Mr Chan, Singapore’s acting Minister for Social and Family Development, made an interesting comment at this year’s Social Enterprise Association Conference. He urged businesses to take the lead in the growing social entrepreneurship sector.
According to Mr Chan, the Singaporean Government plans to continue and intensify its work with the Social Enterprise Association in order to raise the capabilities of local social enterprises through initiatives such as internships, mentorship and training programs. While the government initially supported social enterprises in order to boost employment, it now focusses on supporting them in order to enhance social safety nets. Government support currently includes the ComCare Enterprise Fund, the Youth Social Entrepreneurship Programme for Schools and the President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award.
However, in order to further increase the social impact, Mr Chang urges businesses to develop blossoming partnerships with social enterprises. An example of a successful partnership is the cooperation between Select Group, a leading food service provider, and Community Kitchen Co-operative, a social enterprise that runs a catering kitchen to help the long-term unemployed. The Select Groups supports the Community Kitchen Co-operative with its business strategy, development and further expansion, skills which the Co-operative would find difficult to acquire on its own.
Hopefully, more businesses will take the lead in supporting Singapore’s growing social entrepreneurship scene!