Bamboo Builders

Bamboo Builders has worked with various individuals, schools and organisations to build future-ready and ASEAN-ready change makers to create sustainable social enterprises, making a difference in their local community

  • Singapore

Bamboo Builders is a distinctive social enterprise that builds social entrepreneurs. We do this by working with urban and rural schools throughout Southeast Asia to build future-ready leaders of character who are community-grounded, yet relevant for the ASEAN region. With a vision to alleviate poverty through improving education access, Bamboo Builders trains, and mentor rural youths to initiate school-based businesses that help subsidize school overheads and students’ expenses. In Singapore, Bamboo Builders harnesses experiences gleaned abroad to equip local budding social entrepreneurs with problem-solving mindsets and skills through field applications.

At the end of the day, Bamboo Builders hopes to achieve 3 things. Firstly, Bamboo Builders hopes to educate more youths in Singapore on social issues surrounding them and empower them to act on these issues. Secondly, Bamboo Builders hopes to bring positive change to rural communities across ASEAN by tackling the issue of poverty and access to education. Lastly, Bamboo Builders hopes to be the bridge between resources of the developed world and needs of social enterprises in rural communities tackling poverty through education.

To date, Bamboo Builders’ food waste program has diverted to beneficiaries in need more than 2730kg of food in Singapore. It has also trained more than 650 young adults from seven countries, initiating more than 22 social projects regionally. Also, it has successfully incepted 9 social enterprises, 4 of which are in rural Vietnam and Myanmar.

Product & Services

  1. Urban and Rural Schools
  2. Social Enterprise Ecosystem
  3. Corporate CSR
  4. Online and Offline training programs
  5. Online consultancy platform
  6. Automated needs matching platform

In May 2021, Action Community for Entrepreneurship (ACE), the national advocate for Singapore’s startup ecosystem, has partnered with SCAPE and EDGE to host the award ceremony for the National Youth Entrepreneurship Awards (NYEA) 2021 – a national competition celebrating the achievements of budding youth entrepreneurs in Singapore. NYEA 2021 recognises youth who have displayed entrepreneurial qualities and risen to the occasion with innovative solutions to help Singapore navigate uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. After going through a rigorous selection process, Bamboo Builders managed to secure the gold medal and its Founder, Gabriel Tan, was awarded with the Impact Entrepreneur Award.​

“Have courage, don’t wait, just do it,” says Gabriel. “Your mind will always give excuses in the form of insurmountable ‘problems’. However, if we successfully break down large problems into smaller ones, any problem can be overcome.” Gabriel indeed lives up to his own advice. By 2020, Bamboo Builders has trained more than 350 young adults from seven countries. Cited from the SMU Blog, he adds: “Our vision is actually unfolding faster than I had imagined. And this is just the beginning.”​

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