Programme launched to drive passion in entrepreneurship and social change in youth

National Youth Council CEO David Chua speaking at the launch of Campfire at *Scape on April 1, 2021. ST PHOTO: YONG LI XUAN

SINGAPORE - Youth with a passion for entrepreneurship and desire to tackle problems in the community will be able to attend a free six-week intensive programme where they learn to develop solutions to real-life problems with guidance from industry experts.

The Campfire programme targets youth aged 18 to 35 who are keen on entrepreneurship, design innovation, social enterprise, volunteerism and creative storytelling.

Th programme, which can take up to 50 participants at a time, is a partnership by the National Youth Council, *Scape and innovation agency Tribal Worldwide Singapore.

It was launched at *Scape on Thursday (April 1), with the first batch of more than 40 participants.

Founded by Tribal's head of film and social content Josiah Ng and creative group head Boston Ho, the Campfire programme aims to create more opportunities to support youth in the areas of jobs and skills, and engage them on social issues.

National Youth Council chief executive David Chua said at the launch: "Young people want real world relevance and impact... (They) like to learn through exposure, they want to go into zones of discomfort and exploration.

"And in the process, they are also looking for mentors and coaches, people in the domain who can speak and counsel and give wise words of advice," he said.

The programme has a strong private-sector focus to give the young people a taste of real-world experiences, as the sector has the expertise and real understanding of business problems and issues out there, added Mr Chua.

The first two weeks of the programme consist of lectures conducted by Tribal's heads of departments from Monday to Friday. The lectures will be a mix of physical sessions at *Scape and online sessions.

After the two weeks, participants will receive problem statements and have to work in teams with assigned mentors to refine and develop their solutions for a final pitch. The issues and themes are on environment and sustainability, mental well-being, jobs and the future of work, and support for vulnerable groups.

There will also be six mentorship sessions twice a week, with advisors from Tribal as well as two external industry professionals.

These advisors include Mr Alvin Yapp, co-founder of social enterprise The Social Kitchen; Mr Jimmy Poh, co-founder of activewear start-up Kydra; Ms Pamela Chng, founder of social business The Bettr Group; and consultancy Afterglow Concepts director Carmen Low.

The last week of the programme will include a day when participants present their proposals to clients from Tribal's network.

Participants will each receive a certificate of completion.

(From left) Full-time national serviceman Abdul Radhi, Ngee Ann graduate Lee Si Yi Mabel, first-year NTU student Debra Soh and social entrepreneur Petrina Gomez at the Campfire launch on April 1, 2021. ST PHOTO: YONG LI XUAN

A second round of the programme will start in September and applications open in July. Singaporeans and permanent residents who are keen can submit an application at this website.

Mr Abdul Radhi, 21, a full-time national serviceman, is among the first batch of participants. "I was looking for internships or to pick up skills, because I felt that coming out of junior college and then going to NS, I was not prepared with skills for the workforce," he said.

He hopes to build interpersonal skills as well as form connections and network through the programme.

Ms Debra Soh, 20, a first-year communications student at Nanyang Technological University, said: "I hope to gain relevant skills for my major and working life, such as hard skills like how to plan a project, pitch it, and see something transform from a brainchild into something concrete."

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