Founder of Social Gifting, Valen Tan, with some of the products that her company has produced as corporate gifts.
Meet Valen Tan, SUSS Social Work Graduate, and founder of Social Gifting, a social enterprise that provides home-based workshops to empower Singaporeans who are socially disconnected at home.
In 2018, Valen took a career break to help her children cope with school. As she spent more time with her children, she felt a strong calling to give back to society. She had a desire to equip students with leadership skills and empower them to do good for the community. As such, she took a leap of faith and started her own company, Social Gifting, with a mission to empower differently-abled crafters to build on their strengths and live an enriching life.
When COVID-19 first hit Singapore in March 2020, her team had to cope with declining sales like many other businesses, as consumers cut back on spending. Furthermore, there were no new projects for her crafters. Valen then made the decision to partner with PayPal, which enabled Social Gifting to sell across borders on a global platform. Social Gifting thrived and flourished as it was able to widen its customer base and deliver handmade gifts made by crafters to various international regions.
Today, Valen remains committed to fulfilling the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Under her leadership, Social Gifting achieved 6 out of the 17 Global goals such as good health & well-being and reduced inequalities. She provided ample employment opportunities to more than 100 crafters, ranging from people with special needs to seniors in isolation.
Looking ahead, Valen plans to guide undergraduates in their journey to be accredited and recognised for enabling persons with disabilities under the Enabling Mark through active community engagement. She also intends to get Social Gifting recognised internationally as an inclusive, equitable and regenerative enterprise in the next five years.
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Start today! Join networking groups to meet like-minded entrepreneurs to translate your plans into action. More importantly, identify a mentor who can click with you, rejuvenate you and bounce off ideas.”