Social enterprises in Singapore, like Aii, who bank with DBS under a Social Enterprise Package benefit from low-interest rate bank loans and a no minimum deposit or minimum balance requirement. About 80 percent of social enterprises in Singapore already bank with DBS so it makes business sense for them to offer such conditions given that when social enterprises grow, they can turn a profit. In order to support these companies, DBS Bank has announced a $1 million SGD ($820,000 USD) grant fund that will help them expand.
To begin, it will provide a total of $340,000 SGD ($278,000 USD) in project grants to four social enterprises in Singapore. They are:
A-changin, a social enterprise that provides training and employment opportunities to women in need. DBS will provide A-changin with a project grant of $100,000 SGD, which will be used by the company to set up a second sewing lab and for working capital purposes.
Adrenalin Events & Education, an events management company that employs youths-at-risk, ex-offenders, the hearing-impaired, and wheelchair-bound individuals. DBS will provide a project grant of $100,000 SGD, which will be used by Adrenalin to expand its audio, visuals, effects, and launch mechanisms department.
Aii, a candy wrapping company that employs hearing-impaired individuals. DBS will provide a project grant of $40,000 SGD, which will be used by Aii to set up an e-commerce site, purchase an in-house candy wrapper printer and provide staff training.
Bizlink Centre Singapore, an organisation that provides comprehensive employment services for disadvantaged people. DBS will provide a grant of $100,000 SGD, which will be used to set up a new bakery social enterprise.
These social enterprises were selected based on the sustainability of their business models, level of social impact, and how innovative their proposed projects are.
DBS also plans to launch banking packages for social enterprises in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, and Taiwan in 2013.
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