Social Enterprises in Singapore

Parliamentary Question, 11 February 2019

Asian Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy

Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for Social and Family Development: (a) what is the total number of social enterprises (SEs) last year; (b) how many of these SEs are registering revenues of more than $150,000; © how many SEs are more than three years old; and (d) what has been the impact of SEs on the social sector in the same period.

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee: The Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise, or raiSE, is the membership body and sector developer for social enterprises (SEs) in Singapore. Funded by MSF, Tote Board and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), raiSE had a membership of 336 SE members as at 31 March 2018. Of these, 92 (27%) had an annual revenue of at least or more than $200,000. 148 members (44%) were registered or incorporated in 2015 or earlier. SEs are not required to register with raiSE, and not all SEs are members of raiSE.

SEs aim to provide business solutions to address social needs and gaps, creating social impact in sustainable ways. In this way, SEs bridge the gap between conventional charities and for-profit companies. SEs create social impact in many ways, such as through developing innovative solutions to emerging social needs and providing consultancy services to the social service sector. One significant area of impact is in the provision of employment opportunities for disadvantaged and needy beneficiaries. In Financial Year 2017, 869 such beneficiaries were employed by 120 raiSE members.


Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)

The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities.

She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and volunteerism in Parliament.

A full-time human, and part-time everything else.