SINGAPORE: More people are aware of social enterprises and are buying goods or services from them, according to a public perception survey released by the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE) and NUS Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy on Tuesday (Oct 25).
Based on 1,888 responses collected in May and June, the survey showed a five-fold increase in awareness of such enterprises from 13 per cent in 2010 to 65 per cent in 2016.
Those in the 31-35 age group had the highest level of awareness, with seven out of 10 respondents saying they were aware of social enterprises, raiSE said.
More respondents also bought from social enterprises in 2016 - 35 per cent of respondents said they had purchased from social enterprises before compared to 22 per cent in 2010.
However, the proportion of respondents who had not bought from social enterprises before and were unwilling to do so in the next six months remained the same, at 23 per cent in both 2010 and 2016.
The findings were released at raiSE's Singapore Social Enterprise Conference, a two-day event for thought leaders, corporations and entrepreneurs to explore how businesses can be a force for social good.
Notable examples raised at the conference included Sustainable Living Lab, which helps students and social entrepreneurs access equipment such as 3D printers to create products, and Edible Garden City, which builds food gardens at under-utilised spaces and uses urban farming to provide therapy and employment for those with autism.
raiSE committed S$30 million to provide more support for social enterprises when it launched in May 2015. To date, it has contributed about S$8.6 million to over 40 social enterprises, benefitted close to 3,000 disadvantaged people and created more than 200 jobs to date, it said.