Friday, July 29, 2011

Rotary Youth Social Enterprise Challenge 2011 is HERE!

Hello there!

Do Business. Save the world. All in a day's work?

If you have an idea how you could potentially 'do well while doing good', or if you already are working to get something off the ground and would like to get additional support and access to a whole ecosystem of like-minded individuals, come join the Rotary Youth Social Entrepreneurship Challenge 2011 (RYSEC).    

Our aim is to provide a platform for young individuals youth to discuss their exciting and refreshing business ideas, that not only make a profit but also tackle existing social challenges. This competition is in its 3rd year, and a number of alumni have successfully launched (and expanded) their ideas!! 

There will be 2 levels of competition, and candidates may apply to any of the following categories:
1. Idea Launchpad
For teams who are relatively new to the concept of 'Social Enterprise', and who have a social business idea and are looking to test it.

2. Project Accelerator 
For teams with a mature/in-implementation business concept, and who are looking to meet people and develop networks to bring the idea one notch higher.

The winners of each category will receive prize money , a valuable feedback from  the local and regional Social Enterprise entrepreneurial network, as well as the opportunity to attend workshops conducted by Social entrepreneurs in the region.

You can find out more info on our past winners and plans for this year in the attached slide deck. 

Here is the timeline of upcoming events:
  • Aug 6     - Introductory workshop for individuals new to Social Enterprise, with an idea brewing in their minds
  • Aug 13   - Advanced workshop for individuals who are already working on their ideas, with experienced mentors available for guidance 
  • Aug 27   - Deadline for submissions
  • Sep 18   - Winners declared at award ceremony
  • Mid-Oct  - Winners go to Philippines
Stay tuned, as we will be sending out more information very soon!

For updates:

Monday, July 25, 2011

Envisage on Singapore Business Times

Dear fellow mentors and supporters of Envisage

As an attempt to publicize Envisage Social Education, I was able to solicit the help of NTU's Nanyang Business School's Corporate Communication department to help us clinch a paper space on Business Times. 
On a side note, the polytechnic that I mentioned in the papers, was verbalized as Ngee Ann Polytechnic, but was regretfully excluded by the reporter.

We thank you for your ever appreciated support and guidance, without which we would have never been achieve such progress!

To keep track of our progress, you may refer to!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Social Return of Investment (SROI) Seminar

This is just some pointers I found useful from the SROI seminar conducted by Jeremy, from the ROI Network and FRC group director.

SROI is in actual fact a tool for the accounting for value; specifically the value created for positive social change.
It involves the measurement of a specific value created, based on a set of assumptions and matrices .

However, it is often difficult to determine what form of measurements will provide reasonably accurate results. And the following are the challenges that the people in the field often face:
1. Social investment is still just a drop in the ocean, compared to global financial/business investments;
Hence the lack of funding and resources supporting this field of research
2. Possibility of producing conflicting results with the use of different matrices;
The scientific judgement of whether an impact is good or bad, often crosses moral/ethical issues that may produce different conclusions
3. Identifying the real questions we should be asking; The extent of a measurement, the reasonableness or significance of a measurement or the cost-effectiveness of it, etc

What should be improved?
A. More consistency
Despite the challenges highlighted, it is rather clear that much more consistency should be seen. However, due to complexity of differing social business/enterprises from one to another, the consistency should be applied on principles instead of matrices.

B. Measurement of Value as seen from the stakeholders (The right questions to ask)
1. Identification of the stakeholders
2. Analyzing the benefits which they derive and what to measure
3. Valuation methodology of the change observed
4. Amount of positive and negative change observed
5. Materiality and judgement involved
6. Bench-marking the data against a scenario which would have happened anyway

C. Utilize forecast of value you can create with reasonable assumptions
Similar to the financial impact a business can create, a social enterprises should forecast the potential social impact it can create based on the strategies and plans set forth. This is to help social entrepreneurs provide a goal/target, while also enable them to communicate the enterprise's potential o relevant stakeholders.

Friday, July 8, 2011

A Vision that Inspires

The vision of an entrepreneur is critical for any start up to succeed. By envisioning the possibilities, feasibilities and greatness of the idea/technology/product/purpose, we can inspire others to follow and make the impossible, possible.

An entrepreneur sees what others don’t see, that’s why they take risks in travelling down paths which many dare not travel. Their faith and believes drives them to build enterprises which aggressively seeks out service gaps in the market or to bring us innovations which were never thought possible.

I find the following quote most inspiring,

“A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplating it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” 
-          Antonie de Saint-Exupery, the author of The Little Prince

Just like the simple rock pile, an idea ceases to be a simple idea the moment someone envisions that it can be of great value.

The purpose of the vision is to set the grand direction which the organization should take. When done correctly, it has the power to motivate, inspire and highlight the core purpose of the organization.

Especially for enterprises in their early start up stage, where many uncertainties surround the enterprise, it is crucial for all members to have aligned vision and be constantly reminded of it.

Therefore, be positive and optimistic when setting your vision. For it is a great tool at times of difficulties, in reminding us of the initial purpose, ideas and dreams we had. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum @ Singapore

For more information visit:

The Junior World Entrepreneurship forum is a global association of students aimed at supporting the mission of the World Entrepreneurship Forum which is to create wealth and social justice through entrepreneurship. The community acts as a global think-tank preparing an entrepreneurial world, creating wealth and social justice through 4 key levers:
·        Preparing the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
·        From Innovation to Business Success
·        Best Cities for Entrepreneurship
·        Empowering Entrepreneurs at the Base of the Pyramid

The Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum 2011 aims to gather entrepreneurs and youths together to share their vision, finding, ideas and recommendation on current global issues. This event will consist of a seminar and a networking cum discussion session, which facilitates the transfer of knowledge from industry professional to student participants and develop entrepreneurial skills in the youths. The theme for this year is “Entrepreneurship, a driver for technology and innovation”.

It will be held from the 25th to 28th of July 2011 (Public Seminars: 10am to 1pm), and hosted by different tertiary institutions each day.

For more information and to sign up for the JWEF Public Seminars, click on the following links:

Friday, July 1, 2011

Five Reasons Why Your Mission Statement Probably Stinks

Just an interesting article to share:
(Five Reasons Why Your Mission Statement Probably Stinks)

I really apologize for having my posts coming in so late. There can be no good reason for not sharing on a regular basis. 
But if you would allow me to provide one, I was really busy with SIFE nationals and reservist (National service) afterwards.

Just got back on track with work!