Saturday, November 24, 2012

Support SEA! and Vote for your favorite social enterprise!

Copyright © *2012 Social Enterprise Association Ltd*, All rights reserved.


Social enterprises are businesses that focus on creating social impact.Organised by Social Enterprise Association, the ‘Vote for your Favourite Social Enterprise’ contest aims to create awareness of social enterprises in Singapore. The 6 participating social enterprises are Bliss Restaurant & Catering, Bridge Learning, Laksania, NTUC Eldercare, Social Creatives, Social Innovation Park.
Please click here to learn more about their work.

Three voters will walk away with cash prizes. The social enterprise with the most votes will also win S$4000.

First Prize: S$500 cash
Second Prize: S$300 cash
Third Prize: S$200 cash
Social Enterprise with the Most Votes: S$4000

The contest is open to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents.

Step 1: Like our
 Facebook page
Step 2: Browse our 6 participating social enterprises and vote for your favourite.
Step 3: Double your votes by sharing the contest on your timeline.

The contest will run from 22 November 2012 to 20 December 2012. Results will be announced on 24 December 2012.

Please help us spread the word! Send this mailer to your friends and colleagues. Thank you!
Copyright © *2012 Social Enterprise Association Ltd*, All rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Personal Reflections of the DFC Exposition

Personal sharing and reflections of the Design for Change Exposition (Singapore), held on 8th November 2012. Special thanks to Madhu and her team for setting up the inspiring event!
(For more information on SoCh, visit

“Hi Sir, will you like to visit our booth?!” exclaimed an earnest looking group of students from Pasir Ris Primary School.

The passionate group of students had put up an impressive booth; presenting the entire process of needs analysis, ideation, research, planning and execution of the social projects which they have implemented earlier this year.

It was a sight to behold, on how they have passionately shared with me their intimate level of involvement and personal reflections from the project. Looking beyond the huge amount of effort invested by the students (Which is definitely remarkable), it was an added encouragement to realize that there were much deeper, humane and personal motivations behind each student involved in the project, which is their simple desire to show greater appreciation for the elderly within their own families and also to be able to better communicate with other elderly in the elder care centers which they have also visited.

With that, the social project implemented, not only included volunteering at the elder care center, and documenting their day outs with their grandparents, but even more notably, their innovative initiative of consolidating translations of commonly used dialect wordings into the form of QR codes printed on cards that may be distributed to other children from the school or left at elder care centers for future use by visitors. By doing so, they wish that others may easily scan the QR code, obtain their consolidated translations and more effectively communicate with the elderly whenever such opportunities arise.

This project was just one of the many others ran by students from the age range of 8 to 14 years old, under the inspiring Social Change by Children movement, which hopes to encourage all children in believing that they can become positive social change-agents through a design thinking and experiential learning approach.

As one of SoCh partners and a committee member of OSC, I was also given the opportunity to set up an activity booth where we invited students to illustrate their vision of a newspaper article which will appear on “THE SINGAPORE TIMES” in 8th November 2030.

Among many of the colorful and creative productions contributed by the students, some of the outstanding news headline includes one which says, “Too much care!” Followed by a short sentence explaining how businesses are facing manpower shortage due to large number of youths involved in volunteering at old folks home.
Another news headline cries out “NO BOOKS!” with a drawing of students caring only their tablets to school with all their textbooks displayed over multi-media gadgets.

With a mix of witty humor, innocence and many aspirations shared by the students’ hope of what they envision Singapore to become in 2030, I was greatly inspired by the creativity and positivity our children have for our country. I too hope that more children will have the desire to become positive contributor of our society, grow up as active citizens who believe that they “CAN!” become social change-makers and have the courage to do what they must to create a more compassionate and inclusive society that we can call HOME.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

From Paperboy to Property Magnate

I'm earnestly sharing this extremely interesting event that will feature Mr Mohd Ismail of PropNex.

Come to get inspired by how a Paperboy became a property magnate! The following information is as shared by the dedicated team of Enspire!

For many, entrepreneurship remains an exclusive and elusive purview for those who have the right connections or are tech whizzes. Entrepid believes that entrepreneurship should be inclusive for all.

Entrepid is a community of entrepreneurs who believe that given the right resources, anyone can be successful. Aiming to refresh Singapore’s exciting enterprise scene by helping entrepreneurs acquire knowledge capital, social capital and financial capital – all of which are necessary prerequisites to the
start-up process.

Opening their doors to everyone next Sunday (18 Nov) for a networking brunch, they wish to provide a platform for all to find out how taking the first step out and being your own boss isn’t as difficult as it seems.

The event will feature guest speaker – Mohd Ismail of PropNex, Singapore’s most successful real estate company. Mohd Ismail will share with guests about his past entrepreneurial experiences and how he came from humble beginnings (yes, he was a paperboy before!) to making his first million at the tender age of 28.

The brunch will also feature some of Enspire’s – a 26 day entrepreneurial course which promises that students leave with a fully operating business at the end of the program – graduates who will talk about their experiences as brand new entrepreneurs.

It will be a day of sharing and learning, head on down to mingle with likeminded individuals over a casual brunch next Sunday, 18 November from 11:30am to 4:30pm and learn from each other’s experiences!

You can find out more information about Entrepid and Enspire here.

As there will be limited spaces available, please RSVP as soon as possible. To reserve your places, please visit the invitation page.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

We need more HEROES online!

The evolution of technology and innovations such as social media have radically changed the way we communicate.

These changes permeate throughout almost every aspect of our lives. From how we obtain entertainment to how we study/work, from how we receive information to how we send them, from how we make purchases to how we “Shout out” to others what are the best deals in town!

Nevertheless, above all the benefits of an increasingly connected world, I have come to realize a worrisome trend of how social media have inappropriately lent strength and credibility to baseless rumors or allow negative emotional opinions to spread around like wild fire.

One observation was how some online trolls apathetically poured their good dose of skepticism on the various profiles posted by Yahoo! on the social entrepreneurs nominees featured on Singapore 9.  They resorted to accusing many of our passionate social change-makers, hypocrites or money-minded individuals who uses their “Social causes” to simply profit from the public without a genuine cause at heart. Although, many social entrepreneurs do aim to profit, one ought to understand that the entire idea about social entrepreneurship is really to not just “do good” but to do it sustainably. As such, profits are a must have, and that in many cases, rather than struggle to sacrifice profits for social good, we struggle more on trying to stay economically feasible due to our over altruistic hearts! (In Envisage, we often ended up doing a lot of “free service” whenever called to do so)

In addition, I have also witnessed how some Netizens have shot-down positive news articles about how the government plans to improve philanthropy or our education in Singapore, or the general skepticism surrounding the “National Conversations” shared over Facebook. I sincerely hope that these views are not representative of the "Silent majority". (I have discovered that statistics does show that my hopes are luckily not unfounded)

Nevertheless, I do fear that the potential of how social media influences us nowadays, have made it difficult for us to defend our hearts/minds/souls from the negativity shared by some "Loud minorities" that increasingly spreads their baseless and sometimes illogical views around us.

As we have evolved away from the “Information age”, to the “Age of choices”, we are now empowered with the liberty to learn what we want to learn, hear what we want to hear, see what we want to see, and do almost whatever we want to do, by our own "choices". However, this also puts us in a precarious position of thinking that when we choose what we want to believe in, we are “right!” This thought rationally does not stand, as we all know that not every piece of information provided to us are reflective of the “truth” and at times even entirely “false” and baseless!

Therefore, I do sincerely hope that Singaporeans can be more discerning in reviewing the rumors/opinions shared over our social media, and if required, have the courage to “Step Up” and refute comments which may be illogical, racist, non-compassionate or in general non-reflective of what a truly inclusive society should behave like.

As online TROLLS grow in number, We need more online HEROES to fight them! :D

Sharing by Martin Tan, published by We are SG!

An Inspiring Sharing by Martin Tan, published by We are SG!

"So we’re not trying to rectify a problem. We’re trying to show these young people possibilities. We’re trying to tell them that leaders make a difference, and it’s not just about their aspirations, but a shared aspiration. We’re trying to inspire possibilities." - Martin

Love his perspective on how youths can become the leaders of change! Our part to inspire them and become good role-models! :D