In keeping with this quarterly’s theme of millennials, we set out to share the perspective of an organization that delves deep into issues of youth engagement here in Singapore – The Thought Collective. Starting out as an initiative to tackle youth apathy through education, The Thought Collective has evolved into an umbrella of social businesses whose mission is to collectively transform and strengthen social and emotional capital in Singapore.
In India, where one third of its billion-strong population live in urban areas, the colossal issue of urban waste threatens to take over liveable spaces. As gigantic landfills expire and overflow – some, like in Mumbai, are the size of Central Park in New York and as dated as 90 years old – reducing the amount of disposables that go into the trash is an urgent endeavour.
Impact Investment has developed rapidly over the past decade, representing the confluence of development goals with financial sustainability and discipline. At the heart of the sector are Impact Enterprises (IEs), and it is in response to their requirements for capital to grow that the rapid evolution of the sector has been necessitated. As the early IEs have scaled, a common theme that consistently emerges is the need to leverage equity by accessing debt at the appropriate time.
The last decade has seen a distinct mainstream shift towards responsible investments that address critical social needs and environmental challenges in addition to achieving financial returns. The growing global push towards sustainability means that measuring and communicating impact has become increasingly important for all entities aimed at achieving social and/or environmental goals.
In the little island archipelago of Philippines in Southeast Asia—millennials are driving a dynamic economic transformation. Over 50% of the working-age population belong to the millennial generation, most of which is being absorbed by micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), accounting for more than 99% of enterprises in the Philippines.
In 2015, the millennial generation officially overtook the baby boomers as the largest generation in the US labor force and they are increasingly shaping the way people do business. A Deloitte survey about millennials in 2016 has shown that millennials have a positive view of business’ impact on society. However, they want businesses to focus more on people, products and purpose, and less on profits.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) represent approximately 96% of all enterprises within Southeast Asia, contribute 30% to 50% of GDP and employ between 50% to 85% of each country’s population in ASEAN. A large number of SME models inherently create demonstrable social and environmental impact beyond livelihood creation, in sectors such as agriculture, clean energy, education, healthcare, water and sanitation, among others.