SINGAPORE: The social enterprise sector has grown by 32 per cent over the past year, with 401 registered social enterprises - up from 303 enterprises in 2016, according to the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) on Saturday (Aug 19).
Around 70 of these businesses participated in FestivalForGood, a social enterprise festival, on Saturday, which featured a pop-up market selling socially conscious products and services, interactive workshops and panel discussions, amongst others.
"We've noticed an increasing number of young people in Singapore implementing socially impactful business ideas through social entrepreneurship, working across diverse industries to create positive change - from education and retail, to health, wellness and technology," said raiSE CEO Alfie Othman.
"(The festival) is an excellent example of how various sectors of society - from individuals to corporates - can all come together to be part of the good," he added.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who was at the festival, urged Singaporeans to continue supporting businesses that do good: “It’s a way where people with passion can make an impact on society - not only doing a business making a profit but also doing something good for the community.”
"I'm glad to see the number of social enterprises in Singapore has been growing quite fast," he added.
Around 350 social enterprises have benefited from raiSE initiatives since the centre was set up in 2015, with the aim of raising awareness on social entrepreneurship and support for social businesses in Singapore.
Businesses funded by raiSE have helped more than 4,000 beneficiaries and created more than 230 jobs over the past year, according to the centre. Since 2016, S$6.6 million have been committed to social enterprises in grants and investments, contributing to the establishment of new businesses and growth of mature ones.
First organised in 2016, FestivalForGood aims to showcase the homegrown social enterprise sector and raise awareness amongst Singaporeans. More than 3,000 people are expected to attend the one-day festival.
This year’s festival is also featuring a series of experiential activities throughout the month of August, such as leather crafting workshops and concerts for seniors.
According to raiSE, the events aim to provide the public with an “up-close-and-personal view” of how such business are creating “meaningful and sustainable impact” in Singapore.