Social enterprises that forge ties with others can do more good

Two years ago, when I noticed the plight of displaced workers, I started a social enterprise of my own.

Today, this commercial cleaning business works with more than 50 voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) to support workers from various disadvantaged backgrounds, including persons with disabilities, single parents, former offenders and more.

In building the company, I have come to see that social enterprises can do more good for themselves and the social causes they champion by venturing out of their silos to collaborate with peers and counterparts.

Furthermore, as businesses with unique needs and challenges, we naturally understand each other.

The social service sector in Singapore has admirable initiatives in place to provide as much support as possible to enterprises.

The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise has systems in place to mentor and guide social enterprises, while the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre's Company of Good programmes actively connect like-minded business leaders.

The many VWOs and social workers under them must also be acknowledged for their tireless efforts in helping their respective beneficiaries.

The more we reach out to our sector partners, the more we will realise that we are all working towards the same goal of building a stronger and more caring society.

Benjamin Chua Guang Long

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 10, 2018, with the headline 'Social enterprises that forge ties with others can do more good'. Subscribe