President Tony Tan & Mrs Mary Tan
Mr Noel Hon, Chairman of the 2012 President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award Committee
Ladies and Gentlemen
Good evening. It is an honour for me to be here today, to recognise the achievements of a group of exceptional social enterprises in this inaugural President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award Ceremony. I am happy to see so many representatives from our local social enterprise community, as well as partners from the private, public and people sectors here this evening.
Importance of Social Enterprise in our Society
Social enterprises play an important part in our community. They aim to reach out to the disadvantaged in our society through sustainable business models, and play an important role in empowering the disadvantaged and giving them dignity. Social enterprises support our vision of Singapore as a community with a bigger heart, comprising a strong spirit of generosity, care and compassion.
We are very encouraged and grateful for President Tony Tan’s support and attention in this area. As part of the President’s Challenge, President Tan has launched the inaugural President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award this year, to highlight the important role of social enterprises in addressing our social needs. The awards are meant to recognise outstanding social enterprises which are innovative and have made significant sustained contributions to the disadvantaged in our community. I hope that the introduction of this Award will spur the development of more sustainable social enterprises over time, and raise the vibrancy of the social enterprise scene in Singapore.
On my part, I wish to affirm the continued commitment of my Ministry in supporting the growth of social enterprises. One of the ministry’s key priorities is to enhance our social safety nets. Social enterprises are important to this endeavour. And MSF will continue to support more aspiring or existing social enterprises for this purpose.
President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Awards 2012
The response to the inaugural awards has been positive. We receive a total of 37 applications from social enterprises in various industries ranging from education, arts, food and beverage, retail, event management, financial services, IT and even transport and logistics . This is an encouraging start for the inaugural Award. I was told that the Award Committee had a challenging time in deciding on the winners as many were truly deserving of the Award. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Award Committee led by its Chairman, Mr Noel Hon, for the hard work put in to evaluate the applications received and to decide on the winners.
Each of the winners has an innovative business model with potential for scalability. They have a genuine passion to help the disadvantaged and this has resulted in a strong social impact with their beneficiaries. They are all run by dedicated teams who provide strong and strategic leadership, inspiring both their beneficiaries and their supporters.
Bringing Social Enterprises Forward
I hope that this year’s Award winners would be inspiring role models to many social enterprises in Singapore, and those who are thinking of setting up social enterprises. I hope that more social enterprises will come forward next year to participate in the President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Award.
On this note, I would once again like to offer my heartiest congratulations to the award winners for the outstanding performance and social impact created by your social enterprises. I look forward to seeing each of you scale greater heights in the years to come.
Thank you and do enjoy the rest of the evening.