Blog Post

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Social Enterprise in SG

“What is social entrepreneurship?”


“What is the definition of a social enterprise?”

This is one of the most commonly asked questions.

To be honest, even though I have spent 3 years of my life studying this topic, there was never a clear definition given.

Even when asked to “define the term ‘social enterprise'”,
Every social entrepreneur and speaker who was invited to give a guest lecture all defined ‘social entrepreneurship’ differently!

And that was okay.
Our lecturers encouraged us to discover our own answers (that’s what I love about Ngee Ann Polytechnic).

SFF_bluesmallOur very first flipflops, in 2010, X years ago


For myself, I started Soule (a social enterprise in Singapore) 6 years ago with two of my good friends. At that time we didn’t even know the term ‘Social enterprise’. Basically, the idea was sparked after I came back from a humanitarian trip in rural parts of China. After seeing the poor living conditions of the children from the villages and how they would walk to school without shoes, it provoked me to do something about it.

Soule started with a vision to provide ‘a sole for every soul’. The concept was simple, we started selling flip flops and part of the proceeds from the business was channelled to purchase school shoes for needy children.



Our ultimate aim for Soule is to create easier access to education for every child.

Isn’t that what social entrepreneurship is all about? Finding a social cause to fight for.

Social entrepreneurs sees injustice and desires change. They are problem-solvers. They refuse to complain about problems, because they are actively searching for solutions. They are givers and not takers. They are enterprising and not charity-seekers.


Social Entrepreneur [definition]: Having the mind of a businessman and the heart of a social worker.

Mentioned above are characteristics that social entrepreneurs share with one another, but at the same time you can’t fit all of them into one shell. That already is another trait in itself – social entrepreneurs are just different. They don’t necessarily agree with the norm and they don’t always fit into a mould.

What is your definition of a social entrepreneur?


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