DBS Bank gives USD 278,000 in project grants to 4 social enterprises in Singapore
October 17, 2012 by Terence LEE
DBS Bank will give SGD 340,000 (USD 278,000) in project grants to 4 social enterprises. The money is part of SGD 1 million (USD 818,000) that will be doled out by the bank to worthy projects. DBS will also provide process improvement expertise to help the businesses expand.
The 4 companies that will receive funds are:
A-changin, a social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities to women in need. DBS will provide SGD 100,000 which will be used by the company to set up a second sewing lab. It will also be used as working capital.
Adrenalin Events & Education, an events management company that employs youths-at-risk, ex-offenders, the hearing-impaired, and people with physical disabilities. DBS will provide SGD 100,000, which will be used by Adrenalin to expand its audio, visuals, effects, and launch mechanisms department.
Aii, a candy wrapping company that employs hearing-impaired individuals. DBS will provide SGD 40,000 (USD 32,700), which will be used by Aii to set up an e-commerce site, purchase an in-house candy wrapper printer and provide staff training.
Bizlink Centre Singapore, an organisation that provides comprehensive employment services for disadvantaged people. DBS will give SGD 100,000, which will be used to set up a new bakery social enterprise.
These social enterprises were picked based on the sustainability of their business models, level of social impact and how innovation their proposed projects are. The bank is currently finding more ways to support social enterprises.
DBS says it has been working with social enterprises since 2008. It now banks over 80% of social enterprises in Singapore, dedicating a team of relationship managers to this niche. Here’s how it has been helping:
- It was the first bank in Singapore to launch a banking package aimed at social enterprises. In July 2012, it upgraded the package to offer social enterprises virtually free banking transaction services and loans with preferential terms. DBS plans to launch similar packages for social enterprises in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and Taiwan in 2013.
- DBS is working with industry associations, academic institutions and government bodies to promote social entrepreneurship. In Singapore, it has been working with the Social Enterprise Association (SEA) since 2008 to help profile social enterprises. In August 2012, the bank partnered with Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) to support social enterprises in India.
- DBS has been actively procuring the goods of social enterprises and encouraging its employees to be advocates. The bank has dedicated a special area in its headquarters for social enterprises to showcase their goods and services, and promote their causes.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE