Innovative start-ups and early-stage ventures looking to solve social and/or environmental issues can now be awarded SGD 150,000 worth of funding and support by participating in the inaugural DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize. Initiated by DBS Foundation, the first foundation in Singapore dedicated to championing social entrepreneurship, and Singapore Management University (SMU), the DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize makes its debut this year as a category in the biennial Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition (LKYGBPC).
The DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize aims to identify sustainable, scalable and enterprising business solutions from across the world that help address crucial social problems and make cities of the future more inclusive, healthier and greener. The award of SGD 150,000 includes SGD 100,000 in prize money, along with non-monetary support in the form of capacity building, mentoring by DBS’ senior management, as well as branding and profiling opportunities. Its submission deadline is 17 November 2019, 11:59pm (GMT +8). For more details on the prize, visit go.dbs.com/SIP or https://www.smu.edu.sg/lky. To raise awareness about the social impact prize in India, DBS conducted an informative session on September 15 in Chennai at the Great Lakes Institute of Management ABGI for the students and startups.
Said Karen Ngui, Board Member of DBS Foundation and DBS’ Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications, “The world is changing at an unprecedented rate. The rapid transformation and expansion of populations and cities presents its own set of issues and correspondingly, opportunities. The DBS Foundation Social Impact Prize serves to encourage socially conscious entrepreneurs around the world to develop solutions to pressing social problems facing this generation and the next, as well as to help kick-start innovative businesses for good.”
Mr Hau Koh Foo, Director of SMU Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said, “Smart cities innovations are happening right now, particularly with advanced technologies such as AI, robotics integration, smart mobility and more. Yet, with all these advancements we need to constantly remind ourselves how can these innovations and solutions help benefit the residents of these cities. With DBS Foundation as our partner, we hope to drive this message through the 10th Lee Kuan Yew Global Business Plan Competition to provide a globally-recognised platform for young innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop fresh and innovative ideas that would bring about positive impact for the cities of today and in the future.”
The DBS-SMU Sustainability Initiative
The DBSFoundation Social Impact Prize is the latest initiative to be announced as part of the bank’s longstanding partnership with SMU on a comprehensive range of initiatives to promote sustainability in the region. Earlier this year, the DBS-SMU Sustainability Initiative was established to help tackle real-world sustainability challenges. The initiative saw the introduction of Singapore’s first sustainability major – which has since seen positive take-up rates – and includes scholarships, fellowships, as well as internships.
DBS: Championing Asia’s social enterprises since 2009
DBS Foundation has nurtured over 300 social enterprises and awarded over 100 social enterprises in Singapore, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Taiwan more than SGD 4.7 million in grant funding. These social enterprises have deployed social innovations across the region in areas such as healthcare, social inclusion, environment protection, waste management, food sustainability, as well as employment and income generation for the marginalised.
Last year, two Indian social enterprises HelpUsGreen and Haqdarshak were recipients of the DBS Foundation Grant 2018. Recently, DBS Bank India also announced its partnership with Social Alpha (a technology business incubator supported by Tata Trusts). The DBS-Social Alpha Social Entrepreneurship program aims to focus on providing holistic monetary and non-monetary support to social innovators, equipping them with the resources for creating successful go-to market strategies, developing sustainable business models and accelerating their product development efforts.
DBS also launched the DBS Social Enterprise Support Programme in 2018, where selected social enterprises have access to mentoring sessions by DBS’ senior SME bankers, banking and finance training courses at the DBS SME Academy, as well as better financing options.