Singapore’s president, Tony Tan Keng Yam, said he is pleased to see more corporations helping social enterprises become viable.
Dr Tan was speaking at the launch of the second President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award (PCSEA) on Saturday.
This is the first time big firms are on board the initiative to mentor participating enterprises to help them sustain their businesses.
Last year, the team assessing social enterprises made on-site visits to give them advice.
The award recognises outstanding and creative social enterprises that make significant impact in Singapore.
The event provides development opportunities for participants, through corporate advisory support by industry leaders, on top of cash awards of up to S$15,000.
They will be assessed by a team made up of leaders from the private sector and academia.
This year, corporations like Bain and Company, Pro Bono Services Office of The Law Society of Singapore, the Keppel Group, Philosophy Brand Consultants and DBS Bank have joined the initiative to help the enterprises.
Social enterprises will get help through corporate advisory in areas such as business, marketing, law and financing.
They will also help both budding and established social enterprises think critically about their business models and the impact they have on society.
Participating corporate organisations will work closely with PCSEA award winners to refine their businesses and further develop their capabilities, so as to build a more robust social enterprise sector.
Applications for the award end 31 July.
The awards ceremony will be held in December. Interested social enterprises can visit pc.org.sg/pcsea for more information on the eligibility criteria and submission guidelines.
Individuals who are interested in finding out more about social enterprises and related resources may also visit the beta MSF web portal at www.socialenterprise.sg for more details.
Elim Chew, 2013 President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Committee member, said: “A lot of them start with a good heart. But they may not know the enterprise side of how to grow their business. And all these partners are coming in to mentor them, to give them the ground experience, to give them the network as well and to mentor them, to grow them into more scalable business plans. At the end of the day, we help our people; we help the community as well.”