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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Grant Programme for Social Enterprises to Stimulate Their Growth

The Social Enterprise Grant Programme of the DBS Foundation is designed to support the social enterprise sector in solving crucial environmental and social issues and allowing them to scale their businesses, creating a positive impact. Social enterprises (SEs) with business, environmental and social goals, innovative solutions to environmental and social impact, and a clear management intent can apply for the DBS Foundation SE Grant Programme. 

The applicants, who are selected, will receive a grant funding of SGD 250,000 to use for capacity building, business opportunities, networking, improving innovation capabilities, and deepening their environmental and social impact. 

Who is qualified for the Social Enterprise Grant Programme?

Social enterprises that address environmental and social issues or challenges through their businesses in a sustainable manner and who are prepared to scale their businesses for a deeper impact can apply for the grant. Nonetheless, to quality, they should:

  • Have been incorporated into any of the countries like Singapore, Indonesia, China, Hong Kong, India, or Taiwan
  • Provide innovative solutions to deal with critical environmental or social issues
  • Have a feasible business model and track record of sales and profitability, which is sales traction proven. 
  • Have an effective business plan to scale business operations and create an impact
  • Have a clear and strong commitment toward developing a sustainable business for a deeper impact
  • Be able to track and evaluate key metrics like finances, growth, reach, and impact indicators through a reliable system
  • Possess strong leadership and team experience

For instance, social enterprises that create an impact work towards:

  • Empowering the marginalized and disadvantaged groups by improving their livelihoods
  • Reducing carbon footprint to preserve the earth and its natural resources
  • Producing nutritious food to create a healthier planet
  • Designing products that are reusable in a circular economy
  • Zero Food Waste through upcycling food waste and reducing food loss

The purpose for which you can use the grant 

Through the Social Enterprise Grant Programme, DBS Foundation awards funds up to SGD 250,000 to help social enterprises utilize it towards increasing capacity in:

  • Branding and marketing
  • Fundraising
  • Advocacy and community engagement 
  • Financial management
  • Business development and gaining new customers
  • Market expansion
  • Manufacturing
  • Innovation and product development
  • Impact monitoring and assessment 

These are some of the purposes for which you can deploy the funding.

Other support services by DBS to social enterprises

DBS has been making every effort to integrate social enterprises into its ecosystem by giving SEs learning and business opportunities. The bank’s strong commitment to the development of social entrepreneurship is proved by establishing the DBS Foundation in 2014. Since then, it has been promoting SEs through grant funding and nurturing many others through non-monetary support.  

Other than grant funding, DBS Foundation supports social enterprises with business opportunities in Singapore and by conducting workshops for building their skills and capability. Further, SEs attend mentoring sessions conducted by DBS through the DBS Social Enterprise Support Programme at the DBS SME Academy. The programme addresses some SE priorities like workable business models for financial sustainability, customer acquisition, and fund sourcing.

The social enterprises selected for the grant are also offered free banking services via DBS Social Enterprise Package, with features like zero-minimum balance bank account and unsecured loans at a lower interest rate or preferential rate. 

SEs across Asia can avail of the social enterprise grant if they show a strong commitment to addressing social or environmental issues, an innovative business solution validated by the market, and a clear plan for creating a deep impact. The SE support programme offered with the grant includes financing, training, and mentoring to help social enterprises have a deep commitment to creating social impact.

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