A hub to help groups create social impact

The Temasek Shophouse is a 25,000 sq ft co-working hub set up by investment company Temasek as a gift for its philanthropic arm.
The Temasek Shophouse is a 25,000 sq ft co-working hub set up by investment company Temasek as a gift for its philanthropic arm.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
The interior of the 91-year-old gazetted building has been refurbished to create lounge spaces, offices and meeting rooms.
The interior of the 91-year-old gazetted building has been refurbished to create lounge spaces, offices and meeting rooms.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
The centre is housed in a historical building in Orchard Road near Plaza Singapura and opens officially on Monday.
The centre is housed in a historical building in Orchard Road near Plaza Singapura and opens officially on Monday.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

New centre aims to bring social enterprises together to generate ideas for a better future

Organisations that want to create a social impact have a new space in the city where like-minded partners can collaborate.

The Temasek Shophouse is a 25,000 sq ft co-working hub set up by investment company Temasek as a gift for its philanthropic arm, Temasek Trust. It has been reported that Temasek won a tender for the state-owned site in 2017, for a three-year lease at $128,000 a month.

The centre, in a historical building in Orchard Road and near Plaza Singapura, opens officially on Monday. It will be able to accommodate 120 people who can brainstorm ideas, hold project meetings and network with other collaborators.

Temasek Shophouse director Yvonne Tay said during a media tour of the building yesterday that the centre aims to become a cradle for social impact. "We hope this space could become a convener where like-minded partners come together to collaborate on working out solutions for a better earth and a better tomorrow," she added.

The 91-year-old gazetted building comprises five shophouses that previously housed a department store. They have been refurbished to create lounge spaces, offices and meeting rooms.

The redesigned interior also houses the new office for Temasek Trust, Temasek Foundation and the Stewardship Asia Centre. Social entrepreneurship companies - Miniwiz, a Taiwanese upcycling firm; Foreword Coffee, an inclusive cafe that hires the differently abled; and socially conscious private equity fund ABC World Asia - are also in the building. Ms Tay added that the rent will be subsidised for social enterprises and non-profit organisations which are selected to move in.

Visitors can expect exhibitions, seminars, workshops and film screenings in the common space once the Shophouse opens on Monday. The first exhibition, which aims to raise awareness about the world's growing waste problem, will run from June 7 and is free.

 
 

A petting zoo will be set up this weekend at the open area in front of Plaza Singapura to mark the opening. Visitors can expect to see animals from the Singapore Zoo at 11am, 3pm and 5pm today and tomorrow.

"It is very significant for us to bring in like-minded co-working partners so that we can encourage cross-pollination of ideas and enable better collaboration in the future," said Ms Tay.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 01, 2019, with the headline 'A hub to help groups create social impact'. Print Edition | Subscribe