Like many Asian countries, Singapore has seen rapid economic development. But this growth has also brought social challenges. Singapore is unique in that the government has taken an active role in fostering community building, but there is still a space for individual initiative. The concept of social enterprise is gaining prominence in Singapore, marrying business and innovation with social causes. Social enterprise is drawing increasing attention from government agencies, private foundations, companies involved in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), academic institutions and of course entrepreneurs themselves.
However, given the movement towards socially responsible business is relatively new, many Singaporean firms are often unsure of exactly how to approach and manage this space. There are a plethora of examples available from overseas, but prospective entrepreneurs and backers need to ask which models are suitable to Singapore – or how they can be adapted, both for the Singapore market and the wider Asian region.
• How is Social Enterprise viewed in Singapore, and what is the future for this sector?
• What socially innovative examples can Singapore follow, and what care should be taken in adapting overseas concepts to the Singapore market?
• How can Singaporean social enterprises take their operations overseas, or champion causes in the region?