Stories > Purpose Beyond Profit

2016 • Issue 2

Purpose Beyond Profit

The Young Social Entrepreneurs programme brings young people from around the world together to share ideas and experiences on how to make a positive impact in different communities.


YSE 2016 participants visiting Malaysian social enterprise Eats, Shoots & Roots during their overseas study visit to Kuala Lumpur in July.

FROM TOP: YSE participants at the iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur; Christoffer Erichsen, co-founder of consultancy companies Scope Group and Human Inc, engaging with YSE teams.


total of 15 social enterprises (SE) will meet in Singapore in October to pitch ideas on how they can make a positive social impact on communities across Asia. The top six teams will each receive up to S$20,000 in funding to launch or scale up their SE.

The 15 SE plan to implement their ideas in Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand. They were shortlisted after a four-day workshop in March that was attended by 114 young people from 48 SE. The workshop was part of the annual Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) programme organised by the Singapore International Foundation.

The eight-month YSE programme, which is in its seventh edition, is designed to inspire, equip and enable youth from around the world to embark on social enterprises in Singapore and beyond. This year, it received a total of 260 applications from 27 countries and territories – a three-fold increase from last year.

Under the YSE programme, participants have the opportunity to connect with YSE programme alumni as well as representatives of various universities, networks and business partners. They include management consulting firm McKinsey & Company and the Asian Venture Philanthropy Network, which seeks to grow and promote venture philanthropy across Asia-Pacific.

The 15 SE are also part of a mentorship scheme, supported by McKinsey & Company and other business leaders, from April to October. They participated in an overseas study visit to Malaysia from July 14 to 20, during which they met and exchanged insights with leading social entrepreneurs, corporates, industry experts and other like-minded changemakers.






“The YSE programme allowed us to collaborate with and learn from different people, which helped us to broaden our views and discover partnership potential.”
Ong Kay Kay, co-founder of BeBonobo (Malaysia)

BeBonobo aims to promote conscious consumption through an online sharing network that connects owners of unused items with those who may have use for them.

“Through the YSE programme, we met the founders of PsychKick, another SE that is also looking to build an online platform for people with psychological issues, and we were encouraged to collaborate. We discussed the psychological issues and opportunities in our respective countries and also in Asean.”
Audrey Maximillian Herli, co-founder of Riliv (Indonesia)

Riliv hopes to improve mental health support worldwide by connecting people with psychological problems to psychologists through a private messaging app.

“We made several friends from our neighbouring countries, like Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia. We learnt about the similarities and differences in the social problems that our respective countries face. For example, several Indonesians have various enterprises working on poverty alleviation. This resonates with us because poverty is also a major problem in our country.”
Avianna Nahzneene Castano, co-founder of Kandama (The Philippines)

Kandama hopes to provide employment opportunities and environmental education for women in the mountainous regions of the Philippines by getting them to produce contemporary fashion pieces that incorporate indigenous woven fabrics.

“Through the YSE programme, we not only made new friends and created new experiences but also developed our business acumen and established good relationships for future collaborations.”
Hestyriani Anisa, co-founder of IWAK (Indonesia)

IWAK hopes to connect investors with farmers in Kebon Agung village in Indonesia to build ponds for freshwater fish cultivation.

“YSE 2016 has been an avenue for me to meet like-minded individuals, who I will be able to collaborate with and learn from in future. Through learning about the work of the SEs, I understood better the traditions and cultures of certain countries as well as the social issues they face.”
Saravanan Sonia, founder of L.A.M.P (India)

L.A.M.P, which stands for Lighting Actually Made Paradisiacal, aims to provide slum-dwellers in India with lamps that run on salt water as well as explore other sustainable energy sources, such as solar, wind and gravity, to provide access to electricity in impoverished communities.

“The YSE programme taught us that all of us can improve our communities and our world. We met participants from other countries with the same interest as us and have continued to support one another (on our YSE journey) via online platforms, such as Skype, Google Hangouts and e-mails. We hope these friendships lead to partnerships in the future.”
Musawwir Muhtar, co-founder of MorBi+ (Indonesia)

MorBi+ aims to employ technology to produce nutritious and affordable biscuits from moringa trees, which can be found in Indonesia’s South Sulawesi, providing rural women with jobs in the process.

“The best experience of the YSE programme was meeting many people who care about others and who want to turn that care into action. We met participants from different countries and different cultures. By talking and spending time with them, we learnt about our differences, which helped us to understand one another better.”
Riezqa Andika, co-founder of Cognoscente (Indonesia)

Cognoscente aims to set up a plant to process seawater into fresh water and salt, and impart this technology to salt farmers in Indonesia.

“We made many friends through the YSE programme, especially from Indonesia, India and Singapore. We love talking to the different teams about their projects and the reasons behind them. We find that the YSE programme attracts liked-mind people who care about the well-being of others and who want to improve society in general.”
Chatchanart Charanwattanakit, co-founder of (Thailand) seeks to create an online community to provide students in Thailand with tools and opportunities to become changemakers, as well as conduct free workshops to enable learning outside the classroom.

“The people I met through the YSE programme are idealistic; they have a vision of the world they want to live in and proactively look for ways to create it. Despite our cultural difference, we are similar in this aspect, which was very inspiring for me.”
New Jia Rui Stephanie, co-founder of HEARTY (Singapore)

HEARTY hopes to tap the culinary expertise of the elderly in Singapore for a community catering service providing healthy, nutritious home-cooked meals to busy households, while giving the elderly a source of income.

“Despite coming from different countries, all of us are committed to making a positive difference in our respective communities. The daily interactions gave us the opportunity to exchange perspectives and share cultural practices. The friendships that we forged during the YSE programme allowed us to deepen our understanding of different cultures.”
Muhammad Haziq, co-founder of NOMAD (Singapore)

NOMAD hopes to uplift poor rural communities through selling unique crafts created through partnerships between Singapore artisans and rural communities in India.

“We realised that the friendships and knowledge gained during the YSE journey are important to us. The programme has spurred other forms of collaboration among participants and programme partners. We believe these relationships will play a major role in expanding our company beyond Indonesia.”
Dyah Rachmawati Rasyida, co-founder of KAMA BATIK (Indonesia)

KAMA BATIK aims to hire unemployed women to make products, such as necklaces, bracelets, bags and hair accessories, from waste material collected from batik companies in Indonesia. It hopes to empower the women by providing training to improve their employability.

“We became close friends with other participants from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. They shared great insights into their culture. We realised that even though there were clear differences between our countries, there were also many similarities and we are more alike than we thought.”
Louis Puah, co-founder of Praxium (Singapore)

Praxium hopes to inspire youth to discover their talents and passions through experiential programmes.

“The best experience of the YSE programme was definitely meeting other young social entrepreneurs. They are so full of energy and shared great stories that inspired us to work even harder. It was really inspiring to hear the challenges that the other teams had to overcome.”
Sayid Hafiz, co-founder of PsychKick (Singapore)

PsychKick hopes to create a mobile application to strengthen engagement between psychotherapists and their patients in between treatment sessions.

“The workshop in Singapore gave us the opportunity to showcase ourselves in the international arena, make friends with like-minded individuals and bridge cultural differences. I made friends with individuals from countries like the UK, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and of course, Singapore. I was fascinated to see that my idea resonated with fellow participants from various countries.”
Abhijeet Bhatt, founder of MySportsCard (India)

MySportsCard is a dedicated platform connecting athletes, sports teams and sports professionals across the world. It hopes to use the unifying power of sports to solve societal challenges such as poverty, barriers to education and child abuse.

“We made friends with people from countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. The YSE experience helped us to learn more about them and their cultures. It was a very enriching experience and I will cherish it for a long time.”
Pranav Harshe, co-founder of Saadhan (India)

Saadhan hopes to improve the income of farmers in rural India by setting up a secure supply chain so they can sell their cashew nuts to markets in South Gujarat and North Maharashtra.

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