlayMoolah

PlayMoolah believes in starting young. Founded by Audrey Tan and Lee Min Xuan, the social enterprise teaches youths how to manage their pocket money. Through fun interactive games, the children gain confidence in basic financial literacy skills such as spending and saving money.

Playmoolah even boasts an iPad gaming app, Coin Catcher, that employs a compelling storyline that teaches players how to differentiate their needs and wants.

Playmoolah wants to empower the next generation to make informed decisions about money, enjoying a healthy and balance relationship with money in adulthood.

Sign Your Children up

Innovative Open House (IOH)

Taiwan, Education

Be a part of change

Your past experience can affect someone else's future positively

What if you can learn about experiences from your dream positions?

IOH opens barriers, encouraging an open exchange of experiences from students through their sharing platform. Students can share, at home or abroad, their experiences for education, job-hunting, work and entrepreneurship. They aim to let all Taiwanese students have the courage and wisdom to pursue their dreams – both for themselves and for the future of Taiwan.

"Another way [DBS helped us] is when they started mentoring us. Many of our mentors are leaders in this industry, which allows us to gain in-depth knowledge. They help us even further by inviting some of the more senior people in the industry to speak to us."

Innovative Open House (IOH)

Remember your university application days? It can be a very daunting process, especially for first-generation college students from low-income families. Without extensive connections and knowing the ‘right’ people, one can feel quite lost.

Innovative Open House (IOH) has a creative solution – an online sharing platform that encourages current college students and alumni to share their college and post-graduation experience with others. In creating this extensive network, IOH hopes that all youths will receive the counsel they need to pursue their dreams.

Visit their website

Live

Sustainable businesses that ensure a limitless future

Eco-healthy aquaculture methods, organic farming techniques, waste recycling to create value, honest dairy farming and so much more – these social enterprises are bringing in innovation where it matters most.

Eco-Greenergy

Hong Kong, Environment

Be a part of change

Wake up and smell the possibility for change

What if your coffee grounds could have a second life?

Eco-Greenergy started Hong Kong's first ever coffee grounds recycling movement, on top of providing other food-waste recycling products and solutions.

"Almost 12 tons of coffee grounds are deposited at landfills in Hong Kong every day. So far, we have recovered more than 50 tons of coffee grounds; which we have recycled as fertiliser, benefiting more than 20 farms, schools and gardens in other facilities."

Eco-Greenergy

A typical cafe generates 10KG of coffee ground waste a day. Multiply that by 365 days, and hundreds of cafes in a country – and we suddenly have a huge waste problem.

Jay Ho and Peann Tam founded Eco-Greenergy with a vested interest in food waste management, particularly in coffee grounds. Based in Hong Kong, the social enterprise encourages businesses and cafes to manage food waste. In 2015, Eco-greenergy kickstarted Hong Kong’s first coffee grounds recycling campaign. In their hands, coffee grounds are upcycled into products like soap, fertiliser and flower pots!

Visit their e-shop

Greensole

India, Environment

Be a part of change

Let others walk a mile in your shoes

More than 300 million shoes are thrown away each year. But they can still go the extra mile.

Greensole is saving shoes from India’s landfills and incinerators, taking them apart to be refurbished as new footwear for underprivileged children.

"The start of the journey as an entrepreneur is a very lonely one. DBS understands this, taking the initiative to connect social enterprises across Asia, helping them move towards a common goal."

Greensole

In giving new life to thousands of discarded shoes, Greensole has helped more than just the environment. It is bringing children to schools by protecting their little feet from meeting nasty parasites, such as hookworms and other skin infections on their daily journey.

“We make sure that kids are not going to school barefoot. It is a great feeling to see them wearing our slippers as they run and play,” says Shriyans Bhandari, founder of greensole.

Greensole hopes to collect more shoes from the public to recycle. It is channelling the DBS Foundation grant it was awarded into revamping its used-shoe collection drives.

Visit their website

Krishi Naturals

India, Environment

Be a part of change

Eat organic; support sustainable farming

How can we make farming better for the environment?

Krishi Naturals educates rural Indian farmers on the economic and health benefits of switching to organic farming and matching them with customers who want organic produce.

"Our resources come from society and nature. If you don’t preserve nature and society, where else will they come from?"

Krishi Naturals

Since 2011, Ketan Parmar has dedicated himself to promoting organic farming in his hometown. With seed capital from DBS Foundation, Ketan founded Krishi Naturals, a social enterprise with an important social mission to fulfil: educating farmers on the economic and health benefits of switching to natural farming, and then matching them with customers who want organic produce.

Thus far, Krishi Naturals has converted 800 farmers and 400 families to farming and eating organic respectively. As a result, much less toxic chemicals from synthetic fertilisers and harmful pesticides are going into the groundwater and ground soil of Gujarat. The farmers they partnered with have also seen a 50-80% increase in income.

Help them grow on Facebook

Re-Materials

India, Environment

Be a part of change

Make shelter a right, not a privilege

Over one billion people in slums and villages worldwide are not safe, secure, or proud of their homes. How do we build better homes for everyone?

Meet Hasit Gunatra, founder of Re-Materials.

"I realised that, if I have to build this company, I have to be extremely strong from the inside and I can never never give up!"

Re-Materials

Re-Materials uses agricultural and plastic waste to resolve housing problems in bottom-of-pyramid (BOP) communities. Families in these communities cannot afford expensive concrete roofs so they settle for toxic metal sheets that are loud in the monsoon rains and unbearingly hot in the summer heat. With their innovative creation, ModRoof, Re-Materials produces affordable, eco-friendly roofs that provide better shelter to the communities living in Indian slums.

In Hasit’s hometown in Gujarat, ModRoof now provides shelter to hundreds, it’s recognisably striking blue panels sourced locally.

Re-Materials want to lower the cost of ModRoof so those who most need it can afford it, putting its DBS grant to use by purchasing machinery that will help lower the cost.

Visit their website

Sampurn(e)arth

India, Environment

Be a part of change

Let nothing go to waste

How can we make waste less wasteful?

Sampurn(e)arth provides end-to-end decentralized waste management solutions for housing societies, corporate houses, townships, school and college campuses. The solutions are designed to be environmentally sustainable, transforming waste into utilizable resources and reducing pollution.

"We are sitting on a big waste problem. A self-sustaining social enterprise is the only way forward."

Sampurn(e)arth

India is seeing a waste crisis as the third biggest waste producer worldwide. The country produces 60 million tons of waste annually, most of which goes to landfills unmanaged. Debartha, Ritwik, and Jayant believed that the only way forward is a self-sustaining social enterprise.

In 2010, the three engineering graduates founded Sampurn(e)arth, a social enterprise focused on waste management. They designed a business development model that consists of comprehensive end-to-end waste management solutions for everyone, from housing complexes to college campuses.

Besides managing waste, Sampurn(e)arth also has a biogas plant that transforms waste into valuable resources like organic fertiliser and cooking gas.

Today, Sampurn(e)arth has won much recognition for their incredible work and brilliant concept. Supported by DBS, it is going to focus on bigger things, or rather, bigger landfills.

Visit their website

Lytyfy

India, Environment

Be a part of change

Share the power of clean energy

What if everyone is willing to invest in clean energy?

India’s rural communities make up most of the country’s underbanked demographic. As a result, they do not have the capital to access safe and sustainable energy, relying instead on risky and unsustainable alternatives such as kerosene and lanterns.

"Social enterprise is exciting because it moves away from the traditional charity model to an innovative business model."

Lytyfy

Lytyfy connects social investors to rural consumers through its online platform. Their combined investment in clean energy, such as in solar-powered homes, benefits the community and the environment.

Visit their website

Asher International Eco-Health

Taiwan, Environment

Be a part of change

Buy fish from sustainable fisheries

Was it a challenging journey getting to where you are now?

Michael Chen founded Asher International Eco-Health, which applies advanced water engineering technology to farming fish, using environmentally-friendly aquaculture techniques to create its own fishery products.

"We were all ready to put the company away. We weren’t profitable, and money was already running out. At the time, I learned from the Internet that DBS was holding a competition. The DBS competition was our turning point. I thought: if we can be ranked in the competition, we will continue the business. If not, I will give up. Fortunately, we ended up winning a prize."

Asher International Eco-Health

Asher International Eco-Health also encourages other small-scale aquaculture farmers to adopt the same eco-friendly practices. With Michael’s aqua farming techniques so that the fish can be raised naturally, without the use of antibiotics, drugs or toxic chemicals, beneficial for both our health and the environment.

Today, Michael has plans to expandAsher International Eco-Health’s reach so more fishy businesses will adopt his environmentally-friendly aquaculture techniques. It’s all going swimmingly.

Dive into their website

Aurora Social Enterprise

Taiwan, Environment

Be a part of change

Support aboriginal communities by supporting their produce

How has DBS supported Aurora?

Aurora Social Enterprise partners with 50 organic aboriginal farmers in Taiwan, helping them market their organic products.

"What separates DBS from other institutions is how comprehensive their support is. Besides awarding grants to financially assist social enterprises, DBS also offers mentorship and networking connections. Their support has been highly holistic."

Aurora Social Enterprise

Visit their website

Earth Friend

Taiwan, Environment

Be a part of change

Support eco-friendly farming

Can we easily grow healthy organic food?

Earth Friend is a group aiming to promote clean organic practices and the reduction of pesticide use in Taiwan's farming practice. Alongside selling organic locally grown produce, they also educate local farmers on the usage of natural products and solutions to maintain the ecology of the farms. Earth Friend is also dedicated to educating the younger generation to be more conscious of where their food comes from.

"The most important thing I learned from my DBS mentors is attitude. Attitude is key. How do I use the right method to achieve my goal? In this case, it is not only professional knowledge but also an attitude of perseverance. The two mentors we worked with really gave our team a lot of valuable experience."

Earth Friend

Going organic is a hugely popular movement but Earth Friend wants the fad to stay.

The Taiwanese social enterprise promotes organic farming practices in the country’s agricultural sector. They do so through education, guiding local farmers on the use of natural products which replace harmful pesticides and chemicals.

Visit their website

I Love Milk

Taiwan, Environment

Be a part of change

It can all start with a glass of milk

Can dairy farming be more ethical and sustainable?

We provide the expertise of veterinarians and nutritionists to dairy farmers to increase the quality of milk as well as the way of life of the cattle. With an intimate understanding of the environmental cost of dairy farming, we also seek to make the production process more efficient, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions generated in the process.

"In current business operations, the importance of the means of production and how it affects the environment may not be more important than raising more profits. Every business should strive to be a social enterprise. As businesses use a lot of capital and resources from society, it is only right to treat society as a service prerequisite."

I Love Milk

The dairy industry doesn’t have a good reputation. From heavy contribution to greenhouse gas emissions to the requirement of hundreds and thousands of acres of land to grow grain for the cattle, current dairy farming practices are far from sustainable.

I Love Milk wants to revive the industry in Taiwan, starting by providing the expertise of veterinarians and nutritionists to dairy farmers. This directly enhanced the quality of milk and the quality of life for the cattle. Next, they tackled the environmental cost of dairy farming by making the production process more efficient.

I Love Milk’s success has shown consumers that it is possible for dairy farming to be sustainable. Now, we can all show our love for the planet while enjoying ethically-sourced milk.

Visit their website

Made in Sample

Hong Kong, Environment

Be a part of change

Refashion waste

What can we create from all this spare cloth?

This social enterprise transforms waste from the interior design industry into fashionable products that include pillow covers and purses.

"Waste is a fact of production. We aim to create a production chain that involves the cooperation of different people to utilise scrap material, minimising waste."

Made in Sample

Clive, an interior designer by trade, is more than familiar with the sheer amount of waste produced by the industry. A moment of inspiration showed him how waste could be reborn as fashion. This lead to the founding of Made in Sample, a social enterprise that truly champions green fashion.

Clive and his team collect bundles of fabric, wallpaper and leather, breathing new life into them as beautiful cushions, bags and pouches. On his webstore, Clive’s handcrafted designs are described as ‘redefining the value and extending the life-cycle of material’. His stylish products create a circular economy, turning waste to fashion and round again.

With the expertise of DBS consultants and mentors, Made in Sample has steadily developed its business operations and brand, extending its network with important contacts in related industries.

Visit their website

Pandawa

Indonesia, Environment

Be a part of change

Support innovative solutions that save the environment

What do you love about your social enterprise?

Pandawa Agri focuses on reducing the use of synthetic input in Indonesian agriculture, such as synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

"I really love this business because of the challenges we face every day, every month, every year. It keeps me going, constantly teaches me new things and allows me to connect to other people too."

Pandawa

It is no surprise that using synthetic chemicals to enhance our agricultural produce is damaging our environment and health. Organic farming is an alternative option, but Kukuh Roxa has an even better solution.

In 2014, Kukuh founded Pandawa. He created two innovative products that reduce harmful residues from herbicide and insecticide by up to 99%. The social enterprise is showing the world that sustainable agriculture is possible and easy.

Visit their website

Salam Rancage

Indonesia, Environment

Be a part of change

Turn old news into something new

How do recycling and empowering women go hand-in-hand?

Salam Rancage employs housewives from low-income households to weave beautiful and functional handicrafts from discarded newspaper.

"If the women work really hard together and do so in a great way, they will not only get local appreciation but also appreciation for their own work."

Salam Rancage

Indonesia has a population of 250 million people, producing ten million tons of waste annually. Aling Nur Naluri knew this was a problem she had to fix. She started by experimenting with new ways to upcycle the large amounts of newspaper discarded by the community. After a hundred attempts, she discovered that beautiful and functional handicrafts can be woven from discarded newspaper.

Naluri then started Salam Rancage, employing housewives from low-income households to create more products such as baskets and bags. As a successful social entrepreneur, Aling has transformed the lives of her artisans and the environment.

View their creations

Waste4Change

Indonesia, Environment

Be a part of change

Redefine waste with recycling

Indonesia produces an astonishing 175,000 tons of waste daily, polluting our waters and the air. How can it be managed more effectively?

Waste4Change is slowly creating a cleaner Indonesia with clearer waters and sky.

"Waste in Indonesia consist of 60% organic waste, 19.7% recyclables and others. As can be seen, there are nearly 80% waste that can be recovered as compost or other recycled materials"

Waste4Change is driving responsible waste management in Indonesia.

Waste4Change aims to promote responsible waste management in the country. The social enterprise’s 4Cs approach, ‘Consult, Collect, Campaign And Create’ covers all grounds to achieve efficient waste management.

Visit their website

Mycotech

Indonesia, Environment

Be a part of change

Rethink waste to create Sustainable Building Materials!

Mycotech uses agricultural waste and fungal mycelia to create eco-friendly building materials and other products.

They work with over 270 farmers and manage about 5000kg of waste a month!

In Bandung, Indonesia, Mycotech has an innovative way to reduce food and agricultural waste. Using mushroom roots (known as mycelia) they create eco-friendly building materials that are said to be even stronger and more durable than clay or concrete.

Plus, the natural technology of mycelia binds agricultural waste better than toxic chemicals can. Imagine building your house with mushroom roots!

Visit their website

Live

Presenting businesses that are more equal than others

Wicker weaving skills that provide health services and nutrition, making the world more accessible for the disabled to benefitting communities in remote Himalayan highlands - these social enterprises are taking everyone along towards progress.

0fenbei

China

Shokay

China

WEDO Global

Hong Kong

Bettr Barista

Singapore

Billion Bricks

Singapore

Adrenalin

Singapore

Duofu

Taiwan

ELIV

Taiwan

OurCityLove

Taiwan

The Can

Taiwan

Du’Anyam

Indonesia

GandengTangan

Indonesia

Limakilo

Indonesia

Toraja Melo

Indonesia

Heycoins

Hong Kong

Agrisocio

Indonesia

0fenbei

China, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Reinvent charity with tech efficiency

82 million people in China live below the poverty line. What if poverty alleviation was as simple as a click?

To alleviate poverty efficiently, 0fenbei has built a platform to help channel funds and donations, ensuring priority for areas and communities that need it the most.

"We are a unique company, because we are not doing one or two specific things; rather, we are a platform."

0fenbei

0fenbei from China hopes to harness big data to do good. But what is big data? Big data refers to massive datasets that are so detailed that they can help make predictions about the future. As data points increase, so does the ability to detect relationships and patterns to help make better informed decisions.

0fenbei reckons making better decisions means dealing with poverty more efficiently. Their platform connects communities in need with resource providers such as NGOs, local governments and commercial institutions, thereby channelling resources to address pertinent poverty issues, omitting the need to worry about complex fund allocation. 0fenbei’s apps provide detailed analytics on the impact of their spending, ensuring that the money goes to the communities and people who need it the most.

Download their app

Shokay

China, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Make a conscious fashion choice

We make statements with the clothes we wear. Can we also make a positive impact?

Shokay sources Yak fibre from the Tibetan herders in rural China to promote fair trade practices, empower livelihoods and push for a more ethical fashion industry.

“My personal belief is that social innovation is not limited to social enterprise – it can happen anywhere. It can happen in our daily lives. It’s the choices that we can make all the time.”

Shokay

Shokay has spent the last 12 years empowering the Tibetan communities they work with. In the Tibetan language, Shokay means ‘Yak down’ and it is precisely what the label sells. The social enterprise works with Tibetan herders in rural China to create luxurious Yak scarves and fabric that are then sold at a premium in the city. This partnership is a meaningful one that not only helps the Tibetan community keep their unique heritage alive, but to make a living off it too, giving the herders a reason to stay in their towns. They no longer face the pressure to migrate to the city for better jobs.

The DBS-China foundation has eagerly supported Shokay with marketing and branding assistance, boosting its industry standing in the early days. It is heartening to know that there is support for those at the bottom of the supply chain. This is the spirit of fair trade.

“DBS has really been a pioneer in pushing the social enterprise sector across Asia. As more people and communities become aware of and support social enterprise, more resources flow into the sector…it’s been a lovely partnership and we’re very thankful for institutions like DBS, who put their resources in a serious way into the sector.”

Shokay

Make your next purchase a positive one

Dialogue in the Dark

China, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Open your eyes to the darkness

What if everyone could see what it feels like to live in darkness?

Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) employs visually-impaired guides to engage the public in an experience of living in a world of total darkness, in the hopes of eliminating societal discrimination.

"The first thing that makes me proud of my organisation is that I have the support of employees whose motivation is not measured by money. This is something that many companies don’t have."

Dialogue in the Dark

Seven years ago, Chen’s son tragically lost his eyesight. Chen had to be there for his son as he went through the challenges of learning to live without sight. Chen’s son remained fiercely determined to continue his education despite his disability.

Inspired by his son’s tenacity, Chen decided to support others like him. This is how Taiwan’s Dialogue in the Dark (DiD) was born. DiD employs visually-impaired guides to open more eyes to the experience of life in a world of total darkness. Without visual cues, participants can experience first-hand the difficulties the visually-impaired endure in daily life, such as the searching for a restroom.

Even with inspiration as a driving force, Chen found it hard to get DiD off the ground. That’s when DBS stepped with a grant, allowing Chen to establish DiD in a prime location, and supporting its impact in Taiwan.

"DBS is starting to feel like family!"

Dialogue in the Dark

Visit their website

Puki Design

China, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Support the message of inclusivity

What if all design vendors were inclusive?

Puki Design is a design agency that champions inclusivity, employing people with and without hearing loss.

"Hearing-impaired youths graduate from college with the same dreams as everyone else. If we could change the life of just one hearing-impaired youth, we would have already achieved our goal."

Puki Design

Puki Design is a design agency which practices fair and inclusive employment practices. Since 2010, Puki Design has been demonstrating to businesses and business professionals in China that working with the hearing-impaired is viable. It hires both the hearing and hearing-impaired to create graphic and web design layouts for businesses. Not only does the social enterprise believe in giving the same opportunities to the hearing-impaired, it also wants to create a professional space for them to interact with hearing clients and other employees.

Visit their website

World of Art Brut Culture

China, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Support art with a truly profound message

Can we realise the artistic potential of those with special needs?

WABC offers art education classes to those with special needs and offers a range of merchandise featuring students' artworks, to enable everyone to reach their potential!

"After viewing their art, the public will see how everyone in their community has value, positively shifting their understanding of society. That’s why i think the public is also an important beneficiary of the work we do!"

World of Art Brut Culture

As a society, we can be unaware of the experiences of the special needs community. To bridge this gap in understanding, World of Art Brut Culture (WABC) conducts art programmes that facilitate creative interaction between volunteers and people with special needs. The workshops include painting, dance and opera sessions, with the aims of engaging society in understanding special needs community in a fun, creative and meaningful way.

"DBS is one of the project’s earliest supporters. We are also very grateful for the many exchanges and relationships we have established throughout the development of our organisation. Enterprises like ours are very much dependent on such early-stage supporters, and DBS's support gave us the confidence and strength persist in our efforts"

World of Art Brut Culture

Visit their website

WEDO Global

Hong Kong, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Build a better shared culture

How do we build a more integrated community?

WEDO Global uses multicultural education, such as walking tours, to integrate unique ethnic cultures into the larger cultural fabric of Hong Kong.

"Our most important model is to provide training and employment opportunities to the young people of South Asian ethnicity. So far we have trained more than 80 ethnic minorities in South Asia, and have already had more than 10,000 students participate in our activities."

WEDO Global

Bosco Ng noticed that most Hong Kongers have never had an interaction with the 6.4% of ethnic minorities that make up the busy metropolis. Bosco founded WEDO Global to change this, armed with conviction that we should embrace cultural diversity.

WEDO Global’s friendly cultural ambassadors host an exciting array of workshops and walking tours to integrate unique ethnic cultures into the larger cultural fabric of Hong Kong.

Bosco’s compelling vision of a more loving society won over Hong Kongers and DBS. In 2014, DBS awarded a Social Enterprise Advancement Grant to WEDO Global.

Visit their website

Bettr Barista

Singapore, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Make your next coffee a truly strong one

What if all women are empowered to take charge of their social and professional lives?

Bettr Barista Coffee Academy runs a coffee education program that includes fun team-building exercises and emotional management workshops.

"Now is the time for us to rethink how business is being run. Better Barista is our experiment and our contribution to that conversation. To show people it can be done. It’s hard work but it can be done."

Bettr Barista

Bettr Barista teaches marginalised or at-risk women relevant skills required to join the burgeoning specialty coffee industry in Singapore. On top of that, the social enterprise also believes in instilling values and skills that will help them significantly in their day-to-day lives. These life skills benefit more than the women’s wellbeing - it also changes the lives of their dependents.

Bettr Barista demonstrates how much more the world can achieve in this momentous effort by simply empowering women to take full control of their professional and social life.

Visit their website

Billion Bricks

Singapore, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Give the greatest gift – a home

How can we keep the homeless off the streets?

In 2013, Prasoon Kumar decided to quit his job as an architect to start Billion Bricks, a social enterprise dedicated to finding a scalable and sustainable design for sheltering the homeless. After conducting ground research in Mumbai, where 60 percent of the population resides in slums, and an estimated 150,000 homeless individuals cannot even afford a place in the slums; they created WeatherHYDE, a unique insulated shelter designed to protect homeless families from extreme seasonal cold and heat.

"I designed WeatherHYDE only as a temporary shelter to prevent fatalities in extreme weather. At first glance, it is nothing more than a tent. But for somebody who has never seen a home it means so much more. She moved in a small bed and hung some paintings and she made it her home. We would have never imagined that happening."

Billion Bricks

Since Billion Bricks’ inception, the social enterprise has collaborated with various other institutions to expand the reach of their work. In 2015, Billion Bricks partnered with DBS and other banks to design and construct a shelter for boys. The shelter was completed the same year, and since then, the shelter has functioned as a day-care home as well as a safe space for street children to sleep in at night.

Visit their website

Adrenalin

Singapore, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Support inclusivity at your next event

How does Adrenalin redefine the future of inclusion in the events industry?

Adrenalin is a social enterprise events planning agency that organizes and manages three categories of events: special events, M.I.C.E and branding.

"Our engagement with DBS has given us the ability to run more complex events. Thanks to the different financial instruments and grants they provided us, this has been a relationship that has contributed to maintaining an excellent company track record, and doubled our business."

Adrenalin

Adrenalin aims to have an element of giving back through either fundraising activities, indirect employment, or raising awareness in 30% of its events. In addition, Adrenalin trains and employs physically challenged, deaf, and disadvantaged.

This social enterprise has successfully leveraged its expertise in client experience and in-house design to organise over 300 events since its establishment in 2008.

Visit their website

Buy Direct From Farmers

Taiwan, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Buy directly from farmers

What’s the most important thing you learned from your mentors?

BDFF connects farmers in rural Taiwan to the urban public, thus creating a market for fresh, eco-friendly produce.

"We originally thought DBS would only give us help in the form of funding, for which we were already grateful. But they’ve gone far and beyond, and their sincerity has touched us. I was very surprised that their Chief Financial Officer was sent to be our financial advisor."

Buy Direct From Farmers

Buy Direct From Farmers (BDFF) is a Taiwanese social enterprise that first disrupted the industry using social media. The social enterprise had empowered farmers in rural Taiwan by connecting them to consumers in the city… through Facebook!

Today, BDFF has an e-commerce site of its own that sells fresh, eco-friendly produce from their partner farmers. With the DBS Foundation Grant, the e-commerce site has now been upgraded to be mobile friendly, making it even easier to buy direct from farmers. Harnessing the power of social media and the popularity of e-commerce platforms has increased the income of 9 in 10 the farmers by over 100%.

Visit their website

Duofu

Taiwan, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Plan your next Taiwan trip with Duofu

How can we make our community more inclusive and accessible?

Duofu Care and Services is the first private accessible transport company in Taiwan. They serve everyone, including wheelchair-bound individuals and the elderly who’d like to witness and appreciate the beautiful sceneries of Taiwan.

"I hope that I can bring various industries together to make Taiwan a model region for barrier-free tourism in Asia. This would benefit elderly people, their families, and people with disabilities around the world who want to experience what is truly barrier-free travel. Come vacation, play and rest. More importantly, this would give both caregivers and the caretakers a well deserved opportunity to rest."

Duofu

We all wish we could travel anywhere we desired. For some, this is an impossible dream. Imagine all the staircases in the world that lead to famous restaurants, sightseeing spots and hostels. How would the disabled access these wonders?

Jeff Hsu wants to make his country as accessible to everyone with his social enterprise, Duofu.

Duofu is committed to building an accessible world, providing specialised transport services for the disabled, enabling them and their caregivers to take trips without worry.

Visit their website

ELIV

Taiwan, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Venture out of your comfort zone!

What if you can directly help someone living in poverty?

ELIV stands for "Empowering Lives through Innovative Volunteerism". They are a social enterprise with a hands-on international service approach, bringing their volunteers internationally to conduct environment sustainability and poverty alleviation projects. They encourage volunteers to step out of their comfort zones and engage directly with the local community in these projects

"In the past two years, more than 100 people from DBS have participated in our plan. In the 16 years of our cooperation plan with DBS, they have participated in our meetings, helped us nurture talents, then further raise the quality of those talents."

ELIV

Have you ever volunteered overseas before? It can feel so fulfilling and rewarding when your time and effort pays off in the transformation of the lives of others. ELIV wants everyone to benefit from volunteering - the volunteers, beneficiaries and the environment too.

Visit their website

OurCityLove

Taiwan, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Join the movement to make movement possible for all

What if the world is accessible for people of all abilities?

Sometimes, it is easy to overlook how inaccessible our society truly is. From long flights of stairs to narrow lanes, disabled individuals face a series of challenges wherever they go. OurCityLove makes use of technology to connect disabled individuals to the larger community. They have charted an informative map that shows wheelchair-friendly facilities such as public transport stations and restaurants. Their efforts go towards creating a more inclusive society.

"Before working with DBS, we had only looked at our local society and market. But thanks to DBS, we now connect with Asian markets. We now understand that accessibility is not just required in Taiwan - there are similar problems in every different Asian city. DBS has brought an international perspective to our business, giving us the confidence that makes us more willing and daring to explore this new market!"

OurCityLove

Chong Wei Lin believes in a society free of obstacles — literally. He started OurCityLove to map his country, Taiwan, specifically delineating wheelchair-friendly paths for disabled individuals to follow.

Leveraging on technology, he has managed to chart an informative map that includes accessible directions to key facilities, such as public transport stations restaurants and other amenities.

Like them on Facebook

The Can

Taiwan, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Keep unique cultures alive by supporting their craft

Can you preserve culture through crafts?

The Can is an organisation working to preserve culture in Taiwan’s Sanxia district. They boast tourist attractions such as a restaurant which serves organic soy milk, wood-carving and leather-making studios, just to name a few.

"Without DBS's help, we barely had any chance to network with the higher-level staff of other companies. Thanks to Tony from DBS, we were able to speak directly with the core management team of other enterprises, and share the work we do at The Can with them, creating the opportunity for future collaboration."

The Can

They also provide a social service center for youths at risk, where they can learn and interact with other students.

Du’Anyam

Indonesia, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Help women craft a better future

How can we impact the lives of Indonesian women living in rural areas?

Du'Anyam is transforming the lives of rural women in Indonesia by offering them fair, steady employment as weavers and artisans in their home communities. This extra income revenue takes them off the agriculture fields, supporting them during their pregnancy.

"Many of the women living in rural areas have insufficient nutrition, but still work hard in the field – even when pregnant or breastfeeding. We provide additional income opportunities through weaving so women get access to cash throughout the year, to pay for education and health services."

Du’Anyam

Azalea observed that women in Nusa Tenggara Timur, the southernmost Indonesian province, suffer from one of the highest maternal and newborn mortality rates in Southeast Asia. This comes as no surprise, considering how all women, pregnant or not, are subject to the harsh conditions of poverty.

Here, maternity leave is a faraway fantasy, where pregnant women continue farming, rain or shine. Azalea saw an opportunity in their plight. The community has a strong wicker weaving tradition — a skill that could prove lucrative for expectant women.

In 2014, Azalea founded Du’Anyam to provide an alternative employment to women of childbearing age. The extra income that comes from selling the wicker crafts are channelled to cover expenses related to prenatal care.

With a Social Enterprise Grant from DBS foundation, Du’Anyam will expand production, bringing these women’s crafts to more markets.

Visit their website

GandengTangan

Indonesia, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Invest in social enterprises to improve livelihoods

Why support social entrepreneurs?

GandengTangan is a public crowdlending platform that connects the public to social enterprises with a mission. The system allows individuals to loan to causes they care about at zero interest rate. The money raised by GandengTangan has supported the growth of many outstanding social enterprises, which are now self-sustainable.

"Today, more than half the indonesian population still lives below $2 per day. Micro-businesses have a significant role to improve these livelihoods. Our crowd-lending platform helps these unbankable microbusiness crowdsource additional capital from investors."

GandengTangan

GoFundMe is a immensely popular platform for individuals to raise funds for causes they care about. Have you heard of its cousin, GandengTangan?

GandengTangan is a public crowdlending platform that connects the public to social enterprises with a mission. It allows individuals to provide loans to causes they care about at a zero interest rate. So essentially, think of it as a GoFundMe... but for social enterprises.

If you have a burning passion and a novel idea, perhaps you may want to bring it to GandengTangan. The platform has supported the growth of many outstanding social enterprises, which are now proudly self-sustainable.

Visit their website

Limakilo

Indonesia, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Support fair trade with Limakilo

How can we provide solutions to farmers so that they can sell at the price they deserve?

Limakilo shortens the supply chain by cutting out the middlemen, connecting small-scale farmers to consumers and thereby achieving savings for both.

"Our one vision is to give farmers options by shortening the supply chain. We want to help farmers to sell their products. By solving the limitations of the farmer's market, we open up the possibility for them to make better margins on their goods."

Limakilo

Digital disruption to the agricultural sector means there’s great change in store for us. Imagine how much money you can save by buying directly from the farmers themselves? With Limakilo, you now can.

Limakilo is an online grocery website that shortens the supply chain by cutting out the middlemen. This spells good news for both producers, who are largely small-scale farmers, and consumers like you and me.

Visit their website

Heycoins

Hong Kong, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Make a positive change with your spare change

What good can the loose coins in your pocket do?

"For the future development of the company, we want to turn a social issue into a social influence. Everyone sees coins as an inconvenience, not its potential value. What we do is convert loose coins into digital money, creating a new way to donate funds to help our society’s needy."

Heycoins

While coins are heavy and clunky, they are still very valued by charities, who need vital funds to continue serving their beneficiaries. Adam Lau Kong-shing observed this discrepancy and decided to start Heycoins.

Heycoins is a social enterprise that wants to give your coins to those who need them. In Hong Kong, there are many Heycoins kiosks around the city which collects coins from the public. It then converts them into digital currency, which users can donate to charity or redeem gift coupons. No hassle!

Visit their website

Toraja Melo

Indonesia, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Give corporate gifts that keep giving

50% of Indonesians live on less than $2/day. How can we change this?

Toraja Melo improves the lives of marginalised rural women weaver artisans in Indonesia by making and selling handmade, limited edition, energy-efficient fashion and homeware products. Currently, many of these women leave their communities in search of better income. Unfortunately, many return victims of abuse or with unwanted pregnancies. Toraja Melo aims to stop this cycle of poverty and violence using weaving as their entry point.

"From what I’ve learned and what I believe now, i see it's all about dignity. It's about women being proud to be women having independence and the freedom to lead their life the way they want to. Don't ever give up on your dream!"

Torajamelo

The economic migration of Indonesian women opens them up to work-related violence and exploitation, leaving their dependents vulnerable and without a primary caretaker. Dinny Jusuf founded Toraja Melo with a simple vision: changing the lives of thousands of Indonesian women through craft.

So far, the enterprise has been successful. Led by the very capable Jusuf, Toraja Melo has partnered more than 1000 underprivileged women who work as Indonesia-based weavers, seamstresses and artisans, allowing them to stay in their communities while continuing to make significant contributions.

Visit their website

Agrisocio

Indonesia, Social Inclusion

Be a part of change

Support IndoRempah products!

How can Indonesia improve the lives of its rural citizens?

AgriSocio partners with villagers to help market locally branded products in an equitable way, empowering rural households and young leaders through sustainable agriculture.

"A lot of farmers from rural areas survive on $100 for their whole family monthly. 82% of farmers in Indonesia lack capital. I started this company because I saw the gap and opportunity to empower rural households with skills in Sustainable Agriculture"

Agrisocio

There are more than 72 000 villages in Indonesia. Most of these villages have so much untapped potential. Unfortunately, they lack the expertise to create a good brand for their agricultural produce.

This is where Alfi Irfan steps in. Alfi founded Agrisocio with a vision to connect small-scale rural farmers to undergraduate agriculture students.

In 2013, the internship program began with students using their marketing expertise to develop the farmers’ business practices. It’s a program that works both ways: the farmers are beginning to see an increase in income and quality of life, and the students get to enjoy real world experience from their internships.

Through this mutually beneficial partnership, rural agriculture communities all over Indonesia are empowered to continue farming, a win-win solution to a very large problem.

Visit their website

Live

Walking the Talk: DBS Champions Social Entrepreneurship

DBS mentors share their experiences, insights and motivations while partnering, mentoring, supporting, advising, learning, interacting with 50 changemakers across Asia

Discover

Armed with determination and innovation, our social enterprises are making that critical difference. For anyone seeking to make a positive move for a better tomorrow, here are some inspiring and intriguing reads.