Swiss Re Foundation brings flagship program to Southeast Asia

The Shine initiative aims to foster innovation in critical impact areas

Swiss Re Foundation brings flagship program to Southeast Asia


By Kenneth Araullo

Swiss Re Foundation is launching its flagship initiative, Shine, in Southeast Asia for the first time.

This expansion follows the success of Shine chapters in regions including India, Brazil, Slovakia, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK, and the US since its inception in 2018.

The program aims to foster innovation in critical impact areas such as the net-zero transition, health and nutrition, financial literacy, socio-economic well-being, skills development, climate-smart agriculture, disaster risk reduction, and coastal resilience. It is open to social entrepreneurs in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.

As part of the initiative, Swiss Re will collaborate with Impact Hub Kuala Lumpur as the outreach partner and BOOKBRIDGE as the learning partner for the Southeast Asia program.

A recent report from Swiss Re Institute, “Changing Climates: the heat is (still) on,” indicates that APAC economies lead the top 10 in economic losses as a percentage of GDP from climate change-related hazard intensification. Thailand is particularly vulnerable to rising losses due to high flood risk.

“Southeast Asia is a crucial market for the insurance industry, marked by a dynamic blend of rapid economic growth while being susceptible to pressing issues like climate change and barriers to healthcare. This unique convergence calls for heightened support for innovators and disruptors to spearhead solutions to these societal challenges,” Victor Kuk (pictured), CEO of Swiss Re Asia said.

Shine Southeast Asia is accepting applications from social innovators in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand until June 19, 2024. The selected applicant will participate in a six-month immersive learning program starting in January 2025, partnering with Swiss Re experts and leadership to develop a strategic, financially viable business.

In addition to Swiss Re’s expertise, the chosen entrepreneur could receive a financial award of up to SG$40,000 to support their enterprise’s growth.

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