VISTAS SERIES on “Social Entrepreneurship: Is the Pursuit of Helping Others and Profitability Mutually Exclusive?”


Social enterprises — they can be described as hybrids of traditional non-profit organisations and profit-driven businesses. Beyond their unique focus on generating positive social impact and tackling some of societies’ most difficult problems, social enterprises can also be highly innovative and nimble in adapting to changing environments. They have to think holistically and creatively, to design systemic solutions that meet the needs of their customers and at the same time, create the social impact to which they are committed whilst maintaining profitability. With a business model that is centred on people and to improve lives, what is distinctive about such an organisation’s culture and the work experience of its employees? How does valuing inclusivity and diversity impact operational efficiency and effectiveness? What are some opportunities for different organisations to better collaborate and synergise to expand their impact and create greater good?

Hear from our speakers who will share experiences and insights from their journey — the challenges, difficulties and lessons learnt from starting social enterprises. 


Mr ALFIE Othman has had a successful banking career of over twelve years in the banking sector. Alongside his private sector work, Alfie has devoted significant time to the public sector and civil society. Alfie is also recognized as a Social Enterprise practitioner within Singapore.

At present Alfie heads the Singapore Centre for Social Enterprise (raiSE), which was set up to raise awareness on social entrepreneurship and raise support for social enterprises (SE) in Singapore.raiSE hopes to strengthen the social enterprise sector in Singapore and encourage the growth of social enterprises as a sustainable way to address social needs.

raiSE has gained support from its multiple stakeholders in the Government, community and corporations. In particular, raiSE has secured up to $30million in funds from multiple stakeholders to grow social entrepreneurship over the next 5 years through programme funding, grants and impact investments.

Since 2016, Alfie has been appointed as a Fellow at SIM University, providing advice on Financial Inclusion and the emerging Fin Tech phenomenon.

Mr Jack SIM is the founder of World Toilet Organization and the BoP HUB and a leading global advocate for sanitation. Formerly in the construction industry, he founded the World Toilet Organization in 2001, after attaining financial independence at age of 40, and deciding to devote the rest of his life to social work.

In 2001 World Toilet Organization (WTO) declared its founding day 19 November as World Toilet day. In 2013, 19 November was designated as UN World Toilet Day – the day is now celebrated globally each year as a day raise awareness of the need for action to end the sanitation crisis.

For ‘creating good will and bringing the subject into the open’ and ‘mobilizing national support in providing on-the-ground expertise’ Jack Sim received the Schwab Foundation award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. In 2007, Jack became one of the key members to convene the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance composed of key players for sanitation. He is an Ashoka Global Fellow, and was named one of the Heroes of the Environment for 2008 by Time Magazine.

Widely known as Mr. Toilet, Jack broke the global taboo around toilets and sanitation by bringing it to centre-stage with his unique mix of humour and serious facts.

Ms Josephine NG is the co-founder of two social enterprises. Her first social enterprise, Haute Alteration, was set up in 2010 to provide training and employment opportunities to women in need; including single mothers, out-ofwork women and matured women. Empowering women was the focus of thissocial enterprise. The alteration boutique is recognised as one of the best in the region, with clients like Vera Wang, Berluti, Valentino, etc. Located at Mandarin Gallery, it provides high-quality apparel alteration services.

New Rasa Singapura, her second social enterprise, provides training and employment opportunities to persons with physical disabilities, individuals recovering from mental illness and the elderly. This enterprise simplifies work tasks and redesign jobs according to the abilities of each beneficiary. It has also been rated as a creative Singaporean restaurant by many acclaimed food reviewers. Located at Tanglin Post Office Building, it serves refined Singaporean cuisines.

Prior to being a social entrepreneur, Josephine co-founded an integrated marketing agency that provided marketing solutions to many Fortune 100 IT companies. The agency was subsequently acquired by an international marketing group in 2001.

Josephine was recognised by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his 2012 National Day Rally speech, for her initiative to provide more opportunities to the less fortunate. She was also presented with the inaugural President’s Challenge Social Enterprise of the Year award by President Tony Tan.


Due to overwhelming response, registration is now closed.

For confirmed participants, seats will be reserved until 3.55 pm. For walk-in attendees, seats will be on a first-come, first-served basis.


If you have any enquiries, please contact Ms Angelin Au Yong at 6601-5730 or via email:  

Friday, 26 May 2017
4.00 pm to 6.00 pm (registration starts at 3.45pm)