Safeguarding Asia’s Future: social enterprises helping youths, persons with disabilities secure a better future

4 July 2018

Here’s how these winners of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Programme are championing inclusivity

In this series on safeguarding Asia’s future, we look at the innovative solutions being developed by social enterprises supported by DBS Foundation, through its Social Enterprise Grant Programme. The full set of stories is available here.

From helping people with disabilities find gainful employment to inspiring youth to make informed career decisions, these social enterprises have found innovative solutions for a more inclusive society. Read on to find out more about their work.

CaptionCube

CaptionCube provides premium video captioning, subtitling, transcription and translation services to the media and education sectors.

The social enterprise hires persons with disabilities (PwDs) as transcribers for video captioning services, empowering them to work remotely and giving them autonomy and independence. By creating opportunities for inclusive employment, CaptionCube upgrades the capabilities of PwDs and empowers them with income, a sense of belonging and self-worth.

From 20 video hours per month, CaptionCube envisages a growth of 200 video hours per month and growing their impact to engage 12 PwDs in 2018.

The DBS Foundation’s social enterprise grant will be used to accelerate tech development to improve the UX and capacity of its platform.

We speak with Li Kunqi, Founder & CEO, CaptionCube.

What issues are you seeking to address?

One of the key issues that CaptionCube is trying to address is the lack of suitable employment opportunities and social inclusion for PwDs and other marginalised groups.

With remote and flexible work arrangements, we lower the barrier to entry for PwDs to achieve gainful employment.

For many of them facing barriers, such as confidence and mobility issues, this serves as an accessible first step for them in seeking gainful employment.

The employment opportunities allow them to build their skillsets, gain financial independence, confidence and empowerment.

The other issue is the lack of accessibility to communication and information for the deaf and hard of hearing community. We want to increase inclusiveness together in many ways and create a better society for generations to come.

What inspired CaptionCube?

In 2016, I joined a programme that looked into issues faced by PwDs.

We found that some of the communication we receive in our daily lives are not accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, for example, e-learning videos and webcasts. After researching, we found providing captions to be one of the most feasible ways to solve this problem.

It is a universal solution that benefits almost everyone, be it the deaf, elderly with hearing loss, visual learners, people who are in a noisy environment, or even people who may be watching videos with the volume turned down.

Fantastic Dream

Fantastic Dream connects popular YouTubers and key opinion leaders in Hong Kong with organisations to tailor-make recruitment programmes that will positively influence and inspire youth.

The social enterprise educates teenagers on career opportunities and provides internships and job posts. It also offers career education content via online videos.

The social enterprise was set up by Andrew Yun in 2015. Prior to that, Yun, a fan of digital games had his own mobile gaming YouTube channel with more than 100,00 subscribers. However, he felt many young people were spending a lot of time online, and some were becoming aimless.

Once, a tertiary student called him, lamenting about his poor academic grades and claiming online games were the cause. Yun then decided to use his online influence to guide these young people, and in 2015, received funding to start Fantastic Dream.

The DBS Foundation’s Social Enterprise Grant will be used to develop new content and youth engagement initiatives.

Tomoroe

Tomoroe is a Chinese startup that helps students in rural China plan their careers by connecting them with professionals from all walks of life.

The professionals contribute their stories via video, voice, text through WeChat and other media platforms. These connections and career stories help youth make informed career decisions.

The DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant will be used to strengthen Tomoroe’s online platform and recruit quality guest speakers, so it can reach out to at least 2,500 rural secondary students.

 

The DBS Foundation’s Social Enterprise Grant Programme encourages innovation by social enterprises to meet complex social needs. The grant enables social enterprises to develop their prototype into a working model, improve existing processes or add critical capabilities to achieve sustainability, or scale up their existing business that leads to greater social impact. Find out more.