Singapore, 1 June 2023 – Singapore, 6 June 2023 – The Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) and WE-Empower (a corporate social responsibility initiative of Succession Advisory Partners) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to enable partnerships between business families, and grassroot enterprises in ASEAN and China, through mutual learning and relationship building in driving economic and social impact related activities for village communities.
This strategic collaboration is grounded on WE-Empower and SUSS’s shared vision of enabling good for the society. To address the growing phenomena of ‘poverty of opportunities’, improving conditions of living and securing a better future, SUSS and WE-Empower are committed to empower strategic collaborations between business families, knowledge institutions, and grassroot enterprises. WE-Empower will lead this initiative by assembling philanthropic resources and tapping on the perspectives and experiences contributed by the younger generation of business families. SUSS will be the applied knowledge conduit and multi-disciplinary learning laboratory provider. Together, both partners will co-create the design, development and delivery of programmes and initiatives in social entrepreneurship and innovation. SUSS faculty and students will also team up with business families to launch studies into existing challenges and create innovative solutions for grassroot communities to implement.
Professor Robbie Goh, SUSS Provost, said, “SUSS is delighted to partner with WE-Empower to inspire and impart the spirit and knowledge of social entrepreneurship to effect positive social change in communities in Singapore and the region. With the proliferation of enterprising startups and social enterprises in a growing ecosystem for good, there will be a greater multiplier effect achieved for our societies. The partnership will at the same time expose our students to real-life opportunities to develop and apply entrepreneurial skills as they ideate and innovate on various community projects. We are proud to extend our venture-building and network strength to realise synergistic outcomes through this unique collaboration.”
Melvyn Goh, Co-founder, and CEO of WE-Empower, said, “This initiative aims to foster collaboration among different stakeholders, including business families, philanthropists, academia, and villagers, to encourage we-oriented and not just I-oriented entrepreneurship. Successful business families and philanthropic foundations are called upon to provide funding and leadership, while SUSS provides knowledge hubs and research expertise. Concurrently, grassroot entrepreneurs will contribute indigenous knowledge and innovations. We are honoured to collaborate with SUSS to impact lives.”
To kickstart this collaboration, grassroot entrepreneurs, including one focusing on rehabilitating degraded lands for bamboo farmers in Indonesia, have been identified and shortlisted. An Indonesian business family has come forward to fund this initiative.
As part of governance, the partnership will also establish a three-member committee comprising a representative each from WE-Empower and SUSS, and an independent individual nominated by WE-Empower and approved by SUSS. The governance committee will oversee funds administration as well as determine and approve social enterprises that will be selected and supported under the partnership.