Hosted a session on Wednesday with social enterprises Adrenalin Group and Society Staples (the former is slightly more established, while the latter we invited for the UNASMUN Preparatory Conference last year), talking about the opportunities and challenges for such companies in Singapore. Thought the conversation was interesting. The lack of a consensus on definitions of a social enterprise remained a concern, but the representatives gave good, first-hand insights on hurdles they faced, and the pragmatism displayed was refreshing.
Read “Social Enterprises – Anchored By Pragmatism“, and here’s a short excerpt from the session on Wednesday:
Seven years after its inception Adrenalin Group – a social enterprise and a full-service event and creative agency – “it is a feat just to survive”, Managing Director Richardo Chua shared, and despite its status as a pioneer “we are not by any means successful”. Because balancing economic and social value is tough, and it is but one of the many challenges social enterprises in Singapore face, they must be anchored by pragmatism. Drawn by the success stories “we do not always read about the struggles, or the 80 to 90 per cent who fail”, he added.
Richardo was speaking to a crowd of 25 at Venture Lab on “Social Enterprises: Opportunities amidst Challenges”, an event organised by N-House as part of its “Wicked Wednesday” series. Also in attendance were founders Debra Lam and Ryan Ng from Society Staples, a social enterprise on a mission to create Singapore’s first inclusive gym. As it works towards that goal the company organises team-building events involving persons with disabilities as well as inclusive sports projects, such as the “Deaf Dragons” – a team of dragon-boaters mostly from the Singapore Association for the Deaf – and member William Tay was recently featured in a SG50 campaign run by the government.
Along this tangent Adrenalin Group uses the corporate event sector to do good. 30 per cent of its team is made up of special needs colleague, and 50 per cent of its events are “meaningful and impactful”. To do the latter the company does events with good causes, engages other social enterprises, raises money, as well as extends discounts to non-profits and charities.