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New initiative to promote social entrepreneurship

18 March 2011

ADVANCING SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP: (From left) Prof Wong Poh Kam, Mr Hans Reitz and NUS Deputy President (Academic Affairs) and Provost Prof Tan Eng Chye at the signing ceremony of GCL@NUS

Social entrepreneurs, innovators and corporate partners can now turn to the NUS-Grameen Creative Lab Initiative for Social Business (GCL@NUS) for information, advice and funding support for social businesses. The Grameen Creative Lab and NUS Entrepreneurship Centre inked an agreement on 16 March 2011 to promote and incubate innovation-based social businesses in Singapore, marking the first partnership between GCL anda Singapore-based organisation.

On this new initiative, Director of the NUS Entrepreneurship Centre Prof Wong Poh Kam said: "I believe that GCL@NUS will serve to catalyse greater engagement in social innovations by NUS students and the larger community, just as our existing NUS Enterprise Incubator has helped catalyse the formation and growth of many for-profit start-ups by NUS students and professors."

Founder and Creative Director of GCL, Mr Hans Reitz, said that GCL was delighted to partner an institution as prestigious as NUS to create an important hub for social business in Southeast Asia. He noted that bringing social business into universities was of utmost importance in order to further spread the idea of social enterprise to the next generation of young leaders.

As part of the GCL@NUS initiative, a series of activities will be rolled out over a two-year period. This includes incubation of social business, development of related courses, an annual social business competition (SocialBusiness@Singapore), and offering public lectures, a bootcamp and educational workshops at Social Business Week.