Hello! My name is Jowynna Yeo and I am part of a social enterprise called JM Nutrition Consultancy, also known as Junior Nutri Chef. We’re a food and nutrition education centre that empowers children to make healthy lifelong choices through our nutritional culinary classes, farm visits, health talks and counselling sessions.Last March (15 – 18 March 2017), Junior Nutri Chef was selected for the Young Social Entrepreneurs (YSE) 2017 programme by Singapore International Foundation (SIF). A total of 63 teams were chosen, comprising of 138 youths from 18 different countries. I flew to Singapore to attend the four-day workshop encompassing business clinics, training workshops, a fireside chat session, peer learnings and a business pitch on the last day. Following the business pitch, we were delighted to be one of the 16 shortlisted teams to advance to the next phase of the programme. This includes eight months of business mentorship and an overseas study visit to Mumbai, India. I left for Mumbai on 10 June 2017 after completing our progress update presentation in Singapore. The week long study visit was an experiential learning opportunity which comprises of workshops, site visits and community visits.
In Mumbai, the workshops focused on the business aspect of social entrepreneurship such as ‘Impact Assessment’ by Ashoka India, ‘Validating and Scaling your SE’ by FSG, ‘Pitching to Investors’ with Mumbai Angels Network and several more.
Besides this, we went for site visits to IIT Bombay Society for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SINE), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) Social Entrepreneurship Faculty, Bombay Hemp Company (BOHECO); and community visits to MANN – Centre for Individuals with Special Needs and Kranti – education and empowerment centre for girls from Mumbai’s red-light areas. I learnt insights and perspectives from India’s leading social entrepreneurs, academia, corporates and social sector leaders. Each day in Mumbai was a new learning experience for me. I also met a nutritionist from Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action (SNEHA), a Mumbai-based NGO. The study visit also allowed me to see the unique parts of India as we went for the local transport tour to CST Station, Dadar Flower Market, Dhobi Ghat and Chor Bazaar; Gate of India and the tour to Dharavi Slums. I was really amazed with Mumbai! Following this, all 16 teams will regroup in Singapore in November for a concluding pitch where 6 teams will have the opportunity to receive up to SGD$20,000 each in seed funding for their social enterprise.
I am grateful to IMU for supporting me throughout this journey. It was definitely tough to balance my involvement in my social enterprise and my final year in Dietetics with Nutrition programme. Special thanks to the Dean, School of Health Sciences, Prof Winnie Chee; Dietetics with Nutrition Programme Director, Dr Chen; our clinical coordinator, Dr Yang; my mentors; lecturers; family and friends. Also, thanks to the Singapore International Foundation for providing me this opportunity!