Study of Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation Ecosystems in South East and East Asian Countries – Country Analysis: Republic of Singapore


This Singaporean country analysis is part of a series on the social entrepreneurship and social innovation ecosystems in Asia countries including China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Thailand, and the Philippines. The comparative study provides a global analytical framework on characteristics, trends, challenges, and lessons learnt for building a supportive social enterprise ecosystem that leads social innovation in the different focus countries. According to the report, although a legal definition of social enterprise does not exist in Singapore, the country has focused on building an ecosystem for supporting social enterprises, with the Singaporean government playing a core role. Given the limited size of the Singaporean market, a major challenge of social enterprises involves dealing with competition and expanding their business effectively. High office rent and personnel cost present critical challenges. Another issue in Singapore is inadequate private investment into social enterprises for expanding or continuing their operations. As a result, social enterprises in Singapore need to turn their eyes to the overseas markets in order to stay in operation.