Singapore-based bank DBS today announced that they will be providing social enterprises in Singapore with project grants of up to S$1 million to help them with their business expansion plans and help boost their social causes.
As a start, the financial institution will be providing a total of S$340,000 to four social enterprises, namely A-changin, Adrenalin Events & Education, Aii and Bizlink Centre Singapore, which were selected based on the sustainability of their business models, level of social impact and how innovative their proposed projects are.
Here’s a bit about the four social enterprises and the aid they will receive:
A social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities to women in need.
DBS will provide A-changin with a project grant of S$100,000, which will be used by the company to set up a second sewing lab and for working capital purposes.
An events management company that employs youths-at-risk, ex-offenders, the hearing-impaired, and wheelchair-bound individuals.
It will receive a project grant of S$100,000, which will be used to expand its audio, visuals, effects, and launch mechanisms department.
3. Aii (pictured above)
A candy wrapping company that employs hearing-impaired individuals.
Its project grant of S$40,000 will be used to set up an e-commerce site, purchase an in-house candy wrapper printer and provide staff training.
An organization that provides comprehensive employment services for disadvantaged people.
DBS’ grant of S$100,000 will be used to set up a new bakery social enterprise.
“We are focused on building a better future for the region by supporting social enterprises, which we believe offer innovative and sustainable solutions to meet social needs in a constantly evolving Asia,” explains Karen Ngui, DBS Head of Group Strategic Marketing & Communications.
DBS – which banks over 80% of social enterprises in Singapore and has a dedicated team of relationship managers to handle this segment – will also exploring different ways to support social enterprises, and encourages businesses pursuing social causes with sustainable business models to speak to the bank.
“We understand the challenges that social enterprises face in generating financial and social returns. We were the first bank to launch a banking package targeted at social enterprises, and now we are going one step further to help them achieve their social objectives,” says Lim Chu Chong, DBS Head of SME Banking.
The bank aims to launch localized social enterprise banking packages in its other key markets of China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia and Taiwan in 2013.