DBS Foundation awards HKD 21.5 million in catalytic grant funding to 24 Businesses for Impact | 繁體

Hong Kong.07 Mar 2024
Hong Kong, 07 Mar 2024 - DBS Foundation (“the Foundation”) unveiled the 24 Businesses for Impact (BFIs) that have received the DBS Foundation Grant Award in the latest instalment of this flagship initiative. These innovative, purpose-driven BFIs will receive holistic support to scale both their business and impact: this includes grant funding totalling over SGD 3.7 million (equivalent to HKD 21.5 million); bank-wide support such as preferential banking packages, mentorship and capacity-building, and access to a suite of opportunities including business/ networking prospects and patient capital.

Of the 24 awardees, three are from Hong Kong: 

  • Distinctive Action (Invisible Co.): Makes packaging and plastic disappear through their compostable, water-soluble and plastic-free alternatives. The grant will help to scale production, upgrade existing product and R&D into a new product. 
  • V Cycle: Through collection, sorting and recycling of plastic waste, they aim to reduce waste and improve lives of elderly waste-pickers. The grant will support in setting up a factory to recycle plastic bottles and employ elderly waste pickers. 
  • Kibo: Disrupting the footwear industry through upcycling waste and recycling materials like scrap leather, plastic bottles and apple waste to make sustainable shoes. The grant will be used to expand and improve Kibo shoes in safety, workwear and school wear. 

With DBS Foundation’s support, these 24 BFIs aim to collectively achieve the following impact outcomes by end 2025:

  • Positively impact one million people from underprivileged segments by availing accessibility solutions and providing daily needs;
  • Abate and/or save 30,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions; and
  • Collect, reduce, or recycle 50,000 tonnes of waste.

To learn more about all 24 awardees please visit: DBS Foundation Grant Programme | DBS Bank 


Doubling down on tackling social issues and uplifting vulnerable segments 

2024 marks the 10th year of DBS Foundation’s work in championing BFIs and equipping them for success.  

To date, grant funding totalling SGD 17 million (equivalent to HKD 98.8 million) has been awarded to 140 of the region’s most innovative BFIs via the DBS Foundation Grant Award. This has helped to address the funding gap commonly faced by many of these young enterprises – since traditional financing options often prioritise short-term profitability metrices and may not be the best fit for BFIs – and provide them with the catalytic capital and time required to further their growth plans. The grant awardees have since gone on to raise more than ten-fold in follow-on funding. 

Additionally, DBS Foundation has also nurtured more than 1200 BFIs in the region through various initiatives such as peer learning and networking events, accelerator and capacity building programmes, skills-based consultations with DBS experts, and more.

Eric Swinton, Founder of V Cycle, said: “With the grant's support, we are building a state-of-the-art Material Recovery Facility (MRF) and manufacturing lines for recycled plastic products. Through our ambitious plan, 'reMade in Hong Kong,' we aim to elevate Hong Kong’s plastic recycling rate from a mere 6% to over 25% by 2026-2027. Our innovative range of products, including PET pre-forms (closed-loop bottle to bottle recycling), recycled plastic panels (for interior architecture applications), and injection moulded products (houseware and stationery), will not only contribute to a greener future but also foster job opportunities for underprivileged communities. Together, we are driving a localised circular economy, supplementing it with educational outreach programmes, and shaping a sustainable tomorrow.”

With issues of social inequity increasingly coming to the fore today, DBS Foundation will focus the next chapter of its journey on dialling up support for BFIs that are helping to build a more inclusive society. Many BFIs are often ahead of their time in innovating solutions to help underprivileged segments, such as enabling access to basic needs like healthcare, education, and clean water, and fostering inclusion by developing accessibility solutions and enabling employment. 

Alphae Chen, Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications at DBS Bank (Hong Kong), said: “The societal challenges we face today are not something any single entity can overcome on their own, which require all of us working together to make a real impact. At DBS Bank, we are proud to be at the forefront of embracing these innovative ideas from Businesses for Impact. We want to support these entrepreneurs and their solutions, give them the opportunity to reach more people and make a positive difference in their lives. Our ultimate goal is to create a thriving ecosystem where these solutions can flourish and have a lasting impact on our community.”  

Beyond its work with BFIs, DBS Foundation also reaches out to underprivileged and vulnerable segments, with a range of initiatives that seek to equip them to face the future with confidence. These include partnerships with The Conservancy Association to ensure food security of the underprivileged communities through food rescue and redistribution efforts, along with education outreach to schools and neighbourhood estates. In partnership with Junior Achievement Hong Kong, the DBS Foundation works to promote financial capability and financial inclusion among youths by equipping them with essential financial management skills, preparing them for their future. Last but not least, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups has partnered with DBS Foundation to launch community programme which aims at addressing food security issues to enhance the living standards and mental resilience of children and youth from low-income families.

Photo 1: Representative from DBS Foundation attended DBS Impact Business Day together with new partners of this year.

(from left to right) Eric Swinton, Founder & CEO, V Cycle; Sibyl Ng, CMO, Kibo; Devana Ng, Co-Founder, Distinctive Action; Alphae Chen, Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, DBS Bank (Hong Kong); Flavien Chaussegros, Co-Founder, Distinctive Action; Lingli W. F. Ling, Branding & Development Manager, The Conservancy Association; Karen W. K. Wong, Project Manager, The Conservancy Association; Chan Ying Kit, Supervisor, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups; Ng Yue Fan, Development officer, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups; Coco Wan, Program Manager, Junior Achievement Hong Kong



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