Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2005: Breaking Mindsets for Social Innovation

SEforum 2005 triggered an environment for social agencies, youth and budding entrepreneurs to embark on socially motivated business projects.

“True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2005: Breaking Mindsets for Social Innovation

Singapore – Breaking norms to revolutionise the creation of social value. Marrying positive social change with a profitable and sustainable business model. Demonstrating the need for social enterprises in affluent Singapore. These are mindset changes Social Entrepreneurship Forum 2005 (SEforum 2005) aimed to achieve in a half day conference on 13 August 2005 at the University Cultural Centre.

Organised by undergraduate students of NUS Business School, SEforum 2005 will expand the inspirational platform of the first SEforum 2004 held last year by triggering an enabling environment for social agencies, youth and budding entrepreneurs to embark on socially motivated business projects.

“Many of us – the youth organisers - have a passion for a social cause, be it conservation, gender issues, or having a heart for the aged and at-risk youths. We have our vision of how the world could be a better place. But many of us also think we cannot pursue our ideals - at least, not full-time. The idea of a social entrepreneur as someone who harnesses the entrepreneurial spirit and puts together a business model to sustain a social cause; someone who defies conventions to change systems in our social edifice – is radical, yet rational and realisable. SEforum 2005 showed budding social entrepreneurs how, and facilitate the development of these social change agents,” said Mr Andrew Wang, president of the Organizing Committee of SEforum 2005.

To show socially conscious Singaporeans how they can turn their passion into rewarding returns are prominent speakers, Ms Pamela Hartigan of the Schwab Foundation (Switzerland) and Mr Anil Chitraka, an Ashoka Fellow (Nepal). The two international experts on social entrepreneurship will share about the role of social enterprises in developed nations and the qualities one must have to be a business person driving social change.

Participants can also look forward to an engaging panel discussion with local speakers like Ms Braema Mathi, President of the Association of Women for Action & Research (AWARE); Mr Aaron Ng, Executive Director of the Movement for Intellectually Disabled (MINDS); and Mr Thomas Thomas, Secretary of Singapore Compact (a corporate social responsibility body) on social needs in Singapore. Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education, will launch the event.

An exhibition was held concurrently with the forum. It showcased existing social enterprises and illustrated concrete business models that demonstrate sustainable businesses with social missions.

The forum follows the launch of ComCare by PM Lee Hsien Loong in June this year. One of the aims of ComCare is to enable the needy to become more self-reliant. The ComCare Enterprise Fund, which is under the ComCare Self-Reliance pillar, provides seed money to social enterprises that benefit needy Singaporeans and other disadvantaged groups. A budget of S$3M for this financial year has been set aside under the ComCare Enterprise Fund to support such social enterprises.

Social entrepreneurship takes the form of dynamic solutions for intractable problems in our social edifice. Propelled by the motivation for social change, social entrepreneurs use business solutions to effect the changes they seek.

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About NUS Business School
NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, provides a rigorous, relevant, and rewarding business education that develops leaders for the global marketplace. It is the first in ASEAN and among the first in the Asia-Pacific to be accredited by AACSB International (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) for meeting the highest standard of achievement in education and research for business schools worldwide. It has also been rated consistently as a top business school in the Asia-Pacific by regional publications such as Asia Inc and Chief Executive China. It has also been ranked among the world's top 100 business schools by the Economist Intelligence Unit and The Financial Times.

For media queries, please contact:
Mary Lee Tan Keng Leng
Corporate Development Media Relations
NUS Business School NUS Social Entrepreneurship - Forum & Exhibition
Tel: 68748996 / 9 185 9892 Tel: 97778026
Email: [email protected] Email: [email protected]

Published: 28 Sep 2005

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