DBS launches scheme to mentor 12 social enterprises

One of the social enterprises in DBS' programme is Yonah, which aims to transform healthcare in rural communities by tackling challenges in the transportation of critical medicine and vaccines through a drone delivery system. It will receive mentorsh
One of the social enterprises in DBS' programme is Yonah, which aims to transform healthcare in rural communities by tackling challenges in the transportation of critical medicine and vaccines through a drone delivery system. It will receive mentorship from DBS' senior bankers as well as better financing options.PHOTO: DBS

DBS Bank has started a programme to mentor and finance 12 social enterprises here.

It said yesterday that the scheme will give enterprises "access to mentoring sessions by DBS senior SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) bankers, banking and finance training courses at the DBS SME Academy, as well as better financing options".

Social enterprises will also receive a relationship managed account that is "traditionally reserved for larger corporate customers", the bank added.

Ms Joyce Tee, group head of SME banking at DBS, said: "Social enterprises have big ambitions to make a positive impact in their community, and very often they struggle with limited resources."

She added that the bank wanted "to support these social enterprises in their journey to create greater social impact".

Mr Ong Tian Chang, co-founder of Yonah, one of the 12 social enterprises in the programme, said: "Running a social enterprise comes with many challenges, and it is so important to find business partners who understand your goals, passion and purpose. I'm looking forward to working with DBS as we pilot our service and work to transform healthcare in rural communities."

CREATING GREATER SOCIAL IMPACT

Social enterprises have big ambitions to make a positive impact in their community, and very often they struggle with limited resources... (The bank wanted) to support these social enterprises in their journey to create greater social impact.

MS JOYCE TEE, group head of SME banking at DBS, on why the bank is mentoring and financing 12 social enterprises here.

The programme is being administered by DBS Foundation and the bank's SME banking team.

It was launched ahead of the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Summit 2018, which starts on Oct 16 and runs till Oct 18.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 11, 2018, with the headline 'DBS launches scheme to mentor 12 social enterprises'. Print Edition | Subscribe