Singapore, July 12, 2022 – Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) has received a donation of SGD10 million from The Ngee Ann Kongsi to launch The Ngee Ann Kongsi Social Impact Hub, which seeks to strengthen social service delivery through programmes delivered by private or public agencies. The Hub’s three pillars are purposed to impact our wider communities and society, especially in gerontology and social entrepreneurship. In particular, the Hub takes a multi-prong approach to serve our senior community - through training and awareness building, entrepreneurship and innovation for the elderly sector, application of technology for successful ageing and increasing community engagement with the senior population. Meanwhile, enterprising students are empowered to innovate products and services that address needs and gaps in domains with high social impact.
To mark the establishment of The Ngee Ann Kongsi Social Impact Hub, SUSS President Professor Cheong Hee Kiat, received a cheque on behalf of the University and inked an agreement with The Ngee Ann Kongsi’s Vice President and Chairman of the Donation & Charity Sub-committee, Mr Jamie Teo. The presentation was witnessed by Guest of Honour, Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for National Development and Minster-in-Charge of Social Services Integration.
Professor Cheong said, “The formation of The Ngee Ann Kongsi Social Impact Hub is a timely, and important one. The Hub will bring together collaborative and entrepreneurial communities that are focused on advancing applied research and discovery in the social sciences, including gerontology and the social sector. It will galvanise the growing ecosystem of like-minded students, socio-preneurs and communities from business and society to create new ideas and solutions. With SUSS’s expertise and experience in the gerontology and social entrepreneurship fields, The Ngee Ann Kongsi Social Impact Hub will benefit society, especially Singapore’s ageing population.”
Mr Jamie Teo, The Ngee Ann Kongsi’s Vice President and Chairman of the Donation & Charity Sub-committee, said, “The Ngee Ann Kongsi has been an active contributor to various educational and welfare causes in Singapore since the 1930s, and we are continuously exploring opportunities to strengthen our support for philanthropic causes that benefit Singaporeans from all walks and races, which include contributing to meaningful initiatives that seek to improve and help the community. We hope that our intended funding will equip SUSS with the resources to continue with and expand its steadfast efforts in improving the well-being of older adults, and advancing the eldercare ecosystem in Singapore.”
The donation is pledged over five years, with SGD2 million disbursed by The Ngee Ann Kongsi each year. To ensure continued sustainability, SGD500,000 of each SGD2 million grant received will be endowed. The donation will be used to support three pillars and subsets of themed actions/programmes (refer to Appendix for details) related to the social sciences, as follows:
a. GeronEngage focuses on engaging the ageing community. It promotes elderly inclusivity, allowing the elderly to move seamlessly in the community by lowering barriers for them.
b. Geron-Technology identifies and supports the use of technology to achieve successful ageing. It improves the conditions for the elderly to lead an independent lifestyle with better care for themselves and to reduce their caregivers’ burdens.
- Social Entrepreneurship
a. Social Impact Incubator provides young and mid-career SUSS students with an immersive, holistic experience through interdisciplinary areas such as fintech, law, gerontology, edu-tech, mental wellness, digital marketing, early childhood education, etc., to address societal challenges. Selected viable ideas will progress to receive mentorship and resources in the Incubator, managed by SUSS Centre for Experiential Learning.
b. Minor in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme, seeding interest and building capabilities in these applied areas, andc. Geron-Preneurship and Innovation Course
There are currently no formal training or certification of social entrepreneurship skills for mid/later-career professionals or seniors available in Singapore. The sponsorship of the programme 2(a) and course 2(b) will encourage more senior-led and senior-centric social enterprises by providing training support to safeguard their long-term viability. This above programme and course will be taught and managed by SUSS School of Business. Both minor programme and course are credit-bearing and open to CET students.
Entrepreneurship in Gerontology a. Geron-preneurship Incubator allows students, in their late careers or nearing retirement age, keen to innovate and improve the quality of life and independence of their fellow seniors to receive resources, industry networking and mentorship opportunities to pursue their start-up ideas. The gerontology faculty at SUSS S R Nathan School of Human Development and the entrepreneurship team from the Centre for Experiential Learning will collaborate to nurture start-ups to provide innovative solutions in the gerontology domain.
b. Geron-preneurship Innovation Festival will be held once every two years to share important trending issues in gerontology and celebrate the innovations created.
The two pillars in Gerontology and Entrepreneurship in Gerontology were especially chosen to help address gaps in Singapore’s rapidly ageing population, as a result of longer life expectancy and low birth rates. By 2035, about one third of Singaporeans will be aged 65 and above.
SUSS is well placed as the leading university with deep expertise in Gerontology studies and the Gerontology sector, with a 11-year track record. It is the first University in Singapore to offer post-graduate programmes (Master and PhD) in this highlight specialised field. With its strong industry network and over 300 alumni involved in the field of gerontology, SUSS is well positioned to contribute actively to both the private and public spheres in the gerontology sector.
For example, through the SUSS venture builder programme, 11 social experimentation start-up ideas have been generated. Birthed through the venture builder programme, “Konnect”, an online platform that brings together consumers, food producers, and advocacy groups to create and purchase soft foods for seniors received the “Founder IGNITE” award organised by Enterprise Singapore.
The SGD10 million donation to set up The Ngee Ann Kongsi Social Impact Hub is The Ngee Ann Kongsi’s third donation to SUSS. Last year, The Ngee Ann Kongsi contributed SGD1.2 million to fund The NCSS-The Ngee Ann Kongsi 360 Panel Research, a first-of-its-kind social research in Singapore which will offer insights into emerging household dynamics and challenges, particularly in the context of a fast ageing society. In 2020, The Ngee Ann Kongsi also donated SGD90,000 to support 60 full-time undergraduate students at SUSS who were adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
– END –
For media queries, please contact:
Ms Valerie Ng
Senior PR Manager
Communications & Marketing
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Mr Tian Zhiyuan
Communications & Manager
Singapore University of Social Sciences
Ms Shermin Ng
APRW, on behalf of The Ngee Ann Kongsi
About the Singapore University of Social Sciences
SUSS is a university with a rich heritage in inspiring lifelong education, and transforming society through applied social sciences. We develop students and alumni to be work-ready and work-adaptive, aspiring to reach their full potential, through our 3H’s education philosophy – ‘Head’ for professional competency with applied knowledge, ‘Heart’ for social awareness to meet the needs of the society, and ‘Habit’ for passion towards lifelong learning.
We offer over 80 undergraduate and graduate programmes, available in full- and part-time study modes, which are flexible, modular and inter-disciplinary, catering to both fresh school leavers and adult learners. SUSS also offers a broad range of continuing education and training modular courses for the professional skills upgrading of Singapore’s workforce.
Our programmes and courses are offered by our five schools:
- S R Nathan School of Human Development
- School of Business
- School of Humanities and Behavioural Sciences
- School of Law
- School of Science and Technology
To date, over 42,000 graduates have experienced our unique brand of education, and each year, about 17,000 students are pursuing their full- and part-time studies with us.
The Institute for Adult Learning (IAL), as part of SUSS, leads in the field of research on adult and workplace learning and training of adult educators to build capabilities of the training and adult education sector in Singapore and beyond.
For more information on SUSS, please visit www.suss.edu.sg.
About The Ngee Ann Kongsi
The Ngee Ann Kongsi is a non-profit Teochew philanthropic organisation focused on educational, cultural and charitable activities in Singapore, while placing a deep emphasis on preserving the Teochew heritage. The organisation is an active advocate in education which funds scholarships for high-performing students and study awards to disadvantaged students. It was founded in or about 1845 by Teochew immigrants from China providing welfare services for its members, and was formally incorporated under the Ngee Ann Kongsi (Incorporation) Ordinance in 1933.
Pillar 1 – Gerontology
Singapore has an increasingly ageing population, caused by longer life expectancy coupled with low birth rates. In recognition of the challenges and opportunities of the silver economy, and the concerted effort needed in the field of Gerontology, Pillar 1 of The Ngee Ann Kongsi Social Impact Hub is grounded by these two programmes:
GeronEngage, a community-led effort to advance and advocate elderly empowerment, community engagement and intergenerational bonding. This is fulfilled by:
- Future-proofing the silver sector and local communities (seniors, caregivers, industry players, etc.) in providing an inclusive way of living.
- Promoting senior-friendly initiatives, as well as developing community-based senior care groups.
- Conducting applied community-based research to engage with stakeholders, and thereafter provide feasible and scalable support and practice in tackling the multi-faceted issues faced by seniors.
Geron-Technology, to prepare the future of the eldercare sector and Singaporeans by leveraging on Geron-technological products to effectively enhance the quality of care and life of the elderly and their caregivers. At the same time, the adoption of such devices and tools by the eldercare sector will encourage efficiency allow staff to focus on more critical tasks.
Pillar 2 – Social Entrepreneurship
The social entrepreneurship programme at SUSS aims to (i) promote social entrepreneurship to learners who have embarked, or will embark, on the journey of social entrepreneurship as a mid- or late-career alternative, and (ii) inspire learners to drive social change via innovative and sustainable solutions.
The Social Impact Incubator provides an immersive and holistic exposure to encourage and enable students to solve problems in domains with high social impact such as fintech, law, gerontology, edutech, mental health, e-commerce/ digital marketing, early childhood, and the social sciences.
Grants for students to embark on the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation and/or the Geron-preneurship & Innovation Course help students understand the issues, challenges, and opportunities in gerontology and eldercare, and contribute towards solution-creation at each stage of their careers.
Pillar 3 – Entrepreneurship in Gerontology
The ageing workforce has become a growing phenomenon in Singapore and many countries in the region, requiring new approaches to encourage older workers and seniors to find new purpose and meaning in the later stage of life. There is also high demand for innovative and sustainable solutions to address complex social issues and/or create social good in Singapore. Entrepreneurship in Gerontology marries the two needs.
The Geron-preneurship Incubator is a dedicated space where start-ups founded by seniors or those nearing the end of their formal careers are nurtured and encouraged to provide innovative solutions in the gerontology domains. Enterprising individuals and teams that have pitched the most innovative ideas are provided seed funding to further develop, ideate, and validate products and services that meet the needs of fellow seniors.
Furthermore, the bi-annual Geron-preneurship Innovation Festival will showcase innovation in Geron-preneurship for further funding by social angel investors. This facilitates the active involvement of various community stakeholders in playing their part in gerontology, and creates sustainable interest, activity, and funding for Geron-preneurship start-ups.