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DBS launches mentor programme for social enterprises in Singapore

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DBS yesterday announced the launch of the DBS Social Enterprise Support Programme aimed at bolstering the growth of social enterprises in Singapore, in conjunction with the DBS Foundation Social Enterprise Summit 2018. As a starter, the bank will mentor the 12 social enterprises DBS Foundation awarded in its 2018 Social Enterprise Grant Programme.

The programme, which will be jointly administered by the DBS SME Banking team and the DBS Foundation, was built on three pillars, i.e. mentoring, training and financing. Social enterprises that sign on to this programme will have access to mentoring sessions by DBS’ senior SME bankers, banking and finance training courses at the DBS SME Academy, as well as a relationship managed account traditionally reserved for larger corporate customers.

Over 28 senior SME relationship managers have committed to mentor social enterprises in their specialised industries, such as retail, F&B and healthcare. These relationship managers will provide social enterprises with advice to improve their financials, technology infrastructure, human resource management, and better manage their legal, audit and tax requirements.

Social enterprises will have access to exclusive training workshops through the DBS SME Academy. They can attend classes on working capital optimisation, digital marketing and how to better manage their human resources and productivity.

Joyce Tee, DBS’ group head of SME Banking, said: “Social enterprises have big ambitions to make a positive impact in their community, and very often they struggle with limited resources. In the past 50 years, we have supported the growth and development of many home-grown businesses. With that same passion, we want to support these social enterprises in their journey to create greater social impact.”

Furthermore, DBS will continue to provide social enterprises access to virtually free banking services through its DBS Social Enterprise Package. With this package, the enterprises can open an account with a zero-minimum balance and enjoy unsecured loans at preferential rates.

Ong Tian Cheng, co-founder of Yonah, which provides cargo services in rural areas and is one of the 12 pioneer social enterprises that DBS will be mentoring, said: “DBS has been passionate about supporting social enterprises for years, and it is encouraging to see them deepening their commitment with the launch of this new programme. Building capabilities, mentoring and providing funding support to the social enterprises will be crucial to their growth and sustainability.”

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