July 18, 2013
Written by Challenge:Future team
Over 150 guests descended on the Sustainable Living Kampung at Bottle Tree Park to witness students from six different tertiary institutions battle it out in the finale of DBS EXCITE! Youth Program, organized by Ground-Up Initiative, CEEMAN and Challenge:Future, supported by Youth in Action Program. Singapore is one of ten countries, and one of just two Asian countries apart from India, chosen to inspire young people to identify innovative solutions to address youth unemployment and create jobs for the future.
The DBS EXCITE! programme — EXChange for Innovation, Technopreneurship and Entrepreneurship — is testimony to how the grassroots movement that GUI advocates is gaining international recognition. Minister K Shanmugam, Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Law and Member of Parliament for Nee Soon GRC, was Guest-of-Honour for this prestigious event. Earlier this evening, eight groups pitched their ideas for starting up social enterprises and leading community initiatives. Six winning groups took home cash prizes sponsored by DBS. Ideas ranged from Online Fashion platforms, to Fortune Cookies for Neighbours or creating change through breakdance! The winning idea presented a model for building social and personal responsibility in a young person through specially designed programs for pets.
”I am happy to see that this is a generation of youths who wish to make a social difference. Social enterprises play an important role in creating social impact and helping disadvantaged Singaporeans achieve self-reliance through employment and meaningful engagement. It is very heartening to see these DBS EXCITE! participants be motivated to start their own social enterprises, and I challenge even more of our youths to follow the lead and get involved in a community initiative or be part of a business with a clear sense of its social mission,” commented Minister Shanmugam.
GUI’s Kampung Chief Tay Lai Hock added, “We have been focusing on building strong and connected communities by getting everyone to re-discover their connections with their roots and heritage. GUI also focuses on nurturing grounded leaders. Through the years, we have incubated three social enterprises at our premises, held volunteer programmes involving thousands of people in hundreds of educational institutions and private corporations, and even set out on international missions to spread the GUI way in India, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia. This June, we are very honoured to be partnering with international heavyweights DBS and Challenge:Future to roll out DBS EXCITE! for students.”