DBS Foundation announces inaugural batch of grant recipients

Singapore, Regional.29 Oct 2015

First foundation in Singapore to champion social entrepreneurship awards grants to 11 social enterprises

Over 300 applications received for the 2015 Social Enterprise Grant Programme

Singapore, Regional, 29 Oct 2015 - DBS Foundation, the first foundation in Singapore dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, today announced the recipients of its inaugural Social Enterprise Grant Programme. Eleven social enterprises (SEs) from Singapore, Hong Kong, China, India, Indonesia and Taiwan were awarded grants between SGD 50,000 and SGD 100,000 to grow and develop their initiatives in areas such as healthcare, education and environmental sustainability.

The grants enable the SEs to test and create prototypes, improve existing processes or scale up their existing business for greater social impact. They will also join a community of SEs in Asia that the DBS Foundation will actively support and promote. The community can expect support in the form of funding, skilled mentoring, training and access to platforms to showcase their businesses.

Said Euleen Goh, Chairperson of the DBS Foundation, “Asia’s social enterprise ecosystem is in its infancy and while there is increasing public support, many social entrepreneurs struggle to grow their businesses due to the lack of structured support.  As a foundation that champions social entrepreneurship and provides social enterprises with relevant mentorship, advisory and funding, DBS Foundation plays a crucial role in helping social enterprises build sustainable businesses that positively impact society.”

Since 2010, DBS has worked in partnership with like-minded organisations, as well as the public and social sectors, to promote the development of social entrepreneurship. In 2014, DBS supported close to 20 prominent SE-related events covering almost 10,000 participants in the region, and funded 46 SEs across the bank’s key markets. The DBS Foundation, launched in conjunction with Singapore’s jubilee year (SG50), was established to apply a more structured approach to the bank’s efforts in addressing Asia’s evolving social needs.

This year, the DBS Foundation received more than 300 applications for its Social Enterprise Grant Programme, which is part of the foundation’s long-term strategy to directly support SEs. The selection criteria for the programme include social impact, business sustainability and how innovative the proposal is.

Said Calvin Chu, Partner at Eden Strategy Institute and an external expert on the Social Enterprise Grant Programme evaluation panel, “I have been involved with DBS Foundation’s initiatives since its inception and have witnessed the development of its programmes. It is rare for a foundation to take such active interest in mentoring and grooming the recipients after the grants have been awarded. I was particularly impressed at the high quality of applications this year and I am confident the grant recipients will make a difference in their communities.”

The DBS Foundation has programmes in place to support SEs in three areas of growth. These include:

 Reach and Engage: Build awareness and advocacy for SEs through initiatives such as the DBS-NUS Social Venture Challenge Asia, bootcamps, workshops and funding pilot/prototypes.

 Innovate and Incubate: Support promising SEs through incubation programmes, mentorship and funding operational growth.

 Growth and Scale: Develop high potential SEs and enable success on a regional scale through customised support, advisory and funding.

Please refer to the Annex attached for more information on the recipients of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Grant Programme 2015.


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

About DBS
DBS - Living, Breathing Asia
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia, with over 280 branches across 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS has a growing presence in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's capital position, as well as "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings, is among the highest in Asia-Pacific. DBS has been recognised for its leadership in the region, having been named “Asia’s Best Bank” by The Banker, a member of the Financial Times group, and “Best Bank in Asia-Pacific” by Global Finance. The bank has also been named “Safest Bank in Asia” by Global Finance for seven consecutive years from 2009 to 2015.

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

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. The bank acknowledges the passion, commitment and can-do spirit in all of our 21,000 staff, representing over 40 nationalities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.