Is volunteerism dead in Singapore?
The World Giving Index 2011 ranked Singapore 91st among the 153 countries surveyed but here’s why locals can hope for upturn this year.
Start Now, a local startup launched a volunteerism social platform in Feb 2012.
According to website, Start Now bills itself as Singapore's first non-governmental volunteerism advocacy social enterprise.
Start Now aims to connect volunteers from schools, corporate organizations and the public with a range of volunteering opportunities, from professional services, administration, fund raising, welfare and social work to independent projects through its online portal www.startnow.sg.
“Through our new media outlets, we share stories and new about volunteering and drive interest in this vital field of volunteering that is a key functional element of many non-profit and voluntary welfare organizations,” read the website.
Start Now claims over 120 non-profit orgs have come on board boosting user base to over 28,000 in just under 100 days.
And Start Now is not just large, but active, with over 6200 users logging in one week alone, boasts Keith Tan, co-founder of Start Now Volunteerism Advocacy.
Mentored by Singapore International Foundation's Young Social Entrepreneurs program, Tan told Singapore Business Review that Start Now is currently incubated by National University of Singapore Enterprise and the Grameen Creative Lab with support from Spring Singapore.
With over 33 million potential users in Asia, Start Now, he said, is looking beyond Singapore, engaging businesses and schools in social responsibility and service learning efforts.
Name of the company: Start Now
Founder/Founders: Keith Tan, Ivan Chang (23 yr old)
Major Investors: Private Angel Fund
Total funding at hand: SGD86,000
Target fund: SGD 500,000
Source of funding: SPRING Singapore YES! Grant Funding, Startup@Singapore Business Plan Competition.
Start of operation: January 2012
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