Insect Raising Company Wins Social Business Startup of the Year at President’s Challenge, Singapore News & Top Stories Awards

SINGAPORE – A company that has diverted more than 40 tonnes of food waste from landfills over the past year to feed the black soldier flies it raises for animal feed has been recognized for the work it does for the sustainability of food waste.

Insect Feed Technologies won the Social Enterprise Startup of the Year award at the 6th biennial President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Awards (PCSEA) on Thursday, December 2. The company also hired older workers who were displaced during the pandemic, offering jobs as farm operators.

It was the first time that the awards, recognizing outstanding social enterprises for their positive impact on the community, had been awarded since the virus outbreak.

They were presented in person by President Halimah Yacob during an event in Istana attended by around fifty people. President Halimah said it was heartwarming to see social enterprises continue to support vulnerable groups who are most susceptible to the negative impacts of the pandemic.

“Since I last presented the President’s Challenge Social Enterprise Awards in 2019, social enterprises have faced massive disruption and a plethora of new challenges resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic,” a- she declared.

“It is truly an understatement to say that everyone here today, as well as the many other social enterprises who have remained true to their cause, have shown remarkable courage and resilience in facing up to the pandemic so far, “she added.

Three awards were presented at the event organized by the Singapore Center for Social Enterprise, raiSE. Social enterprises are businesses that have specific social goals.

Ms. Halimah noted that 64 percent of social enterprises are run by women and 40 percent by people under 35. Many of them, such as Amazing Speech Therapy led by Ms. Beatrice Teo, who provides diagnostic and treatment services to people with speech, voice and swallowing disorders, have stepped up to address needs. not satisfied.

“This is a sign of the times, when the move towards greater diversity and inclusion has enabled more talented and motivated individuals to take up leadership positions and pave the way for a more equitable future,” said Ms. Halimah said.

Mr Sean Tan, 28, managing director of Insect Feed Technologies, said that although it was difficult to start a business in the midst of a pandemic, the issue of food waste sustainability could not wait.

“We wanted to assess how we are transforming food waste, which is an environmental problem. It’s a big problem not just in Singapore, it’s an urgent problem that we need to solve,” he added.

Kowabanga! Global received the Social Enterprise of the Year award, for its work in promoting awareness of sustainability issues among children. The company has also launched a fund to financially support its employees and students.

(Left to right) Ms. Aileen Tan, President of Singtel Touching Lives Fund, Mr. Taufiq Yahya, CEO of Kowabunga! Global and Mr. Sean Tan, CEO of Insect Feed Technologies. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

“We are very committed to the issue of climate change and sustainability, and we wanted to make a difference, so we thought that the best way was to educate young people, because they are the ones who will become agents of change in the world. ‘future,’ said Taufiq Yahya, 37, its chief executive.

The second Social Enterprise Champion of the Year (Business) award was won by Singtel for its continued efforts to invest in local and regional start-ups.

Ms. Aileen Tan, President of the Singtel Touching Lives Fund, said: “Our efforts to nurture digital innovators through funding and access to our network and resources are part of our approach to address the challenges they face in the world. building capacity and partnerships, and scaling their businesses. “

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