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Rise of social enterprises in Singapore prompts calls for greater regulation

Observers worry some may claim social angle for marketing, funding

Published on Jul 22, 2014 9:21 AM
Questions raised included whether taxi booking app GrabTaxi is entitled to call itself a social enterprise. Founder Anthony Tan (above) has said the app is a social enterprise because it helps taxi drivers earn more money. -- PHOTO: GRABTAXI

The proliferation of so-called "social enterprises" here is prompting calls for greater regulation of this emerging sector.

Observers are worried that some businesses, with no serious claim to having a social role, may be using the tag cynically for marketing or to attract funding.

Social enterprises are, in effect, a cross between charities and businesses, although they do not formally qualify as charities as they seek to make profits.

Debate is centring on how to draw the line between a regular business and a social enterprise - out to make money but with a significant social role.

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